‘Jumanji’ continues to stomp North American box office competition

This file image released by Sony Pictures shows Kevin Hart, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” (AP)
Updated 22 January 2018
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‘Jumanji’ continues to stomp North American box office competition

LOS ANGELES: Sony’s family film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” continued to stomp the competition at the North American box office, taking the top spot for the third straight week, according to industry estimates Sunday.
“Jumanji,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson along with funnymen Jack Black and Kevin Hart, netted just over $20 million for the three-day weekend, bringing its total to $317 million in its fifth week out, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported.
The film follows four teens who find themselves transported inside the video game world of Jumanji.
Debuting in second place was “12 Strong” from Warner Bros., starring Chris Hemsworth, about US Special Forces deployed to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It had a take of $16.5 million.
Gritty heist thriller “Den of Thieves” from STX Films was third on the list in its debut weekend, with $15.3 million. The movie, starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Gerard Butler, follows the intersecting lives of the major crimes unit of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and an elite band of robbers.
Fox’s “The Post” dropped to fourth place from second, after pulling in $12.2 million over the weekend for a total take of $45.2 million in four weeks.
The political thriller recounts the nail-biting behind-the-scenes story of the 1971 publication by the Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the lies behind US involvement in the Vietnam War.
“The Greatest Showman,” a Fox film about larger-than-life circus impresario P.T. Barnum, netted $11 million to take the fifth spot. It has taken in $113.5 million in five weeks.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
“Paddington 2” ($8.2 million)
“The Commuter” ($6.7 million)
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($6.6 million)
“Insidious: The Last Key” ($5.9 million)
“Forever My Girl” ($4.7 million)


Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

Updated 21 January 2019
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Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

  • Al-Gailani was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage
  • After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Monday mourned the loss of Lamia Al-Gailani, a beloved archaeologist who helped rebuild the Baghdad museum after it was looted following the 2003 US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.
Al-Gailani, who died in Amman, Jordan, on Friday at the age of 80, was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage.
Relatives, colleagues, and cultural officials on Monday gathered at Baghdad’s National Museum, the country’s leading museum, to pay their respects before moving her remains to the Qadiriyyah mosque for prayers and later interment.
A devotee of her country’s heritage, Al-Gailani lent her expertise to restore relics stolen from the museum for its reopening in 2015. She also championed a new antiquities museum for the city of Basra, which opened in 2016.
“She was very keen to communicate on the popular level and make archaeology accessible to ordinary people,” said her daughter, Noorah Al-Gailani, who curates the Islamic civilizations collection at the Glasgow Museum in Scotland.
“It is a big loss, the passing of Dr. Lamia Al-Gailaini, who played a great role in the field of archaeology, even before 2003,” said the deputy minister of culture, Qais Hussein Rashid.
The restored collection at the National Museum included hundreds of cylinder seals, the subject of Al-Gailani’s 1977 dissertation at the University of London. These were engraved surfaces used to print cuneiform impressions and pictographic lore onto documents and surfaces in ancient Mesopotamia, now present-day Iraq.
Still, thousands of artefacts remain missing from the museum’s collection, and Al-Gailani bore the grief of watching her country’s rich heritage suffer unfathomable levels of looting and destruction in the years after Saddam’s ouster.
“I wish it was a nightmare and I could wake up,” she told the BBC in 2015, when Daesh militants bulldozed relics at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud near present-day Mosul.
Born in Baghdad in 1938, Al-Gailani studied at the University of Cambridge in Britain before finding work as a curator at the National Museum in 1960. It was her first job in archaeology, her daughter said.
She returned to Britain in 1970 to pursue advanced studies, and she made her home there. Still, she kept returning to her native country, connecting foreign academics with an Iraqi archaeological community that was struggling under the isolation of Saddam Hussein’s autocratic rule and the UN sanctions against him.
In 1999, she published “The First Arabs,” in Arabic, with the Iraqi archaeologist Salim Al-Alusi, on the earliest traces of Arab culture in Mesopotamia, in the 6th through 9th centuries.
She would bring copies of the book with her to Baghdad and sell them through a vendor on Mutanabbi Street, the literary heart of the capital, according to her daughter.
After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war.
At the time of her death, she was working with the Basra Museum to curate a new exhibit set to open in March, said Qahtan Al-Abeed, the museum director.
“She hand-picked the cylinder seals to display at the museum,” said Al-Abeed.