Pharaohs rule again as mummies parade through Cairo
Pharaohs rule again as mummies parade through Cairo/node/1836886/lifestyle
Pharaohs rule again as mummies parade through Cairo
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A convoy of vehicles transporting royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, April 3, 2021. (AP)
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A singer performs at a ceremony of a transfer of Royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, in Cairo, Egypt April 3, 2021. (REUTERS)
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Riham Abdel Hakim performs at a ceremony of a transfer of Royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, in Cairo, Egypt April 3, 2021. (REUTERS)
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A general view of a parade at Saturday’s ceremony of a transfer of royal mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, Cairo. (Reuters)
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Royal mummies are transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, in Cairo, Egypt April 3, 2021. (Reuters)
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Carriages carrying 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies advance past the Obelisk of Ramses II along Tahrir Square. (AFP)
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Re-enactors ride two-horse chariots in Tahrir Square, in the centre of Egypt's capital Cairo on April 3, 2021. (AFP)
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A view of the Obelisk of Ramses II in the centre of the main roundabout of Tahrir Square in Cairo. (AFP)
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The Egyptian Museum is lit up on April 3, 2021, ahead of the parade of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies. (AFP)
CAIRO: Cairo stepped back in time on Saturday with a four-hour pharaonic procession as a collection of royal mummies was moved from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.
Laser lights and flashlights were used to decorate the night sky above the capital with the names of 22 pharaoh kings and 17 royal sarcophagi.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization received the royal mummies of 18 kings and four queens.
In July 2020, 17 royal coffins were taken to the museum.
The royal procession began at 5 p.m. and continued more more than four hours, passing along Cairo’s main roads.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and a group of international figures were in attendance as the mummies were taken inside the museum. The event was also broadcast live on 18 international channels.
The procession set off from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, then passed by the Tahrir Square, before heading to Simon Bolivar Square, and moving along the Nile Corniche in the neighborhoods of Sayyidah Zaynab and Old Egypt.
Festivities included horse parades and performances, while the pharaonic chariots were decorated with the names of 22 famous ancient kings.
Artillery welcomed the parade with a 21-gun salute.
• Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and a group of international figures were in attendance as the mummies were taken inside the museum.
• The event was also broadcast live on 18 international channels.
The royal carriages carried famous actors in pharaonic dress, headed by Hussein Fahmy, Sawsan Badr, Asir Yassin and Mona Zaki.
Representatives from archaeological sites in Luxor, Aswan and the pyramids carried messages in different languages inviting tourists to visit Egypt.
Military bands, also dressed in pharaonic costume, played national music and songs led by Nader Abbasi, with a film showing the boom in Egyptian antiquities.
Security was stepped up in Fustat ahead of the royal procession.
Workers began cleaning and decorating the streets surrounding the museum early on Friday, placing roses and trees along the procession route.
In front of the museum, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities installed large gates decorated with pharaonic images and symbols, along with colored lighting as part of the display.
Zahi Hawass, former minister of antiquities, said that the procession of royal mummies will be viewed by people across the world.
The procession “shows the magic of mummies,” he added.
Hawass said that King Seqnen Ra, who led the procession, started the liberation war against the Hyksos, who colonized Egypt for more than 150 years.
Other royal rulers included Ahmose-Nefertari, the queen who married King Ahmose, followed by King Amenhotep I and Thutmose I.
Hawass said that a CT scan on King Thutmose III showed the deceased king had been found wearing gold bracelets.
Khaled Al-Anani, minister of tourism and antiquities, said that the Museum of Civilization tells the story of the Egypt from prehistoric times until the present.
The royal mummies, coffins and a large collection of Islamic antiquities represent a “great gift from Egypt to the world,” he said.
Al-Anani said that the cost of the Great Hall and the Royal Mummies Hall in the National Museum of Civilization exceeded 600 million Egyptian pounds ($38 million), equivalent to half the government funding to complete the stalled archaeological projects.
The total cost of establishing the museum exceeds 2 billion Egyptian pounds, he said.
