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Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 28 - 01 - 2010

Star of the West
World-renowned Portuguese singer Mariza mesmerised Cairo Opera House goers last week in a thrilling concert featured in the Main Hall. Photographer Abdel-Hamid Eid was there.
Mariza is a UNESCO goodwill ambassador, who has stated on different occasions that she is infatuated by Egypt and its famous singing icon, Umm Kolthoum, and that she was thrilled to know that she is known in Egypt as the Umm Kolthoum of the West.
Mariza has gained much popularity for her mournful and romantic lyrics.
photos: Ayman Barayez
On the occasion of launching the Association of Rheumatoid Patients and Joint Immunity System Deficiency Friends, presided over by Ola Ragab, a lavish ceremony was held at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel. The ceremony was attended by a coterie of high-profile figures, among them Chairman of the General Federation of NGOs Abdel-Aziz Hegazi, Minister of Social Solidarity Ali Meselhi, former minister of higher education and scientific research Ezzat Salama, veteran Al-Ahram writer and columnist Anis Mansour, Qalioubiya Governor Adli Hussein, Deputy Saudi Ambassador Mohamed Nosseir, Al-Ahram back page editor Mona Ragab, writer Naem El-Baz, actress Ragaa El-Geddawi, as well as ladies active in charity and voluntary work, such as Gihan Halawa, Bahiya Youssef and Amal Touqan.
photo: Raafat Abdel-Azim
Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsali and his wife attended the launching ceremony of the Turkish Jewellery designer Zeynep Hanif 's new boutique at Le Pasha Boat, Zamalek. The event was attended by officials from the Turkish Embassy; members of the Turkish community in Egypt, connoisseurs and a bevy of luminaries among them were members of the International Club such as Samia Abul-Fotouh, prominent media figures including Sanaa Mansour, Sohair Hedayat and Al-Ahram Weekly 's Living page editor Amany Abdel-Moneim as well as some diplomats' wives who are fans of Hanif 's exquisite designs. She showed her latest production line of necklaces, bracelets and rings that harmoniously mix oriental and modern styles using pure gold and silver and precious stones to form awe-inspiring pieces of art.
At the Greater Cairo Library in Zamalek, an important seminar was held on the biography of late controversial philosopher and Islamic thinker Mustafa Mahmoud.
The seminar was conducted by the director of the library, Mohamed Hamdi. Among the keynote speakers was Shemou Salon founder and book compiler Lotus Abdel-Kerim, while the seminar was attended by a plethora of media figures and intellectuals.
The Inner Wheel Club Zone 95 Egypt and Jordan, headed by Samia Abul-Fotouh, hosted a celebration at the Cairo Marriott Hotel marking Inner Wheel International Day, presided over in Egypt by Mrs Suzanne Mubarak.
The celebration was enlivened by Lebanese violinist Gehad Akl. Among the attendees were members of Inner Wheel clubs in Egypt, including Nora El-Zoghbi, Zeinab Helmi, Faten Fakhri, and from Jordan Basma Shaaban, Hind Al-Dojani and Nahla Soweis.
An Indian delegation of tea companies comprising prominent tea producers and exporters visited Egypt earlier this month. Their visit aimed at enhancing trade and commercial relations in this field. The delegation was led by Tea Board of India Chairman Basudev Banerjee.
Banerjee, along with Indian Ambassador to Egypt R Swaminathan, inaugurated the Indian Tea Promotion Centre in Cairo at 15 Emadeddin Street, Downtown.
Kalemni, Shokran (Call Me, Thanks), the latest blockbuster of controversial filmmaker Khaled Youssef, was privately screened at Nile City Cinema last week.
The film casts actresses Ghada Abdel-Razek and Dalia Ibrahim, talented actor Amr Abdel-Gelil, actor Maged El-Masri as well as veteran comedian Shwikar after her long absence from Egyptian cinema. All were present to attend the premiere amongst a galaxy of TV and cinema stars.
photos: Abdel-Hamid Eid
A prestigious inaugural ceremony was held for the launching of the new satellite channel Panorama Film at the Four Seasons Hotel.
In a pleasant atmosphere, a bevy of celebrities were present to congratulate the cast of the channel while they enjoyed their evening on the melodies of Jordanian singer Diana Karazon and singer Tamer Hosni.
