Saudi archaeology expo draws big crowd

Updated 20 November 2012

Saudi archaeology expo draws big crowd

Hundreds of people visited the “Saudi Archaeological Masterpieces Through The Ages” exhibition that was opened for the public at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Museum in Washington D.C. Saturday night. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) also organized in collaboration with the Sackler Museum a variety of cultural events on the sidelines of the heritage exhibition.
SCTA chief Prince Sultan bin Salman formally opened the three-month event on Thursday.
An attractive event particularly liked by children was the Arabian story telling especially from the Arabian Nights. Another impressive cultural program was called “the Family Day.’
In a seminar on the cultural heritage of the Kingdom, participating research students shed light on the cultural and trade relations the Arabian Peninsula had with other regions in the world thanks to the caravan routes that used to meet in ancient Arab cities.
Visitors toured around exotically arranged pavilions and listened to the explanation of each item particularly about the rock inscriptions, wall paintings and utensils dating back to thousands of years.
Excited visitors also formed long lines at the calligraphy section to get their names written in various calligraphic styles.
Visitors were also treated to qahwa and dates in the ancient Arabia style. They also viewed the traditional style of coffee preparation.
The rare artifacts showcased at the exhibition are taken from the National Museum in Riyadh, King Saud University Museum, King Fahd National Library, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, King Abdul Aziz Library in Madinah.

A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

Updated 21 November 2018

A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

CAIRO: The stars of Arab cinema walked the red carpet at the opening of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival on Tuesday night and there were plenty of glittering gowns on show.

Orchestrated by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, who at just 43-years-old is said to be the youngest president the festival has seen, the Cairo Opera House-based event was attended by stars from across the Middle East and North Africa.

Set to run from Nov. 20-29, the festival opened with the regional premiere of Peter Farrelly-directed comedy drama “Green Book,” starring US actors Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

The festival will include 16 world premieres and screenings of 160 films from 60 countries.

Meanwhile, on the red carpet, Egyptian actress Nelly Karim and Tunisian star Dorra Zarrouk looked glamorous as they posed for photographs on Tuesday night.

Karim wore a black leather dress by designer Mohanad Kojak, while Zarrouk wowed onlookers with an opulent design by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad. The black ballgown was embroidered with golden flowers and leaves and also featured a daring high split.

Egyptian actress Nelly Karim wore a leather dress on stage. (AFP)

Seven Egyptian films will be screened during the festival, including “Leil Khargi” (External Night) — a film that will compete for the coveted Golden Pyramid Award.

The other Egyptian films on the itinerary are “Garemet Al-Immobilia, “Ward Masmom” (Poisonous Roses), “Kilo 64” and “La Ahad Honak” (The Giraffe).

Other films set to be screened at the festival include “Heaven Without People,” a provocative film that is the debut feature-length work of director Lucien Bourjeily; “Laaziza,” in which Moroccan writer-director Mohcine Besri tells the moving story of Laaziza, a troubled mother who is faced with the difficulty of welcoming back a man who once rejected her and “Fatwa,” which explores radicalization and its horrors.

Egyptian actress Sherine Reda took to the stage. (AFP)

The festival’s jury committee is headed by prominent Danish film director Bille August, who has received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palm d’Or award twice.

The festival has also added a People’s Choice Award for the first time in its history, with the prize money amounting to $20,000 for the film that gets a majority vote from the audience. A new award entitled “Best Arab Film,” with prize money of $15,000, has been added to this year’s festival as well, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.
Signs of a revamp in the festival include the attendance of executives from such international powerhouses as HBO, Netflix, France’s Gaumont, Participant Media and Middle Eastern players OSN, Front Row Distribution, New Century Productions and Aroma Studios.