Beauty mogul Huda Kattan donates one million meals to new UAE campaign
Updated 18 April 2021
DUBAI: Dubai-based beauty mogul Huda Kattan took to Instagram on Saturday to reveal she has taken part in a food drive campaign launched by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
The 100 Million Meals mission was launched to provide food parcels to disadvantaged communities across 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa in an effort to combat hunger and malnutrition, exacerbated by COVID-19.
Kattan announced that she has donated one million meals to those less fortunate via her cosmetics company Huda Beauty.
“It’s hard to believe that in today’s world, in 2021, we’re still dealing with issues of malnutrition and that every ten seconds a child dies because of hunger. This initiative is so incredible and it’s just a reminder of how each and every single one of us has the power to make a change,” said Kattan in a video posted to her Instagram account.
“I’m so proud to live in a country that prioritizes world hunger,” she said, urging her 2.2 million followers to donate to the charitable initiative.
The 100 Million Meals campaign is an expansion of the 10 Million Meals campaign, which was launched in 2020 to help those worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within a week of its launch, the initiative has raised over $21,200, equivalent to providing more than 78 million meals, as massive donations continue to pour in from individuals and companies inside and outside the UAE.
Kattan is an avid humanitarian and often steps up to help those who need it most.
In June, her cosmetics brand, Huda Beauty, donated $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a civil and human rights organization that provides legal assistance to low-income African Americans, during the height of the Black Lives Matters protests that swept through the US last year.
Before that, the US-Iraqi beauty mogul pledged to donate $100,000 — to be split between 100 different freelance makeup artists providing them with $1000 each — in a bid to help people in the industry stay afloat financially during the pandemic.
Ramadan recipes: An Arab take on TikTok’s famous baked feta pasta
Updated 29 min 49 sec ago
DUBAI: If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve drooled over one of countless images of baked feta pasta — a dish that went viral this year for that holy grail combination of anyone-can-do-it easiness and blissful deliciousness.
The dish, which consists of feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and pasta, has been blasted all over the For You pages of millennials and Gen Z’ers on TikTok, and as of April 18, #bakedfetapasta has more than 111.4 million views on the social media platform.
For those looking to whip up the dish for iftar, we asked Iraqi-Canadian chef Faisal Hassoon to share a simple baked feta pasta recipe with an Arab twist.
The chef incorporates a fresh Middle Eastern flavor by way of roasted red peppers, sliced kalamata olives, a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkling of zest.
Baked Feta Pasta
Olive oil 3tbsp
6 cloves garlic (minced)
60g kalamata olives (sliced thin)
250g roasted red peppers (diced)
6 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)
350g pasta (rigatoni)
200g feta cheese (Greek, sheep or goat)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
Chilli pepper oil 1tbsp
Dried chilli flakes 1tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: In a medium sized pot bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta as per the instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain the remainder and set aside.
Step 2: Starting with a cold pan, cook garlic on low heat in olive oil. Allow it to simmer just before turning golden brown. Be sure not to overcook it as it will become bitter. Add red chilli flakes and roasted red peppers, let it simmer for a few minutes then add sliced olives. Maintaining low heat and turning with a spatula frequently.
Step 3: Place the whole block of feta into the center of the pan and into the oven at 375 Celsius for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Step 4: Place the pasta into the pan and mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
Step 5: Finish with the zest and juice of one lemon, fresh cracked black pepper and thinly sliced basil. For an extra kick, drizzle over chilli oil and enjoy!
Lebanese author Hoda Barakat’s ‘Voices of the Lost’ is a dark, profound novel
Updated 17 April 2021
CHICAGO: Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, “Voices of the Lost,” written by acclaimed Lebanese author Hoda Barakat and newly translated into English by Marilyn Booth, is a dark, profound novel that follows the lives of six men and women who confess their untold truths to their loved ones through letters. None of the letters reaches their intended recipients, however, and their devastating admissions are left to strangers who are then inspired to disclose their own secrets. And through their confessions, a series of letters emerges on life, love and devastating loss.
