Diplomatic briefcase

02-10-2013 06:15 PM

Mary Fikry - Antoun Milad

The European Union Delegation to Egypt has launched its 6th annual Photography Competition on the theme “Visions of a Shared Heritage ”. The theme for 2013 is the vibrant cultural heritage shared between Egypt and Europe, and its role in everyday life.
Egyptian amateur photographers have been invited to reflect on the significance of collective memory within their society and how the past serves to inform the country’s future developments. Contestants are encouraged to explore the subject in all its facets, including different levels of society, moments, figures and events of significance that embody the diversity of, and challenge to, heritage in times of change.
Heritage is to be understood in broad terms, encompassing intangible and tangible elements ranging from spiritual treasures and performing arts to architectural achievements and moveable culture. In light of recent events—such as the pillage of the Malawi Museum—raising awareness of the fundamental value of culture and its place in society becomes ever more pressing.
Photography accentuating the shared heritage between Egypt and Europe is especially encouraged, potentially encompassing local projects supported by the European Union and its member states.
An expert jury composed of several prominent figures and experts will evaluate this year##s contributions. The first place will be awarded a prize of SLR Digital Camera, the second prize will be an IPad 4 while the third place will be awarded a laptop for the “Mohamed Hassan” prize for best journalistic picture.

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Bollywood films in Egypt
India’s ambassador to Cairo, Navdeep Suri, has said that shooting Bollywood movies in Egypt could play a role in promoting India as a tourist destination to Egyptians. Suri said he will work to convince cinema producers to film in Egypt in the future.
In a speech during a Wednesday ceremony Suri, who was with Samir Farid, the head of the Cairo Film Festival, said that India boasts one of the biggest film production industries in the world. It produces 1,000 movies seen by three billion people in 90 countries, he claimed.
Suri also added that he has held talks with major filmmakers in Egypt, including Gibreal Khouri, Antoine Zend and Samir Farid, who are working to return Indian cinema to Egypt.
Farid meanwhile claimed that the return of Bollywood to Egypt is a right for every Egyptian.

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Arab Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2013
Progress towards the achievement of many targets of the MDGs in the Arab region has been obstructed by remaining inequalities between countries and within countries, the 2013 MDGs report said.  In addition, recent political transitions in some countries may provide an opportunity to meet people’s aspirations, yet they remain a current threat to MDG progress. Conflicts in the region affect an already vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment and hunger. Unemployment is expected to have reached 14.8 per cent in 2013, above 1990 level. This renders the policy challenge “decent work for all” urgent and manifold, especially with regard to improving the low participation of women and youth. Expected increases in poverty and unemployment are likely to contribute to a continuing increase of people suffering from hunger (20 per cent in the near future, up from 15 per cent in 2011).
The report was recently launched by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS) Mr Nabil Al-Arabi; the Executive Secretary of ESCWA and Chairperson of the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for the Arab States Ms Rima Khalaf; as well as the Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States and Chairperson of the UN Regional Development Group for the Arab States Ms Sima Bahous.
However, the report said, the Arab region has demonstrated impressive achievements on many MDGs. On average, the region is behind on MDGs by 9.6 per cent, which is better than the average of 13.3 per cent for other developing regions.

WATANI International
2 October 2013

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