A cancer-stricken four-year-old boy in Florida has been ordered to live with his grandmother after his parents prevented him from having chemotherapy. The custody ruling on Monday against parents Taylor Bland and Joshua McAdams came after their bid for alternative treatment garnered national attention. The boy was taken from his parents in April after they skipped chemotherapy and left the state. The parents are "obviously devastated," their lawyer told US media. Brooke Elvington also said the boy was "going through an absolutely traumatic medical experience and he is doing so without his parents". After the boy, who the BBC is not naming, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in April his parents opted to treat him using cannabis, oxygen therapy, herbs and alkaline water. Medical cannabis is legal in Florida. US parents told boy must have chemotherapy What is chemotherapy? In May, they lost custody after they skipped a chemotherapy session and "refused to follow up with life saving medical care," according to police. They were found in Kentucky after a multi-state hunt. The boy was ordered to live with his grandmother and receive standard medical treatment. On Monday, Hillsborough County circuit court Judge Thomas Palermo said that the child would face "substantial risk of imminent neglect" if he were returned to his parents. Keeping the boy in the custody of his maternal grandmother was the only way to ensure his "health, safety and well-being," NBC News reported. Chemotherapy is often associated with debilitating side effects, but many types of modern chemotherapy cause only mild problems. According to St Jude s Children s Research Hospital, about 98% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia go into remission within weeks of beginning treatment, and about 90% of child patients are eventually cured. Reality Check: When are parents denied the final say? Alternative cancer therapy survival risk The lawyer for Ms Bland and Mr McAdams said the couple is considering filing an appeal. "[He] belongs at home with his parents," she said.
Spain s ambassador to Cairo Ramon Gil Casares attended Monday a symposium at the Cervantes Institute in Cairo on the films by contemporary Egyptian female directors that will be screened at the next edition of the Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema. The Ambassador of Spain to Egypt, Ramon Gill Casares, opened the event at the Instituto Cervantes in Cairo. Director of the Cervantes Institute in Cairo Silvia Grijalba and the festival s artistic director Eduardo Guillot led the panel discussion. The symposium discussed the current situation of Egyptian cinema, works presented by female directors, and difficulties faced by filmmakers when they begin a new work of art. Egyptian directors Aiten Amin, Hala Khalil and Amal Ramsis attended the symposium. Guillot said that the Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema is interested in Egyptian artistic works as well as those from other Arab countries overlooking the Mediterranean. Egypt was selected for this year s edition as it offers a cinematic tradition famous in all Arab countries and also features abundant production, Guillot added. Recent years have witnessed films by several female directors offering diverse and distinctive perspectives. Several were selected for the festival, he said. Director Sandra Nashaat directed action films, for example, while others presented very different genres. The next edition of the Valencia Festival will take place between October 24 and November 3 in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia. The festival is a meeting point between various cultures across Mediterranean countries. Among its selections, it will screen films by the most important Egyptian contemporary female directors, including Kamela Abu Zekri, Sandra Nashaat, Ayten Amin, Mariam Abu Ouf, Hala Khalil, Hala Lotfy and Amal Ramsis, whose films have become central to the feminist discourse in Egypt.