In an unknown part of the world, where war, poverty and destruction have caused life to veer in unpredictable directions, strangers struggle with the events of the past, both those they were responsible for and those they were victims of, which forced them into lives they neither wanted nor could have ever dreamed of. Split into three parts — for the lost, for the searching, and those left behind — the novel begins with an undocumented immigrant who is writing to an ex-girlfriend. He writes to her of the most profound and disturbing moment in his childhood, one that changed the trajectory of his life forever. From that moment on, life has never quite been the same, and it has led him to a dark place where he cannot mentally, spiritually or physically settle.
Barakat’s novel is a delicate experiment in confession and a testament to the catalyzing power of writing to reveal the truth. Her characters commit their lives to paper without the fear of retribution, confessing their crimes of infidelity, torture and more. None of the writers can return to his or home, to a state of comfort or to the past. Some have lost their countries, while others have simply run out of time.
Barakat’s characters must force themselves to move forward from their past sufferings. Where loved ones and society may not accept their revelations of shortcomings or shame, their confessions are a reconciliation with themselves. And in writing of their pain, they connect with one another. They are not alone, no matter how lonely the act of writing a letter can be. And in a moment of consciousness, awake in their confessions, Barakat’s characters reach a spiritual peak within themselves, one that pushes them to continue surviving.
DUBAI: US actress Yara Shahidi is developing a new television series via her production company, 7th Sun Productions. The part-Middle Eastern star is set to executive produce and develop an on-screen adaptation of Cole Brown’s critically-acclaimed debut book “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World,” alongside her mother and business partner Keri Shahidi and Brown for ABC Signature.
“Honored to bring @coletdbrown’s incredible & nuanced telling of our stories as brown folx onto screens w/ my PARTNER IN CRIME @chocolatemommyluv! (sic)” wrote the 21-year-old on Instagram, alongside a screenshot of a Deadline article announcing the news of the series.
“The work of displaying and celebrating the ENTIRE spectrum of our humanity continues to feel more prescient (sic),” she added.
Published in 2020, “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World” is a first-hand account of what it’s like to navigate life in America as a mixed-race adolescent. The book was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author.
According to the author, the book is heavily inspired by an essay he wrote in college.
“What a dream come true this is!” exclaimed Cole on Instagram. “It still astounds me to think that what began as a college essay a few years ago has made it all the way to ABC. No duo I’d rather work with to bring Greyboy to life than @yarashahidi & @chocolatemommyluv. Let’s get to work! (sic),” the author posted on social media.
Back in September, Shahidi took to social media to praise Cole’s debut book, writing that “his honest reflections on the way in which racial identity takes shape and shape-shifts through his own experiences feels intimate, and yet taps in to the common experience of moving through space as a black and brown person.” She added that “It’s been a must-read in our household!”
“Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World” isn’t the only project that the “Grown-ish” star is currently working on.
The US-Iranian actress and activist is also producing a new single-camera comedy series, titled “Smoakland,” for Freeform via her production company 7th Sun.
The rising star and her mother announced the launch of their new production company in July and signed an exclusive overall deal with ABC Studios which will see them develop television projects for streaming, cable and broadcast platforms.
In the Iron Throne’s shadow: Arabs reflect on ‘Game of Thrones’ 10 years on
Middle Eastern fans look back on 10 years of a show that changed pop culture forever
Updated 17 April 2021
RIYADH: Whether you loved it or hated it, followed it casually or watched every episode twice, chances are you’ve at least heard of the HBO smash hit series “Game of Thrones.” The eight-season fantasy epic, which began 10 years ago today, has secured its place in pop culture history as one of the most famous TV shows of all time.
The adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the show began on April 17, 2011, to an audience of eager fans. Over the course of its run, the show has garnered 160 Emmy nominations, taking home 59 of them, making it one of the most successful shows in history.
Najla Hussam, an avid fantasy fan who cited Martin as one of her favorite authors, told Arab News that the show provided a way for her to bond with her father, who started reading A Song of Ice and Fire when the first volume was published in 1996.
“My dad tried for years to get me to read the novels, but I honestly just wasn’t that interested. When the TV series first came out, he asked me to watch the first season with him to see if he could get me to change my mind about it. I was hooked instantly, and once the season was over, I borrowed all the books from him so we could discuss our theories about how the future of the show might look,” she said.
