Egypt’s censors lift ban on play ‘Before The Revolution’

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In this Wednesday, March 14, 2018 photo, Egyptian director Ahmed El Attar, sits in a room at his office in Cairo, Egypt. (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
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In this Wednesday, March 14, 2018 photo, staff working for the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival walk outside their office in Cairo. (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
Updated 20 March 2018
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Egypt’s censors lift ban on play ‘Before The Revolution’

CAIRO: Egypt’s state censors have allowed the performance of a socially critical play they had prohibited on the day of its Cairo premiere.
Director Ahmed El-Attar had earlier canceled the showing of “Before the Revolution,” a two-actor piece that depicts oppression and stagnation in Egypt before its 2011 popular uprising. He said the removal of five scenes as demanded by the censors heavily distorted it.
In a statement late Monday, organizers thanked the censors for reversing their decision on appeal and permitting it to run “without the disruption of its dramatic construction.”
The play will now run for three nights as opposed to its originally scheduled six in a 100-seat theater, as part of Cairo’s annual Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival. El Attar is also the general manager of the festival.


Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

Archaeological treasures in the northwestern region of the Kingdom are older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

  • The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition

JEDDAH: Bathing in the scorching sun of Saudi Arabia for the past 4,000 years and sitting among the sandy dunes of the northwestern region of the Kingdom, lie the country’s archaeological treasures. These treasures are even older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world.
The area covers about 52 hectares of well-preserved land in which there are tombs handcrafted out of the rocks, relics from ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and the Romans, archaeological riches dating back 4,000 years and other priceless artifacts from the Ottoman Empire.
The somewhat forgotten land is going to be brought into the spotlight by the year 2020 as a historic collaboration takes place between Saudi Arabia and France.
France excels in the art of preserving history so it is the perfect alliance to meet the goals of making Al-Ula a tourist attraction.
Saudis are cooperating with France in preserving and promoting culture and archaeology.
The French consider this project so prestigious that Gerard Mestrallet, a special envoy of the president, has been appointed for Al-Ula. Both countries share a common approach to national heritage; that culture transcends all borders and should be accessible to all who seek to observe history.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Al-Ula governor, the special envoy to Al-Ula and France’s foreign minister. Against the walls of Paris’s Musee De Arts Decoratifs — a wing of the Louvre Palace — sit the illuminated sandstones for the French to experience a sliver of Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage. The Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU) has signed an agreement with Campus France, described as the leading international academic and vocational public institution in France, to train young Saudi women and men to become aspiring archaeologists.
The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition. Public transport, hotels and restaurants are also part of the plan.
More than 2,100 people applied for traineeships: 200 young Saudi men and women will be trained by the most prestigious institutes in the world; part of the 1.2 million new tourist jobs are expected to be created under Vision 2030.
Cutting-edge technologies and methods such as aerial LiDAR (light detection and ranging), scanning and photos taken from light aircraft, helicopter and drones will also be used.