"Joker", a daring take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice film festival Saturday with Roman Polanski controversially taking second prize. It is the first superhero film ever to get this kind of arthouse kudos, and could now be on its way to Oscar glory. The last two Venice winners -- "Roma" and "The Shape of Water" -- have gone on to lift the best picture Academy Award. US director Todd Phillips -- best known up to now for the slapstick comedy "Very Bad Trip" -- paid tribute to Phoenix s intense performance, saying he was "the fiercest, bravest and most open-minded lion that I know". "Thank you for trusting me with your insane talents," he said. The movie, which The Guardian had described as "one of the boldest Hollywood productions for some time", has already sparked a heated debate. And there were audible gasps when French-Polish director Polanski -- a pariah in Hollywood after his rape conviction -- was handed the Grand Prix second prize for his Dreyfus Affair drama, "An Officer and a Spy". Irresponsible propaganda? Within hours of the "Joker" premiere, some warned that Phoenix s full-throttle portrait of a needy, embittered clown who lives with his mother could empower incels (or involuntary celibates) -- the angry, misogynist young men who have been blamed for so much far-right and white supremacist violence. Vanity Fair s Richard Lawson worried that it was "exhilarating in the most prurient of ways, a snuff film about the death of order, about the rot of a governing ethos". He feared that it "may be irresponsible propaganda for the very men it pathologises". But most critics disagreed, with Variety s Owen Gleiberman saying Phoenix has remade Batman s arch-enemy as a "Method psycho, a troublemaker so intense in his cuckoo hostility that even as you re gawking at his violence, you still feel his pain". Other reviews were equally ecstatic, and a sequel with Robert Pattinson playing the Joker s nemesis Batman is said to be in the offing. Phoenix reportedly lost more than 23 kilos (52 pounds) to play the part. Phillips defended his film saying the jury "understood what we were trying to say, and I hope that translates". Polanski wins second prize But almost as many headlines are likely to be made by Polanski s win. Having spent most of his life as a fugitive from American justice, he was accused of drawing "obscene" parallels between himself and the persecuted French Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus, who was the victim of anti-semitism and a miscarriage of justice around the turn of the 20th century. Polanski, 86, has been shunned by the big studios for decades after he was convicted of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. His inclusion in the main Venice competition, which included only two female directors, sparked fury from feminists. The French-Polish auteur and Holocaust survivor did not show up at the festival, leaving his wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner -- who also appears in the film -- to pick up his prize to muted applause and a few isolated boos. She later told reporters that her husband was "very happy" with his win, saying the "film was very important to him". The head of the Venice jury, Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel, had boycotted a gala dinner for Polanski, only to be forced to clarify that she was not prejudiced against his film. Jagger blasts Trump, Johnson In a year fraught with controversy over sexual politics, festival director Alberto Barbera was also accused of being "tone deaf" for his inclusion of a Black Lives Matter drama by the American Nate Parker, who was embroiled in a rape trail while at university, as well as the director s cut of Gasper Noe s 2002 rape shocker "Irreversible". Politics also dominated the awards ceremony with the best actor and actress winners -- Italy s Luca Marinelli ("Martin Eden") and France s Ariane Ascaride ("Gloria Mundi") dedicating their awards to the migrants who "rest forever at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea". Both films contained references to people fleeing poverty and persecution. Donald Sutherland, the star of the festival s closing film, "The Burnt Orange Heresy", had earlier appealed to reporters to support the migrants cause. His co-star, Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, made a rare foray into politics to attack US President Donald Trump for his rudeness, lies and tearing up environmental controls in the US. He also bewailed "the polarisation and incivility in public life" in his native Britain, pointing the finger at its rookie prime minister, Boris Johnson. Sudanese director Amjad Abu Alala wins Lion of the future award for his debut " You Will Die aT 20".
The Egyptian film Ward Masmoum (Poisonous Roses - 2018) was chosen on Thursday by the Cinematic Professions Syndicate to represent the country in the 2020 Academy Awards competition for Best Foreign Language Film category. The selection was made by a committee appointed by the syndicate, which comprised prominent film critics. Ward Masmoum, directed by Ahmed Fawzi Saleh, is based on Ahmed Zaghloul Al-Shiti s 1990 novel Saqr s Poisonous Roses. The film has already participated in dozens of film festivals across the globe, winning three awards at the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (21-29 November). The cast includes Ibrahim El-Nagari (playing the main character Saqr), Merihan Magdi (Taheya), Mahmoud Hemeida (in the role of the magician), Mohamed Berakaa (the imam), Safaa El-Toukhy (in the role of the mother). The film s main character Saqr lives and works in a tanning district, but dreams to escape the area. Last year, the syndicate nominated Yomeddine (Judgment Day), directed by Abu Bakr Shawky and produced by Dina Emam, for the prestigious festival.