The show has also gained notoriety for other reasons. Due to its exclusivity of being shown on the HBO network, the show is also famous for being the most pirated TV series of all time. Consistently throughout its run, Game of Thrones topped the lists of most illegally viewed shows online, as many fans couldn’t afford or gain access internationally to HBO’s viewing and streaming services.
In the MENA region, the show was broadcast on the Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), with previous seasons being made available via the network’s on-demand service, OSN Play. Leading up to the start of season 7, OSN launched a 24-hour binge-watching channel, with all of the previous seasons being made available.
However, in the Arab world, the show saw a lot of pirating activity for another, unusual reason; the OSN network broadcast the show in its full, uncensored version, which caused a lot of fans to hunt online for a version that removed or glossed over some of the more controversial themes.
Danya Assad, a 30-year old viewer from Riyadh, said that she only started watching the series around the start of the fourth season in 2013. She was only able to get into the fandom around the time censored episodes started to become available online.
“I heard about a Game of Thrones group online made up of fans who volunteered to censor some of the more unsavory content, and that was how I was able to start watching,” she said. “I loved the premise of the show, I’m a huge fan of fantasy television and I was definitely interested in watching, but the amount of sexual content and other disturbing themes really put me off.”
Assad said that while some fans might argue that she didn’t get the “authentic” experience of watching the show, she feels much more comfortable knowing that she was able to bypass the more controversial themes and still manage to enjoy the show.
“I loved Game of Thrones because of the political intrigue, for the richness and depth of the lore and the history, because of the unexpected plot twists like the Red Wedding, for things such as the fashion and the set dressing. By removing the gratuitous sexual content and some of the more violent scenes, I don’t think I missed out on much,” she said.
The show has seen its fair share of controversy over the past decade. Despite the accolades heaped on the show, the amount of violence portrayed in the series, including the deaths of many innocents and children, the sexual content, and heavy themes such as incest and rape, have drawn much ire from fans and critics alike.
“I couldn’t make it past the first few episodes, honestly,” Talal Ashour, another Saudi fantasy fan, said. “I can understand the appeal, but to me Game of Thrones just crossed way too many boundaries. It’s a beautifully crafted show, and I’m still amazed by certain aspects of it, like the CGI dragons or the fact that they created a whole new language for the Dothraki, but I couldn’t get passed the darker aspects of the show.”
But perhaps the biggest let-down for fans of the series was the ending, which many fans believe was a massive disappointment and a departure from the grandeur of the previous seasons.
“Game of Thrones ended for me after Season 7,” Hussam said. “The more they started to deviate from the books, the less I started to enjoy it. I think the writers did fine when they had more content from the original books to work with, but once they started doing their own thing, it all just went downhill.”
Martin, notorious among fans for being slow to produce new novels, published the latest book in A Song of Ice and Fire in 2011, the same year the show began. Martin told the press at the time that the novel had taken six years to write, and that a sixth novel out of a planned seven, “The Winds of Winter,” was still in the works.
“I think the writers thought they could go off what they had and that the sixth book would be out by the time the series caught up,” Assad said. “It’s such a shame that they couldn’t or wouldn’t delay the series until the book came out. A lot of fans were unhappy with the way the series ended. I feel like we deserved better.”
Assad is not alone in that. A change.org petition appealing to HBO with a request to remake the final season with “competent writers” began circulating online the day the final episode debuted, with almost 2 million people signing and the numbers still increasing two years later.
However, despite the controversies and the overall disappointment with the way the series ended, the show has retained a strong fanbase in the Middle East.
“I had a Game of Thrones-themed birthday party in 2019,” Hussam said. “I dressed up as Daenerys, all of my friends came in costume, and my cake was a replica of the box that held Dany’s dragon eggs in it, including three edible cake eggs. It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had.”
“I don’t think one bad season can ruin the whole series,” said Assad. “Even if the ending was disappointing, the other seasons are still incredible to behold. Maybe in time I’ll be able to go back and watch the show and enjoy it even more. And if the ending still disappoints me after the second time, I can always hold out hope for ‘The Winds of Winter.’”