Cairo International Book Fair to run from June 30 to July 15

Cairo International Book Fair to run from June 30 to July 15
Attendees browse through books at the 41st Cairo International Book Fair, February 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Updated 23 June 2021

Cairo International Book Fair to run from June 30 to July 15

Cairo International Book Fair to run from June 30 to July 15
  • There will be 675 pavilions and 1,218 publishers, as well as foreign publishing agencies representing 25 countries
  • The fair will launch the “Your Book, Your Culture” initiative, which aims to encourage citizens to buy books and urge them to read

CAIRO: Despite the challenges of the coronavirus disease pandemic, the 52nd Cairo International Book Fair will run from June 30 to July 15, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Egyptian Ministry of Culture said the exhibition, under the slogan “Reading is Life,” will be held at the Egypt International Exhibition Center, covering an area of 40,000 square meters.

There will be 675 pavilions and 1,218 publishers, as well as foreign publishing agencies representing 25 countries.

The fair will launch the “Your Book, Your Culture” initiative, which aims to encourage citizens to buy books and urge them to read. The prices of books will range from one Egyptian pound ($0.064) to 20 pounds.

Enas Abdel Dayem, minister of culture, said that holding the fair this year was a challenge, describing this year’s event as “an exceptional one” and a clear indication of the Egyptian leadership’s keenness to encourage reading and publishing.

“We are entering a new era of digitization transformation and development. This year’s exhibition is the largest gathering of publishers in the world,” she claimed.

Abdel Dayem said entry will be free this year, and that prices will remain fixed, adding that the idea to increase the number of days for the fair would support the publishing industry.

“The maximum number of entries will be 100,000 visitors per day, and no one will be allowed to enter once we hit that number,” said Haitham Al-Haj Ali, head of the General Book Authority.

He said facilities have been made to accommodate people with special needs, which can be requested and booked electronically.


Sotheby’s to present jewelry, art by creatives in the UAE

Sotheby’s to present jewelry, art by creatives in the UAE
Updated 27 September 2021

Sotheby’s to present jewelry, art by creatives in the UAE

Sotheby’s to present jewelry, art by creatives in the UAE

DUBAI: Auction house Sotheby’s is set to showcase jewelry and artworks crafted by talents in the UAE at a Dubai exhibition titled “Made in the Emirates,” from Oct. 4 to 7.  

Katia Nounou-Boueiz, head of Sotheby’s UAE, said in a statement: “The exhibition brings the best of the Emirates under one roof at the same time as our international auction highlights, in a curated one-stop destination for lovers of art and jewelry alike.”

Promise Me Perfection rings, set with a 0.72-carat tourmaline or a 0.70-carat topaz with diamonds, HASHI. (Supplied)

The jewelry houses being showcased are Savolinna, Gafla, YATAGHAN, Misk, Susana Martins and HASHI, all of whose collections are crafted in Dubai. 

The pieces bring together a range of design influences, from reimagined traditional Emirati symbols and motifs to modern takes on art deco. 

Athier, Cats & Dogs (est. £3,000-4,000). (Supplied)

The artists on view are represented by Engage101, a platform centered around a quarterly sale of non-gallery represented artists based in the Gulf. 

The mission of the co-founders, Munira Al-Sayegh and writer Gaith Abdulla, is to connect emerging artists with collectors and elevate the voice of the arts scene from the region, according to a released statement.


MDLBEAST, Saudi Music Commission join forces for music conference in Riyadh

MDLBEAST, Saudi Music Commission join forces for music conference in Riyadh
Updated 27 September 2021

MDLBEAST, Saudi Music Commission join forces for music conference in Riyadh

MDLBEAST, Saudi Music Commission join forces for music conference in Riyadh

DUBAI: MDLBEAST and the Saudi Music Commission have partnered to present XP; a three-day music event with a conference and nightlife events in Riyadh.  

Set to run from Dec. 13-15, the event will feature roundtables, networking opportunities, and music activations.

The event will take place just before the SOUNDSTORM music featival, set to take place in Riyadh from De. 16-19.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @mdlbeast

 

Ramadan Alharatani, CEO of MDLBEAST, said: “XP is a first for the region and will serve as the foundation for a thriving music industry across the Middle East. Providing a platform to authenticate and further build the music industry in the region, local and international guests will be embraced by the wealth of possibility offered by this exciting new market over the three days. Through XP, we aim to join the global conversation, and by hosting such an event we will continue to build & accelerate the music infrastructure across the region.”

