Arab, African stars descend on Carthage

Tunisian actress Mariem Ben Chaabane arrives for the opening ceremony of the Carthage Film Festival’s 28th edition on Saturday in Tunis. (AFP)
Updated 05 November 2017
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Arab, African stars descend on Carthage

TUNISIA: The 28th edition of the Carthage Film Festival opened on Saturday evening with the participation of a large number of cinema stars from Arab, African and Latin American countries.
In the center of Habib Bourguiba Street, the red carpet extended to the Cinéma Le Colisée to welcome the guests of the film festival. Photographers rushed to take pictures of the artists, and hundreds of spectators gathered to greet the stars.
“We are delighted to welcome you today to the opening of the 28th Carthage Film Festival, in which we tried to reconcile the principles of the festival with the spirit of the times,” said Najib Ayad, director of the festival.
“The Carthage Film Festival is an African-Arab festival. All competitions are dedicated to African and Arab cinema, with an emphasis on a gradual return of balance between the Arab and African audience, and with greater emphasis on Africa as a cornerstone of the festival,” he said.
Four countries will be the guest of honor at the new edition of festival namely Algeria, Argentina, South Africa and South Korea.
At the opening ceremony, there was a musical performance by Algerian musician Hassan Belkacem Boualiaoui, in addition to a dance performance from Argentina.
In the opening speech, Tunisian Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohamed Zine El Abidine welcomed attendees.
The opening ceremony featured “Writing on Ice” by Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, in the presence of the participating stars, led by Egyptian actor Amr Waked. The film is a joint Egyptian-Palestinian-Tunisian production.
The festival will feature films from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Senegal, Cameroon, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and South Africa.
The Carthage Film Festival, the oldest art festival in Africa and the Arab world, was founded in 1966.


Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

Updated 20 April 2019
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Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

PARIS: Hunkered down in their hives and drunk on smoke, Notre Dame’s smallest official residents — some 180,000 bees — somehow managed to survive the inferno that consumed the cathedral’s ancient wooden roof.
Confounding officials who thought they had perished, the bees clung to life, protecting their queen.
“It’s a big day. I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn,” Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant told The Associated Press on Friday.
“Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep,” he explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Beeopic (@beeopic) on


Geant has overseen the bees since 2013, when three hives were installed on the roof of the stone sacristy that joins the south end of the monument. The move was part of a Paris-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers. Hives were also introduced above Paris’ gilded Opera.
The cathedral’s hives were lower than Notre Dame’s main roof and the 19th-century spire that burned and collapsed during Monday evening’s fire.
Since bees don’t have lungs, they can’t die from smoke inhalation — but they can die from excessive heat. European bees, unlike some bee species elsewhere, don’t abandon their hives when facing danger.
“When bees sense fire, they gorge themselves on honey and stay to protect their queen, who doesn’t move,” Geant said. “I saw how big the flames were, so I immediately thought it was going to kill the bees. Even though they were 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) lower than the top roof, the wax in the hives melts at 63 degrees Celsius (145.4 Fahrenheit).”

Notre Dame Cathedral’s three beehives — home to more than 180,000 bees  — survived the destructive fire. (Instagram/Beeopic)

If the wax that protects their hive melts, the bees simply die inside, Geant explained.
Smoke, on the other hand, is innocuous. Beekeepers regularly smoke out the hives to sedate the colony whenever they need access inside. The hives produce around 75 kilograms (165 pounds) of honey annually, which is sold to Notre Dame employees.
Notre Dame officials saw the bees on top of the sacristy Friday, buzzing in and out of their hives.
“I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but I’m very, very happy,” Geant added.