CAIRO: Four Egyptian artifacts proved to have been taken from the country illegally have been returned from Italy.
The items were recovered by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by the Supreme Council of Antiquities at the headquarters of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the reclamation was part of ongoing efforts to preserve the heritage and civilizational history of Egypt.
Museum officials in Turin handed over the rare objects to the Egyptian Embassy in Rome.
Mostafa Waziry, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities thanked Italian authorities for cooperating in the return of the artifacts to their rightful home.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, supervisor of the council’s antiquities repatriation department, said the items included part of a wooden coffin lid decorated with longitudinal lines containing rows of hieroglyphic text, seized from the Sardinian city of Oristano in 2017.
Two small pieces of pottery depicting the upper part of a statuette of a woman, and a small vase from the Greco-Roman era, recovered from Genoa in 2018, were also among the artifacts.
And a 2.5-centimeter-tall djed pillar, recovered from Turin Museum, was received by the Egyptian Embassy on Nov. 14.
Abdel-Gawad said the four artifacts would go to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir for necessary restoration work to be carried out.
In September, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recovered 16 historic items from the US.
A ministry statement said: “This comes within the framework of the highest priority given by the state to the file of recovering smuggled Egyptian antiquities and returning them to the homeland.”
Cynthia Nixon starts hunger strike to demand ceasefire in Gaza
Updated 29 November 2023
DUBAI: US actress Cynthia Nixon on Monday began a hunger strike outside the White House to demand that US president Joe Biden call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
According to Sky News, the “Sex And The City” actress said: “I am sick and tired of people explaining away by saying that civilian casualties are a routine toll of war. There is nothing routine about these figures. There is noting routine about these deaths.
“I would like to make a personal plea to a president who has, himself, experienced such devastating personal loss, to connect with that empathy for which he is so well known and to look at the children of Gaza and imagine that they were his children,” she said.
Nixon will end her strike on Tuesday to return to New York for work commitments.
The star is joined by five politicians in the US: Delaware state representative Madinah Wilson-Anton, New York representative Zohran Mamdani, Oklahoma representative Mauree Turner, Virginia representative Sam Rasoul and Michigan representative Abraham Aiyash.
Some of the Arab stars who will hit the stage include Elissa, Mahmoud El-Esseily, Hakeem, Majid Al-Mohandis, Mohamed Ramadan, Omaima Taleb, Rabeh Saqr, Dalia Mubarak, Ruby, Nancy Ajram, Ramy Sabry, Ahmed Saad, Hamid El-Shari and more.
Khadra sisters, Bella Hadid pay tribute to their grandparents
Updated 28 November 2023
DUBAI: US Palestinian beauty entrepreneurs Simi and Haze Khadra, as well as US Dutch Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid, took to social media this week to pay tribute to their respective grandparents.
The Khadra twins — beauty entrepreneurs and DJs who grew up between Riyadh, Dubai and London and are now regulars on the Los Angeles social scene — shared a post lauding their grandmother on her birthday.
“Happy birthday to our grandmother, teta Fairouz, who was born in Akka, Palestine. Like all four of our grandparents, she was forcibly expelled from her home as a child by Israeli forces in 1948 … she is the most selfless human we know — always displaying the remarkable strength, generosity, and integrity Palestinians are known for.”
The twins took to Instagram earlier this month to announce that they would donate all sales from their makeup brand SimiHaze Beauty until Nov. 27 on the brand’s website to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).
“PCRF is working on getting children out of Gaza for free medical care. Simi & Haze have a trusting relationship with the PCRF, having completed successful fundraising campaigns together that have yielded dramatic improvements to children’s lives by bringing them the medical care they need to survive,” they posed on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Hadid took to Instagram Stories to celebrate her grandfather.
“He passed away when I was young but his memory is still inside my head,” she posted alongside a photograph of her paternal grandfather, adding: “His laugh, and his hug, and his voice and the fact that he could not be buried in the place where he was born and where his father and father’s father were born and died in the city they built — this is one of the many reasons I strive for a free, equal, liberated Palestine. I hope you are proud.”
Earlier this month, Hadid marked her father’s birthday with special post on Instagram that celebrated his Palestinian roots.
The 27-year-old catwalk star posted a picture of her and real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid from last year at the “Labour of Love” exhibition in Doha, which investigated the symbolism of the Palestinian thobe.
“Happy birthday to my baba … born in Nazareth, Palestine November 6, 1948,” Bella captioned her post.
In an earlier post, she shared the story of her father who was born in the year of the Nakba or “The Catastrophe” in 1948.
“Nine days after he was born, he, in his mother’s arms, along with his family were expelled from their home of Palestine, becoming refugees, away from a place they once called home,” she said.