XP is a three-day music event with a conference and nightlife events in Riyadh. (Supplied)

The event aims to build a foundation for talent development in the region, encourage research into the development of a sustainable music ecosystem, and initiate dialogue around music, mental health, wellbeing, and diversity in the industry.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @mdlbeast

 

Nada Alhelabi, XP program director, added: “Through these conversations, we want it to inspire future generations to consider a career in the industry and promote music as a vehicle for job creation and innovation, making it a sustainable industry from which they can profit. A big focus for us is promoting diversity, wellbeing, and fair working conditions to empower females and give a voice to minority groups within the industry.”

The full schedule of events is set to be released closer to the date.


‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ leads early at the Tony Awards

‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ leads early at the Tony Awards
Updated 27 September 2021

‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ leads early at the Tony Awards

‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ leads early at the Tony Awards
  • Alex Timbers won the trophy for best direction
  • Broadway favorite Danny Burstein won a featured acting Tony

NEW YORK: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, took an early lead at the Tony Awards, earning seven trophies at the halfway point.
The pandemic-delayed telecast kicked off with an energetic performance of “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from the original Broadway cast of “Hairspray!”
The optimistic number was performed for a masked and appreciative audience at a packed Winter Garden Theatre. Host Audra McDonald got a standing ovation when she took the stage. “You can’t stop the beat. The heart of New York City!” she said.
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” won for scenic design, costume, lighting, sound design, orchestrations and a featured acting Tony for Broadway favorite Danny Burstein. Sonya Tayeh won for choreography on her Broadway debut.

Alex Timbers won the trophy for best direction of a musical for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.”
It is Timbers’ first Tony. The show is about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, updated with tunes like “Single Ladies” and “Firework” alongside the big hit “Lady Marmalade.”
Timbers has been nominated twice before, for directing “Peter and the Starcatcher” in 2012 and directing and writing “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” He has been a production consultant on David Byrne’s “American Utopia,” directed “Rocky” and “The Pee-wee Herman Show” and is directing “Beetlejuice” for the second time next spring.
He picked up a Lucille Lortel Award for directing the off-Broadway production of “Here Lies Love” and went on to direct the show at London’s National Theatre. Other notable off-Broadway credits include the “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in Central Park and the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2016 revival of “The Robber Bridegroom.”
For the Tony, he beat Phyllida Lloyd of “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical” and Diane Paulus of “Jagged Little Pill.”
Burstein, who won for featured actor in a musical for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” thanked the Broadway community for supporting him after the death of his wife, Rebecca Luker, ReDavid Alan Grier won featured actor in a play for his role in a “A Soldier’s Play.” “To my other nominees: Tough banana, I won,” he said.
Lois Smith won her first Tony for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for “The Inheritance.” And Lauren Patten edged out her co-stars from “Jagged Little Pill” to win the award for best featured actress in a musical.
“A Christmas Carol” was cleaning up with five technical awards: scenic design of a play, costumes, lighting, sound design and score. No one from the production was on hand to accept the awards.
Sunday’s show has been expanded from its typical three hours to four, with McDonald handing out Tonys for the first two hours and Leslie Odom Jr. hosting a “Broadway’s Back!” celebration for the second half, including the awarding of the top three trophies — best play revival, best play and best musical.
While other entertainment industries like TV and film found ways to restart during the pandemic, Broadway was unable until now due to financial and physical impediments. The lifting of all capacity restrictions was crucial to any reopening since Broadway economics demand full venue capacity.
The sobering musical “Jagged Little Pill,” which plumbs Alanis Morissette’s 1995 breakthrough album to tell a story of an American family spiraling out of control, goes into the night with a leading 15 Tony nominations.
Nipping on its heels is “Moulin Rouge!,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub that has 14 nods.
“Slave Play,” Jeremy O. Harris’ ground-breaking, bracing work that mixes race, sex, taboo desires and class, earned a dozen nominations, making it the most nominated play in Tony history.
Other shows to keep an eye on are “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez, which nabbed 11 nominations. It’s a two-part, seven-hour epic that uses “Howards End” as a starting point for a play that looks at gay life in the early 21st century. And “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical,” which tells the rock icon’s life with songs that include “Let’s Stay Together” and “Proud Mary,” earned 12 nods.
This season’s nominations were pulled from just 18 eligible plays and musicals from the 2019-2020 season, a fraction of the 34 shows the previous season. During most years, there are 26 competitive categories. This year there are 25 with several depleted ones. But theater insiders think an awards show is even more vital now.
“I would argue it’s more important than ever, in a way,” said James Corden, who hosted the Tonys in 2016. “If there’s a year that we should ever celebrate them, it’s this year, where people’s entire lives have just been ripped away and turned upside down.”
Some intriguing races include whether Karen Olivo wins best leading actress in a musical, despite quitting her show, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” in frustration with Broadway.
Six-time Tony-winner McDonald is not just a host. She’s up for best actress award in a play, which, if she won, would give her seven awards, breaking her own record for the most Tonys won by a performer. And something bizarre has to happen to deny Aaron Tveit winning for best leading actor in a musical; he’s the only person nominated in the category. Voting for the nominees was done in March.
The last Tony Awards ceremony was held in 2019. The virus forced Broadway theaters to abruptly close on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows and scrambling the spring season. Several have restarted, including the so-called big three of “Wicked,” “Hamilton” and “The Lion King.”
“Jagged Little Pill” goes into the telecast on the defensive, dogged by two controversies.
A former cast member, Nora Schell, a Black nonbinary actor who made their Broadway debut in the chorus in 2019, posted a statement this week on social media describing repeated instances early in the run of the show in which they were “intimidated, coerced, and forced by multiple higher ups to put off critical and necessary surgery to remove growths from my vagina that were making me anemic.”
“Jagged Little Pill” producers — saying they are “deeply troubled” by the claims — have hired an independent investigator, and the union Actors Equity Association said Sunday it was also commissioning “a thorough, independent investigation” of the show’s workplace.
In another controversy, the show’s producers have apologized to fans for changing a character from gender-nonconforming to cisgender female after the show moved from Boston to Broadway.
Two original stars — Celia Rose Gooding and Antonio Cipriano — have announced that they are leaving after Sunday’s performance, with Cipriano on Sunday citing “the harm that many trans + non-binary, and all marginalized folks, in-stage cast members and off have endured.” He wrote he took responsibility “for being part of the cause harmed.”