Cancer has become the leading cause of death in rich nations, overtaking heart disease, according to the results of two landmark, decade-long global surveys of health trends released Tuesday. Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality among middle-aged adults globally, accounting for more than 40 percent of deaths, the data showed. It was thought to have been responsible for around 17.7 million deaths in 2017. But in richer countries, cancer now kills more people than heart disease, according to the twin studies published in The Lancet medical journal. “The world is witnessing a new epidemiologic transition among the different categories of non-communicable diseases, with cardiovascular disease no longer the leading cause of death in high-income countries,” said Gilles Deganais, emeritus professor at Laval University, in Quebec. He said his team s study showed that cancer was the second most common cause of death globally in 2017, accounting for just over a quarter (26 percent) of all deaths. Deganais said that as heart disease rates fell globally, cancer could become the leading cause of death worldwide “within just a few decades”. The study followed more than 160,000 adults, in high-, middle-, and low-income countries over the course of decade. It determined that people in poorer nations were on average 2.5 times more likely to die from heart disease than those in richer ones. It conversely found that non-infectious diseases such as cancer and pneumonia were less common in low-income states than in richer ones. A second study, also by researchers in Canada, and looking at data from patients in the same 21 countries, found that so-called “modifiable risk factors” accounted for 70 percent of heart disease cases globally. These included diet, behavioral and socioeconomic factors, they said. Metabolic risk factors — high cholesterol, obesity or diabetes — caused more than 40 percent of all heart disease, and were by far the biggest determinant of disease in richer nations. But there was also a strong link between heart disease in developing countries and household air pollution, poor diet and low education levels. “A change in tack is required to alleviate the disproportionately high impact of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries,” said Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine at McMaster University. “Governments in these countries need to start investing a greater portion of their gross domestic product in preventing and managing non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, rather than focusing largely on infectious diseases.”
Minister of Education Tarek Shawky signed a cooperation protocol with Egypt Gold on Tuesday to establish the first technical school specialized in making jewelry and accessories in Egypt. Shawky said that technical education serves the same interest as general education and Egypt is witnessing a shift in educational focus toward applied technology schools. Ten new schools of this kind have been established to change society s perception of technical education and keep up with the modern education systems of the world. He added that these types of schools teach new specialties for the industrial, agricultural and commercial labor market. He stressed that jewelry industry schools have become necessary due to the labor market s need for this specialization, pointing out that students who attend these schools are allotted a salary from the first day they begin taking courses. Shawky said that admission to the school is open until mid-September for those who have a preparatory certificate from schools in Greater Cairo. He added that the school is located in Obour City and that students will undergo tests in Arabic and English. Four to five branches of this school will be opened in a short time, Shawky said. For his part, Mostafa Nassar, representative of Egypt Gold, said that the company has hired students who dropped out of former educational institutions and are now completing rehabilitation training. An estimated 2,000 students work fully in the jewelry industry. Nassar stressed that the Middle East lacks technicians specializing in the manufacturing of gold and jewelry. “It is a dream for me to carry out my projects in Egypt after a successful 11-year experience in Germany,” he said. Nassar, too, underscored the importance of the stipulation that students in the school receive a monthly salary from the first day of school to make study more sustainable. He added that study in the school will be six days a week, two theoretical and four practical, because the specialization requires intense labor.
