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Pack of cards
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 16 - 09 - 2004

Congratulations to Al-Ahram Weekly 's very own columnist Mursi Saad El-Din, who was honoured by Egypt Today magazine on the occasion of celebrating its 25th anniversary at a glorious celebration at the Cairo Marriott Hotel. Having witnessed the magazine's birth 25 years ago when he was chosen as the magazine's editor-in-chief, Saad El-Din was happy to bear the fruits of his relentless efforts in a party attended by over a thousand guests. Guests were welcomed upon their arrival by publisher of IBA Media Anne Marie Harrison, director of public relations at IBA Media publications Magda Ramzy, IBA's legal adviser Mohsen Taha, managing editor of Egypt Today Patrick M Fitzpatrick, publishing director of IBA Media Mirette Mabrouk, and DCM at the US Embassy Gordon Grey. Attending the celebration were a group of our own: including Amany Abdel-Moneim, Tarek Atia and the talented cartoonist Tamer Youssef, who contributes with his wonderful work to IBA publications. Al-Ahram Weekly extends congratulations to the entire IBA team.
The legacy of great leaders is one to be embraced and celebrated. Within the framework of giving the go ahead to the inauguration of late President Anwar El-Sadat Museum scheduled to take place on 18 December, Chairman of the Board of the Pharaonic Village Abdel-Salam Ragab welcomed the Sadat family, including the late president's wife Jihan El-Sadat and his son Gamal El- Sadat. The museum showcases a number of El-Sadat 's rare pictures, his famous speeches, documents of Camp David Peace Agreement that the village managed to obtain from the library of the former US President Jimmy Carter. The museum narrates the story of the Sixth of October War and the Egyptian weapons used for this victory. It also shows some of El-Sadat belongings such as his famous pipe, full military suit, cane and his favourite coat. These acquisitions were donated by Jihan to the museum, which she described as a "great work".
Qatar celebrated its 33rd anniversary of independence at the Conrad hotel last week, with a lavish banquet organised by Ambassador Mohamed Bin Hamad Al- Khalifa. Attendees included my dear friend Italian Ambassador in Egypt Antonio Badini, new Minister of Higher Education Amr Salama, veteran actor Ezzat El- Alaiyli and our Al-Ahram colleague newly named editor-in-chief of Al-Shabab (The Youth) magazine Labib El-Seba'i. Qatar is a country snatching the Gulf spotlight with its rapid growth and blossoming economy and future prospects.
On the noble occasion of calling for world peace, president of the International Lions Clubs Clement Kusiak will pay a visit to Egypt from 19 until 22 September. Kusiak will have a bustling schedule, including visiting the Egyptian Museum, the popular Khan Al-Khalili district, the Pyramids and Sphinx and of course the sound and light shows. He will be attending a world peace celebration at the US Federation of Middle East Peace and visit the Lions Clubs projects, accompanied by Chairman of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of Cairo North Lions Club Mona El-Saghir.
If you are a gifted dancer and particularly interested in modern dance, head rapidly for the Artistic Creativity Centre at the opera grounds for its final day (today) of applications for the Walid Aouni 's school of modern dance. The dance school is said to be up to international par, and Aouni pointed out that during the course he will make use of all possibilities available at the centre including screening international documentary films on dancing so learners will be able to understand the close relation between cinema and dancing and the current trends in this art.
Remember, my sweets, you should have a previous experience in ballet -- this is not the place to attempt to discover lifelong hidden talent.
Peace and democracy are the buzzwords this season, and last week again there was chatter about the two. At a press conference held at the Italian Embassy the Italian Ambassador in Egypt Antonio Badini, Minya Governor Hassan Hemeida as well as Giza Governor Fathi Saad spoke of issues pertaining to the first conference of the European and African Regional Assemblies on Decentralisation: the new dimension of peace, democracy and development that will be held in Florence on 17 and 18 September. The press conference highlighted the role played by Italy in this respect through the Cooperation For Development Office in Egypt, as well as the collaboration between the office and the NGOs in Egypt over the years. The governorates of Minya and Giza have been witness to numerous development projects over the years, where much success has been noted.
The economy is matter for much debate these days following the massive tax cuts approved by President Hosni Mubarak last week. Aimed to add impetus to the ailing economy, the cuts are part of a national plan which includes increasing foreign investment. Members of the European Egyptian Cooperation Council, presided over by Ibrahim Kamel, met with Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to discuss the council's plan to support the direct European investments for already existing projects in Egypt and to open new markets for Egyptian projects. The recent changes were received with much national applause.
The American University in Cairo inaugurated its Masters of Laws (LLM) degree program in international and comparative law last week, at a reception attended by a host of academics, intellectuals and writers, including the Weekly 's newly appointed Editor-in-Chief Hani Shukrallah, and his lovely wife Fatemah Farag. The brainchild of Amr Shalakany of Harvard University, the department seeks to offer a space of intellectual rigour and academic excellence where questions of legal reform and development can receive the thoughtful attention they deserve -- particularly those of democratisation, gender equality and human rights.
The first of its kind to offer American style legal education in the Arab World, the LLM programme is intended for law school graduates who seek the necessary legal skills to contribute effectively in a global free market economy.

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