 


Painting the words: ‘Sauce of Mango’ mixes between the beauty of Arabic fables and art

Painting the words: ‘Sauce of Mango’ mixes between the beauty of Arabic fables and art
Updated 27 September 2021

Painting the words: ‘Sauce of Mango’ mixes between the beauty of Arabic fables and art

Painting the words: ‘Sauce of Mango’ mixes between the beauty of Arabic fables and art
  • The book fits all age groups but primarily caters to an older audience as some stories have dark themes

JEDDAH: Finding the right art to represent literary work is a challenge. With so much to choose from, one Saudi author decided to get help through an art platform for diversity and inclusion.

Saad Almotham mixed with his literary work with artwork provided by a group of 56 Saudi and Arab artists to create a book that is an art project in itself, titled “Sauce of Mango.”

Made up of a hundred short fables, written in Arabic and showcasing 96 artworks, it began in 2012 when Almotham found his niche, initially using Twitter to share the stories in 140 and, later, 280 characters. 

“I had a word limit and I had to tell a story within that limit, and that’s quite a challenge,” he said. “I often had to go back and forth through the stories I wanted to tweet as I wanted them to be meaningful and short at the same time.”

It was after posting 200 stories that Almotham got the idea of compiling them in a book. He selected 100, and decided on the title after the main character from one short fable.

“The main character is afraid of trying new things and I too was experiencing something new, so I chose his name as a reference to my own story in writing as we’re both trying to create something new and different,” said Almotham. 

The book fits all age groups but primarily caters to an older audience as some stories have dark themes.

For the artwork, the author wanted to select things that would accommodate the storyline best. With the help of artists through the Fitrh Art platform, he was able to have a unique and distinct piece of art for most of his literary works.

Fitrh Art is a platform that serves as a home to Arab artists interested in being part of a storytelling adventure. 

