10 October 2010
The Delegation of the European Union to Egypt has announced its third National Photography Competition, open for all Egyptian amateur photographers. The theme of the 2010 competition is ‘Celebrations’. Contestants are invited to express their individual personal vision of how, what and where Egyptians celebrate. Birth, marriage, death, feasts, personal and professional achievements, feelings, traditions, history, or sport, all feature in Egypt’s rich traditional festivals as testimony to the country’s cultural diversity. A prize of 1,000 Euros awaits the winner, and an SLR digital camera the runner-up. The twelve best photographs will be used in the EU Delegation’s highly prestigious wall calendar for 2011. The thirty best images will be publicly exhibited in a Cairo art gallery, and will be included in a catalogue of Photo competition. The closing date for the Competition is 31 October 2010.
Italian Conservation Week
Last month saw an Italian exposition in Cairo showing off Italian excellence in the field of the conservation of cultural heritage. Under the auspices of the project Passato e Presente (Past and Present) the Italian business group Restekna Conservation and Technology set up the exhibition at the premises of the Italian Cultural Institute. Under the title Italian Conservation Week in Egypt, both printed and computerised material illustrating Italian excellence and achievements in Egypt in the field of heritage conservation were displayed. Contributing were conservation firms, research institutions, companies specialising in diagnostics and scientific analyses of cultural heritage, institutions engaged in research in the sector, as well as the two major Italian publishers active in the field of conservation. A workshop was held on “Conservation and Italian technologies for Cultural Heritage”, during which Italian and Egyptian experts in the field of conservation, museology and training took part.
Sponsoring the exposition were the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNESCO (Italian Commission), the Italian Embassy in Cairo, the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo, the Italian Archaeological Centre in Cairo, and the Italian Association of Conservators (ARI).
Goldstein commemorates Daniel Pearl
The renowned American classical pianist Marvin Goldstein has held a recent concert at Darb 1718 in Old Cairo. The concert included a mix of American and Canadian performers.
Marvin’s music career has spanned 50 years over which he travelled around the world spreading the message of peace and mutual understanding through music. He studied music at various institutions including The Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He also received a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Musical Performance from Florida State University College of Music in Tallahassee, Florida, USA.
This event commemorated the ninth anniversary of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international network of concerts using the power of music to reaffirm to tolerance and humanity. Daniel Pearl World Music Days was created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl’s family and friends came together to work towards a more humane world, forming the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
Since his tragic death, he has been remembered as a symbol of hope: a man who built bridges between diverse cultures—as a writer and a gifted musician. Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include the participation of more than 4,900 performances in 102 countries.
Two American speakers have participated in two film events held at al-Sawy Culture Wheel in cooperation with the US Embassy in Cairo.
Documentary film maker Sandra J. Ruch spoke about the history and modern developments in documentary film-making. Hollywood animation expert Simon Tarr, of the University of South Carolina, worked with young Egyptian animators at al-Sawy for one week to jointly develop new animated films. The Egyptian youth unveiled their work at a special public awards ceremony.
Sandra J. Ruch is a film expert and consultant to the American Documentary
Showcase, a programme of the US Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. As president of her company, Cinelixir, Ruch provides consulting services to documentary filmmakers with story development, production, festival and outreach strategy and marketing. She retains the title of Director Emeritus, and serves on juries and expert panels at film festivals and conferences around the world. Ms Ruch is also the co-Founder of DocAngeles: the Los Angeles International Documentary Film Festival, to be launched in 2011.
Simon Tarr teaches new media art at the University of South Carolina and has been active in the independent film world as an advocate for media reform. Tarr made his first film at the age of eight, and has since then had hundreds of his films shown in festivals. His newest film, GIRI CHIT, received the “Best Experimental Film” prize from the DaVinci Film Festival.
From the Nile to the Danube
“From the Nile to the Danube” was the theme of a painting exhibition hosted by the Austrian cultural centre in Cairo together with the Egyptian Austrian Friendship Association (EAFA). The exhibition was the brainchild and the work of the painter and the photographer Kareem Nada after his visit to Austria two years ago. Nada focused on the beautiful natural scenery on both rivers, highlighting their different charm.
Kareem Nada was born in 1972 in Alexandria, spent his childhood years in Kuwait. He studied fine arts in Cairo, and has been holding exhibitions of his works since 1996. Nada suffers hearing impairment, and thus dedicates half the proceeds of his exhibitions to the hearing impaired.
The African American step dancing troupe “Step Afrika!” has been giving performances of its unique and high-energy rhythmic dance in Cairo and Alexandria since last Wednesday and until next Friday. “Step Afrika!” members are also offering a number of workshops in Cairo, Mansoura, and Damietta directed to children and youth.
Founded in 1994, “Step Afrika!” is Washington DC’s official Cultural Ambassador representing the city at events all around the world. Through invitations from U.S. embassies and international festivals, they entertain but also raise awareness for the culture that created stepping. They seek to build connections between people and to highlight the similarities in dance forms, lives and communities. Their motto is “if we can dance together, then we can work together.” The troupe is critically-acclaimed for its efforts to promote an understanding of and appreciation for stepping and the use of the dance tradition as an educational tool for young people worldwide.
Drawing on the wall
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of German reunification, the German embassy in Cairo arranged for a number of pupils of Egyptian and German schools in Cairo to express how they felt about the occasion. The young persons were given a free hand to paint the concrete blocks which dot the pavement around the embassy walls for security. Any passer-by can now appreciate the vividly coloured paintings, a tribute perhaps to a new life granted to the children of one nation finally reunited following decades of a bitter division.
Out of all things “made in China”, the most bizarre has been a ‘Chinese bride’ for Egyptian men. For weeks it was circulated in Cairo that young men may marry Chinese girls who would be more docile, obedient, and much less demanding than their Egyptian counterparts. Earlier this month the Chinese embassy in Cairo, apparently inundated with queries about Chinese brides, issued a statement on the matter.
The spokesman of the embassy said that the embassy noted a recent spate of advertisements for an attractive offer of a Chinese bride, published widely on the Internet. The Egyptian media circulated stories about the presence of Chinese brides to Egypt, and Egyptian young men called the embassy to ask about procedures to procure a Chinese bride.
The Chinese government, the spokesman said, calls for freedom of choice in marriage and does not oppose the marriage of Chinese citizens to foreigners.
The Chinese law, however, bans trade in husbands or wives. Moreover, China suffers from an imbalance in the proportion of the number of men to women, with the ratio in favour of men. This creates a shortage of Chinese women in the marrying age.
Egyptian law also has its own legal provisions for the marriage of Egyptians to foreigners.
The books of the embassy in Cairo have registered 62 cases of marriage between Egyptian men and Chinese women since 2004.
The Chinese embassy in Cairo therefore declares that the said advertisement of Chinese brides is nothing but a joke, and calls upon Egyptians not to believe it. The embassy warns of deception and fraud.