“My grandparents, never being allowed to return. My family witnessed 75 years of violence against Palestinian people — most notably, brutal settler invasions which led to the destruction of entire communities, murder in cold blood and the forcible removal of families from their homes,” she added.
‘Eltiqa’ show builds cultural bridges between Saudi Arabia, South Korea
Three-day show in Riyadh features spectacular performances, artistic exhibition
Updated 27 November 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea came together at the Red Hall in Princess Noura University Theater on Sunday night for a series of performances blending the two cultures.
The show, which will conclude on Nov. 28, was launched by the Saudi Royal Institute of Traditional Arts in partnership with the Korea National University of Arts.
Suzan Al-Yahya, CEO of the institute, said that the show aims to promote “global cultural exchange in the Kingdom and create a meeting point between the traditional arts of various countries.”
The show, titled “Eltiqa,” features 50 artists from both the Saudi institute and South Korean university performing dances that celebrate the diversity of the two cultures and reflect a fusion of artistic sensibilities.
• ‘Eltiqa’ was launched by the Saudi Royal Institute of Traditional Arts in partnership with the Korea National University of Arts.
• It included an indoor exhibition exploring the two countries’ wooden handicrafts, textile arts, traditional art, and clay works.
The show opened with a Korean and Saudi performer meeting each other halfway across the stage and exchanging a letter, symbolizing the story of how the two nations met.
This was followed by a cross-cultural artistic experience comprising 10 performances, five from each country.
The Korean performances showcased traditional royal court music and dances including the Three-Drum Dance, known in Korean as Samgomu.
It was an amazing performance, exceeding my expectations, and I felt close to the Korean audiences attending and seeing the two cultures merge.
Abdulaziz Taher, Riyadh-based artist
The last of the Korean performances included a traditional dance influenced by modern movements and musical rhythms.
The five Saudi performances showcased dances from different regions of the Kingdom, reflecting the nation’s cultural diversity: Al-Samari, Al-Daha, Al-Liwa, Al-Khatwa, and Al-Khabiti.
Abdulaziz Taher, a Riyadh-based artist, said it was “hard to pick one favorite performance.”
He added: “It was an amazing performance, exceeding my expectations, and I felt close to the Korean audiences attending and seeing the two cultures merge.”
In between dances, a short theatrical performance depicted Saudi Arabia and South Korea coming together to overcome obstacles and celebrate their differences. It received a standing ovation from the audience.
Raghed Al-Qahtani, a Saudi pharmacy student at Princess Nourah University, said: “The ending was the best part for me. It was beautiful seeing Saudis and Koreans taking turns and dancing to traditional Saudi and Korean music.”
The show accompanies the “Eltiqa” indoor exhibition, which explores the four elemental forces of earth, wind, fire, and water as they symbolize wooden handicrafts, textile arts, traditional art, and clay works, respectively.
An outdoor food area also offers visitors from both countries the chance to sample each other’s traditional cuisines.
King SeJong Institute, a Korean learning institute in Riyadh, participated in the show with freshly cooked kimchi-fried pancakes and kimbap, giving visitors an authentic taste of some of Korea’s best street food.
“Eltiqa” is part of the royal institute’s initiatives aimed at promoting cultural exchange in the Kingdom and preserving heritage in line with the strategic goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
Politics and poetry: Imran Pratapgarhi delights crowds in Riyadh
Indian poet presents work to more than 500 expatriates
Speaks of pain, suffering of Palestinian people in Gaza
Updated 27 November 2023
RIYADH: Indian poet and politician Imran Pratapgarhi left his audience spellbound during a presentation of his work in Riyadh recently.
During his first visit to the capital since being elected to parliament, Pratapgarhi spoke of the suffering faced by Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza amid the ongoing assault by Israeli forces.
He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for hosting about 2 million Indian workers in the Kingdom and acknowledged the arrangements made by Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj pilgrims.
The poet also thanked Talib Ur Rahman, Dr Dilnawaz Roomi and Mohammed Fakhre Alam for organizing the event, which was attended by more than 500 Indian expatriates.
As well as Palestine, Pratapgarhi recited poems about the political and social situation in India, including the plight of Muslims and other minorities. His rendition of “Lal Quila” received a standing ovation.
On behalf of the Indian diaspora, he was presented with a memento of appreciation.
The event was attended by several special guests, including Omair Khan, head of the AICC Minority Department; Jharkand, Maulana Mohammed Abutalib Rehmani, a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board; Motiur Rahman, founder of Bukhari University, Kishanganj (Bihar); and businessman Dr Nadeem Tarin.