Selected artists were given the stories and worked on the ones that attracted them the most. “I didn’t interfere much with the artists past the initial rough sketch, I wanted to preserve their style and what they were comfortable with. I didn’t want it to look like a comic book, I wanted it to be a work of art,” said Almotham.

Hana Kanee, a 29-year-old Saudi artist, was part of the creative set that contributed to the book.

“I didn’t know the author beforehand; I found this opportunity through Instagram and the way they showcased it was ‘as a collection of stories where animals will be expressing themselves through Arabic poetry,’ it sounded very creative and made me imagine the possibilities,” she artist told Arab News. 

Kanee chose the stories that resonated with her most. She described the process as fun, saying that “the stories made me laugh immediately and the artist’s description of the stories was very colorful, which is perfect for my artwork. It reminded me of my childhood as well.”

The artists had the freedom to bring their creative talent to the mix and were given enough space to pursue it.

Bringing the book together proved to be quite a challenge for Almotham; he said he felt like it was impossible at times. The pandemic did not help this initial dread, and he added: “The fact that we were able to pull it off and put this project out in the world makes me feel very proud.” 

Once the book was complete, the author organized an online art exhibition in collaboration with the Fitrh Art platform, where they showcased the artwork with the stories as a description. 

Almotham is currently working on the English translation of the book, and hopes to publish it soon.

“During the exhibition we roughly translated the stories and those too were very well received, so I thought I should work on the translation for English readers to enjoy.”


AlUla events promise months-long feast of arts, culture music and wellness

Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
Updated 27 September 2021

AlUla events promise months-long feast of arts, culture music and wellness

Organizers have revealed that the highly anticipated Winter at Tantora event is set to return. (SPA)
  • The mane event: Equine fashion show at AlUla
  • AlUla Skies will give tourists the chance to float over the Hegra in a hot air balloon

JEDDAH: The winter season of events at AlUla prides itself on having everything from astronomy to gastronomy, but this year it will excel itself.

Among the events planned for the jewel in Saudi Arabia’s heritage crown is an haute couture fashion show — for horses.

Other equestrian highlights this year will be the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Race and AlUla Desert Polo.

Events will begin on Dec. 21 this year and run until March 30, 2022, and fall into four categories — Winter at Tantora, AlUla Arts, AlUla Skies, and the AlUla Wellness Festival, all providing a feast of arts, culture, music, and wellness.

Most musical performances will take place in the beautiful Maraya Center, and a candlelit symphonic concert at the UNESCO world heritage site of Hegra will begin proceedings.

 

Amira Abbas, who visited the festival in 2020, was thrilled to hear the announcement: “When I first went to AlUla it was magical, truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I am already excited to get back to the calm and quiet of the place. I will take at least a week off my schedule and plan a trip.”

The visitors will add to their knowledge of the site and the Kingdom through archaeology and cultural workshops taking place at the heritage sites.

AlUla Arts festival will commence February 2021, bringing together events centered around artistic talents. The “art of our time”  exhibition will boast cutting-edge contemporary art created by Saudi artists. Alongside the exhibition is the Cinema El Housh, an outdoor cinema that will be showing the beauties of the oasis and other landscapes within AlUla. Saudi filmmakers will also contribute to these projects.

FASTFACTS

• The Winter at Tantora Festival will run from Dec. 21 to Feb. 12. Musical performances will be taking place in the beautiful Maraya Center, with a Candlelit Symphonic Concert at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra kicking off proceedings.

• AlUla Arts festival will commence February 2021, bringing together events.

Another festival that will take flight is AlUla Skies, which will give tourists the chance to float over the Hegra in a hot air balloon, glide in a vintage plane over the oasis, and take a helicopter above the Madakheel. Back on land, adventurers can take the star-gazing tour titled “Constellations.”

Ohoud Abdallah, 27, spent three days touring the heritage sites of AlUla last year and told Arab News that she was not able to enjoy the skies on her visit: “It is a childhood fantasy of mine to go ride in a hot air balloon; last time I couldn’t because my timing was off. I am absolutely thrilled to see that it is coming back and there is nothing more I want to do than to float off in a balloon or just sit under the stars after being cooped up in my house for so long.”

Alula Wellness Festival, running from March 17 to 27, will focus on the well-being of the mind and body, including yoga, meditation, mindful practices, and an exhibition that will use space, light, and sound to provoke the senses.