Egypt: Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai

Egypt: Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai
Archeologists working in the ruins of a temple dedicated to Zeus, the ancient Greek god, at the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in the northwestern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. (AP Photo)
Short Url
Updated 25 April 2022

Egypt: Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai

Egypt: Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai
  • The temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in northwestern Sinai
  • Excavations at the area date back to early 1900 when French Egyptologist Jean Clédat found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the existence of the Zeus-Kasios temple

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a temple for the ancient Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula, antiquities authorities said Monday.
The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement the temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in northwestern Sinai.
Tell el-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic period and was also used during Greco-Roman and Byzantine times. There are also remains dating to the Christian and early Islamic periods.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said archaeologists excavated the temple ruins through its entrance gate, where two huge fallen granite columns were visible. The gate was destroyed in a powerful earthquake in ancient times, he said.
Waziri said the ruins were found between the Pelusium Fort and a memorial church at the site. Archaeologists found a set of granite blocks probably used to build a staircase for worshipers to reach the temple.
Excavations at the area date back to early 1900 when French Egyptologist Jean Clédat found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the existence of the Zeus-Kasios temple but he didn’t unearth it, according to the ministry.
Zeus-Kasios is a conflation of Zeus, the God of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, and Mount Kasios in Syria, where Zeus once worshipped.
Hisham Hussein, the director of Sinai archaeological sites, said inscriptions found in the area show that Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138) renovated the temple.
He said experts will study the unearthed blocks and do a photogrammetry survey to help determine the architectural design of the temple.
The temple ruins are the latest in a series of ancient discoveries Egypt has touted in the past couple of years in the hope of attracting more tourists.
The tourism industry has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The sector was also dealt further blows by the coronavirus pandemic and most recently Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Model Bella Hadid talks starring in upcoming ‘Ramy’ show 

 Model Bella Hadid talks starring in upcoming ‘Ramy’ show 
Updated 17 August 2022

Model Bella Hadid talks starring in upcoming ‘Ramy’ show 

 Model Bella Hadid talks starring in upcoming ‘Ramy’ show 

DUBAI: Palestinian Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid this week opened up about starring in the third season of Hulu’s “Ramy.”

The Emmy-nominated show, starring comedian Ramy Youssef, is about an Egyptian-American living in New Jersey who is determined to become a better Muslim as he grows into an adult, often stumbling along the way.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, Hadid, who stars as a “weirdo girlfriend,” recalled moments on set that made her heart full. On the first day, the crew surprised her with a shirt that stated: “Free Palestine.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

“I couldn’t handle my emotions,” Hadid said. “Growing up and being Arab, it was the first time that I’d ever been with like-minded people. I was able to see myself.”

Youssef and Hadid first connected when the Golden Globe winner emailed the runway star and asked if she would be interested to guest star in the show. After a long Zoom conversation, Hadid agreed.

“I was like, this is perfect,” Hadid said. “We hadn’t even met before, but I had a feeling it was going to be kismet.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

The catwalk star, who has always been vocal about her support for Palestine, said that her friendship with Youssef grew stronger during the show.

“There was one time where Ramy came over during Ramadan and allowed me to pray with him,” she told the publication. “And it was one of the most beautiful moments of my adult life.”

Hadid, who was born in Washington, D.C., said her family relocated to California when she was a toddler. “I was with my Palestinian side (of the family in D.C.),” she said.

The relocation was not easy for her, she said.

“I would have loved to grow up and be with my dad every day and studying and really being able to practice, just in general being able to live in a Muslim culture,” she said. “But I wasn’t given that.”

“I speak about (this stuff) for the elderly that are still living there that have never been able to see Palestine free, and for the children that can still grow up and have a beautiful life,” she added. 


US artist Grimanesa Amorós to present light installation in Riyadh 

US artist Grimanesa Amorós to present light installation in Riyadh 
Updated 16 August 2022

US artist Grimanesa Amorós to present light installation in Riyadh 

US artist Grimanesa Amorós to present light installation in Riyadh 

DUBAI: US artist Grimanesa Amorós, famous as the Light Sculptor, is bringing her work to Riyadh. 

The Peruvian-born visual artist will present her latest monumental art installation titled “Scientia” in the Diplomatic Quarter Cultural Palace at the Noor Riyadh festival from Nov. 3 to 19.

The installation is titled ‘Scientia.’ (Supplied)

The installation addresses fundamental questions about the impact of a rapidly shifting environment on the mental, psychological and emotional well-being of individuals living in fast-paced, modern societies.

Her light sculpture was previously showcased at the Azkuna Zentroa Center of Society and Contemporary Culture in Bilbao, Spain.

Amorós, famous for her large-scale light sculpture installations, explores human emotions and connections to the social environment using an elemental understanding of the world involving nature’s basic elements: fire, water, earth and light.

The artist has exhibited her work in multiple locations around the world including Mexico, Beijing and New York City.