Actors Ahmed Maher, Wahid Seif, Sami El-Adl and Wael Nour, actress Nabila Ebeid, Lebanese actress Madline Tabar, Tunisian actress Dorra as well as belly dancers Dina and Lucy were all present.
Garden City Lions Club (GCLC), presided over by Awatef Serageddin hosted a thrilling seminar at the Cairo Capital Club (CCC) discussing the role of art in reflecting society's problems and challenges.
The seminar honoured a bevy of celebrities such as talented actresses Yossra, Elham Shahin, Nelly Karim and Intsar, actors Mahmoud Qabil, Khaled Abul-Naga, Tamer Hagras, Ashraf Zaki, Hisham Selim and Riyad El-Kholi, veiled actress Sabrine, Al-Ahram back page editor Mona Ragab and head of the Cinema Production Committee of the Media Production City Mamdouh El-Leithi.
Among seminar attendees were Qatar's Ambassador to Egypt Saleh Abdallah, former prime minister Ali Lotfi, former minister of development Yehia El-Gamal as well as spouse of Al-Ahram chairman of the board Amal Touqan, spouse of the Saudi ambassador to Egypt Amira Al-Nazer, scriptwriter Tamer Habib, actress Fadya Abdel-Ghani, belly dancer Dina, Tunisian actress Dorra, media figure Soheir Shalabi, ART presenter Poussy Shalabi, singer Nadia Mustafa, retired belly dancer Nagwa Fouad and numerous members of the GCLC.
Professor Galal Amin has received the Sultan Bin Al-Owais Cultural Foundation Award, which recognises distinguished works and rich contributions to Arab culture. Amin 's award was in the humanitarian and futuristic studies section, in recognition of his contributions to economics, politics, community and culture.
"I felt quite honoured and very happy to receive this prestigious award, which is probably the most distinguished cultural prize in the Arab world. It is really a very big boost to me," said Amin, who explained that the objectivity of the award committee makes the honour particularly special.
"I feel gratified that the three others who got the award with me this year in other fields of cultural activity are all highly esteemed," he said.
The other winners include Yemeni poet Abdel-Aziz Al-Maqaleh, Algerian writer Al-Taher Wattar and Tunisian critic Abdel-Salam Al-Masdi.
Amin joined the American University in Cairo in 1979 as an economics professor. He received his LLB degree from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University, and an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics. He has been a visiting professor in economics at Ain-Shams University and at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was economic advisor to the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development from 1974 to 1978.
In the framework of activating youth exchange programmes to foster friendship ties between Egyptian youth and their counterparts in Arab, African and foreign countries, the National Council for Youth, presided over by Safieddin Kharboush, is organising a fraternity week in Morocco during the period 5-17 February that includes artistic performances to be held in youth facilities in Rabat, Mohamediya and Casablanca.
The programme includes sightseeing in various Moroccan cities. The inauguration of the fraternity week will take place in Rabat at the Hall of Alaa Al-Fasy.
Kharboush said that the Egyptian delegation will be divided into two groups, youth and youngsters: the youth group will visit tourist places, markets, places of traditional handicrafts, and the palm oasis in Marrakech and the city of Agadir, whereas the youngster group will visit tourist places in Tonga, Titwan and Casablanca.
The US Embassy is pleased to invite Egyptian teachers of Arabic and English as a foreign language to apply for the Teachers of Critical Languages Programme (TCLP) for 2010.
The TCLP, a programme of the US State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is designed to increase the study and acquisition of important world languages in US schools. This programme enables primary and secondary schools in the US to strengthen their teaching of Arabic -- as well as other languages -- by bringing Egyptian teachers to the US to teach their native languages and culture for one academic year.
Egyptian teachers receive ongoing methodological assistance and training opportunities, and live and work in an immersive English environment. They receive a certificate of participation following the exchange.
The TCLP, through the cooperation of AMIDEAST in Egypt, is administered by the American Councils for International Education. Applications are due 18 February and are available online at and at AMIDEAST's Cairo office.
Doroub Art Gallery located in Garden City witnessed the inauguration of an interesting exhibition entitled "Women's Pulse" by artist Mervat Shazli, jointly opened by talented actress Yossra and director of the gallery, Hisham Hagras.
The exhibition showcases various oil paintings depicting the role of women in Upper Egypt in family and society. Yossra expressed her admiration for Shazli 's work.

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