Ben Affleck wins top prize at DGA awards

Updated 03 February 2013
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Ben Affleck wins top prize at DGA awards

LOS ANGELES: Three week before the much-anticipated Oscars, US film director and actor Ben Affleck won a new top prize for his film “Argo,” a thriller about the rescue of American hostages in Iran.
“There was a point in my life where I was really down, really confused, I didn’t know what was going to happen and I thought ‘I should be a director!’. And so I did it, and I worked very hard,” Affleck said late Saturday as he received the award for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film from the Directors Guild of America.
“I worked really really hard to try to become the best director that I can be,” Affleck added. “I don’t think that this makes me a real director but I think it means I’m on the way.”
The award was presented to the 40-year-old director by last year’s winner, French director Michel Hazanavicius, whose film “The Artist” had been crowned by five Oscars.
Usually, the winner of the DGA prize also wins the Oscar for best director, but Affleck has not been nominated for an Oscar in this category.
“Argo” itself however has received seven Oscar nominations, including best picture.
Also competing for the top director’s prize on Saturday were Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln,” Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables” and Ang Lee for “Life of Pi.”
“Argo” also won the top Golden Globe awards against all the odds, beating “Lincoln.”
The film has emerged as a leading rival to “Lincoln” at the Oscars, which take place on February 24 in Los Angeles.
Other DGA award winners include Lena Dunham for television comedy series “Girls,” and Malik Bendjelloul for “Searching for Sugarman,” the most award-winning documentary of the season.
DGA also honored Jay Roach for his movie “Game Change,” which had already won the Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his brilliant portrayal of ultra-conservative Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — played by actress Julianne Moore — during the US presidential campaign of 2008.


My Ramadan with Safi Enayat: Experiencing the Holy Month in Copenhagen

Updated 21 May 2018
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My Ramadan with Safi Enayat: Experiencing the Holy Month in Copenhagen

  • Safi Enayat came to Copenhagen as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2001
  • This Ramadan, he’s hosting a pop-up iftar with chefs from Baker & Spice Dubai

COPENHAGEN: Safi Enayat came to Copenhagen as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2001 and found a job washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen before working his way up to become head chef and a restaurant owner in his own right. His cooking is a reflection of the diverse cultural influences that have characterized his life, from the traditional Afghan dishes with a modern twist he cooks for friends to the Indian-inspired cuisine served in his restaurant chain dhaba.dk, as well as the international fare he has encountered in Europe. This Ramadan, he’s hosting a pop-up iftar with chefs from Baker & Spice Dubai which aims to attract a mixed crowd of Muslims and non-Muslims to break bread over delicious Arabic food.

Read on to experience Ramadan in the European city in his own words...

Everyday life goes on as normal during Ramadan in Copenhagen because the Muslim community here is not that big. In general, people congregate at the city’s larger mosques to pray and break the fast together. There are a few larger events that I look forward to, such as Iftar på Rådhuspladsen, when everyone gathers in City Hall Square and brings a dish to share with their family and friends. It’s an amazing feeling, sitting on the floor in front of this beautiful venue with people from all cultures — Danish, Afghan, Arabs… usually several hundred people attend. Here, you have the right to enjoy your religion as you want and while Danes might be curious to know why we fast, they are very accepting. Last year one of my Danish friends called during Ramadan to say he was fasting for the day to understand it better. I was touched. I think it showed a lot of respect for my religion, which is something I often find here.

Since coming here, I feel like Ramadan has become more visible, people are more aware of what is going on and more interested in why Muslims are fasting and why they do it for so long. It’s a friendly interest. With the long days at this time of the year, many Muslims in Denmark choose to take some of their summer holidays during Ramadan so they have less work and can enjoy the Holy Month.

We’ll be hosting a pop-up iftar called The Opposite Kitchen with Baker & Spice from June 2 to June 8, which is something new to the city. We’ll invite everyone from all cultures and religions to come and learn about the meaning of Ramadan. For me, the beautiful message behind Ramadan is that when you fast, you can see what it’s like for someone who is starving on the other side of the world and can’t put food on the table, and I think it’s important to understand that. I also think that food is an important way of bringing people together. It’s something we all share and enjoy. I found my way into the Danish community through food, it was an easy way to become a citizen of the city and a part of life here. I’ve been here for so many years that this is home for me now.