Finance for new Saudi filmmakers announced by Red Sea Fund

Finance for new Saudi filmmakers announced by Red Sea Fund
Updated 16 August 2022

Finance for new Saudi filmmakers announced by Red Sea Fund

Finance for new Saudi filmmakers announced by Red Sea Fund
  • Winning ‘Lithium’ movie tackles bipolar disorder
  • Over $100,000 set aside for 23 individual MENA projects

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s support for the film industry continues with the Red Sea Fund’s announcement of its second-cycle winners, which will mean financial resources to bring their projects to fruition.

The fund, administered by the Red Sea Film Foundation, has allocated about $100,000 for 23 individual projects that will cover production, distribution and screening.

The aim is to provide a more diverse set of movies to global audiences and better serve both Saudi and Arab filmmakers.

“It means a great deal to us that the Red Sea Fund believes in this story enough to fund it. It’s both an honor and a responsibility,” Saudi filmmaker Talha B. told Arab News. He will be co-directing the winning project “Lithium” along with fellow creative Amro B.

The feature film tackles the subject of bipolar disorder and the silent suffering of individuals with mental health issues in the Arab region.

“It is a great responsibility to present this subject in a positive yet honest way, and we intend to do it the justice it deserves … It tackles a subject that we rarely admit we have in our society. We hope that more bold stories like this are told candidly because, like physical health, mental health too matters,” Talha said.

The film is currently in development and is set to premiere at the 2023/2024 Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah.

The rest of the 23 selections include shorts, documentaries, animated films and documentaries, with five submitted from Africa, 11 from the Arab region, and seven by Saudi directors.

The aim is to support young and ambitious filmmakers to carve a niche for themselves in the industry.

“It’s very fresh and exciting witnessing the great things Red Sea films are achieving and presenting to the filmmakers in Saudi Arabia and the world. The funded films speak a lot about the amount of understanding for both the creative process and the craftsmanship behind the walls of their visionary team and their out-of-the-box thinking,” Anas BaTahaf, the filmmaker and upcoming producer of the selected film “Hayat Yousef,” told Arab News.

BaTahaf is teaming up with long-time collaborator Sarah Taibah who will be joining as a screenwriter on the upcoming project that features meaningful character arcs, quirkiness, blended-genres, and “high voltage” absurdity, all packed within a contemporary dark romcom.

“Taibah’s knowledge and thorough understanding of romance — from her various art projects on studying love as a feeling and theme during a wide range of art residencies around the world — is another quality that grants her my full trust when it comes to telling this story,” BaTahaf said.

The aim to tell unconventional stories is the reason for the selection of “Red Eye,” set to be directed by filmmaker Mohammad Jastaniah.

“After so many trials, errors, and rejections it’s nice to see once again that persistence pays off, let alone being supported by the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation — a place I call home. It feels special,” Jastaniah told Arab News.

The film is an “allegory” for the artist’s experience in Saudi, he said. “Red Eye” follows the story of a man navigating the stigma of being a rock star, fighting his own demons, and dealing with his relationship with his father.

“It speaks for those who stand out in the crowd, and there are so many of us out there, especially in these exciting times of change happening in the Kingdom. Pinch me because it feels like a dream,” Jastaniah said.

“I am very excited for our film and all the other films that won (backing) … Local filmmakers deserve all the praise and support,” said BaTahaf.

He said he was looking forward to his friends seeing the “great” films that were made.


Hollywood star Angelina Jolie speaks up for women in Afghanistan

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie speaks up for women in Afghanistan
Updated 16 August 2022

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie speaks up for women in Afghanistan

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie speaks up for women in Afghanistan

DUBAI: Hollywood star and humanitarian Angelina Jolie this week honored women in Afghanistan, “one year after the fall of the government.”

The 47-year-old actress shared on Instagram an op-ed she wrote for TIME and said: “It cannot end here.”

In the article, the Oscar winner said: “The daughters of Afghanistan are extraordinary for their strength, resilience, and resourcefulness.”

The actress said that one year ago, Afghan women worked in all fields — being doctors, teachers, police officers and politicians.

“To my Afghan friends, I have faith in you and your resilience and your strength,” wrote Jolie. “I dream of visiting with my daughters, making friends, traveling around your beautiful country, and seeing you free to determine your own future … I know it’s possible. This does not end here.”


Stolen Picasso painting found in Iraq  

Stolen Picasso painting found in Iraq  
Updated 15 August 2022

Stolen Picasso painting found in Iraq  

Stolen Picasso painting found in Iraq  

DUBAI: Iraqi authorities announced this week that they found an original painting by the renowned Spanish painter Pablo Picasso in the Iraqi province of Diyala on Saturday, Iraqi News Agency reported.

The painting, said to be worth millions of dollars, was seized from a drug group after a raid late July. 

Director of the anti-narcotics media office Colonel Bilal Sobhi told the publication: “The Anti-Narcotics Directorate carried out an operation in Diyala governorate, in which a network of three defendants who were involved in the trade and transport of narcotic drugs were arrested, and a painting belonging to the international painter Picasso was seized in their possession, estimated at millions of dollars.”

“It is a major operation that is calculated for the anti-drugs General Directorate,” he added.

Details of the artwork have not been revealed yet. The Pablo Picasso Foundation, responsible for promoting and managing the artist’s work, did not issue a statement either.