The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced the opening of registration for filmmakers and TV makers in the second edition of the Cairo Industry Days, held from November 21 to 26. Registration at the Cairo Industry Day allows film and television professionals to attend seminars and lectures that provide opportunities for partnership and networking with the international film community. Filmmakers also have access to three daily tickets to watch the festival s film screenings in all competitions and screening locations. The head of Cairo Industry Days Aliaa Zaky said: “We are delighted to be launching the second edition of the Cairo Industry Days, which brings together filmmakers from inside and outside the Arab world to promote, develop, and celebrate storytelling from around the world.” According to Zaky, promising talents and filmmaking students can learn and engage with key influencers in the entertainment industry through the event. Under Cairo Film Connection (CFC), a panel of experts in the film industry selects films that will receive financial awards. The awards granted to winners last year was worth more than US$120,000. “In its 41st edition, the Cairo International Film Festival will host the 6th edition of the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), the festival s co-production platform,” said the CIFF official website. “Cairo Film Connection will invite international producers, film financiers and film distributors as well as representatives from funding bodies, sales agents and TV channels to come together to initiate international co-productions and partnerships with films from the Arab world,” it added. The festival also announced the opening registration for the five-day Screen Buzz Workshop, which focuses on screenwriting for television projects in the Arab world, and gives the opportunity for participants to develop their scenarios with leading industry experts in Hollywood. A four-day workshop on cinema scenarios was announced as well in partnership with EAVE ON DEMAND, covering all aspects of the development of feature films, which includes screenwriting strategies and the role of the producer, marketing, international sales, and budget and financial planning. The Cairo International Film Festival festival launched the first edition of Cairo Industry Days at the 40th edition of the festival, which witnessed remarkable success, being attended by more than 200 significant filmmakers from around the world. Two workshops to develop film and television scenarios were established under last year s Cairo Industry Day. Seven film lectures, eight seminars and four discussion sessions with the participation of international experts from inside and outside the Arab world were also held.
Egypt s Ministry of Health launched on Sunday President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi s initiative to diagnose and treat newborns infected with hearing impairments nationwide as part of the “100 million healthy lives” initiative, said Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed. Hearing impairment is a partial or total inability to hear and may occur in one or both ears. A deaf person has little to no hearing. Hearing problems can impact children s ability to learn spoken languages. In adults, they can create difficulties with social interaction and at work. Zayed clarified that the ministry will examine the three- to seven-day-old newborns in 1,300 health units nationwide to discover whether they are infected with hearing impairment or they are normal. She said that the ministry trained 3,500 nurses nationwide on how to conduct a survey, use an audiometry device, and read and record the results. Zayed asserted that the units will transfer individuals suspected to be impacted by the disease to hospitals for treatment free of charge. She noted that the ministry distributed audiometry devices to 1,300 units nationwide. Egypt launched the “100 million healthy lives” screening campaign in 2018, targeting people aged 19 to 59 for scanning through PCR tests. Those testing positive for the disease are expected to undergo further check-ups and will be provided free medication.
here was never a better laugh line in all of sitcomania and, in her signature role as Rhoda, Valerie Harper nailed it. Eyeing a piece of candy with desire yet trepidation, Rhoda cracks, ``I don t know why I m putting this in my mouth. I should just apply it directly to my hips. That was in 1970 in the first weeks of ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as Rhoda _ and Harper _ first stole viewers hearts. Rhoda was lovely and adorable but she had relatable issues with her weight and took refuge in self-deprecating jokes. Rhoda was for everyone, and she would prove it in back-to-back hit sitcoms that made Harper a breakout star on ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show, then established her as a funny leading lady in her own series, ``Rhoda, scoring guffaws and busting TV taboos as an overweight, brash, Jewish version of the girl next door. Harper, who died Friday in Los Angeles days after she turned 80 after a long battle with cancer, won three consecutive Emmys (1971-73) as supporting actress on ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show plus another for outstanding lead actress for ``Rhoda, which ran from 1974-78. She was immortalized _ and typecast _ for playing one of television s most beloved characters, who as Mary s best friend was the equal of Ethel Mertz and Ed Norton in TV s sidekick pantheon. Harper s career cooled after ``Rhoda. Maybe she had done her job too well, becoming indelibly connected with the woman she played. In recent years, her appearances were mostly limited to voice work on the animated shows ``The Simpsons and ``American Dad. But for years, Harper s appearances had been mostly in the occasional stage and guest-star TV role. Then in 2013, she was back in the news, and all over TV, when she revealed that just a few weeks earlier she was diagnosed with brain cancer. This rare condition, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. (She had battled lung cancer in 2009.) Harper said she had been told by her doctors she had as little as three months to live. Fans responded as if a family member were in peril. But while the diagnosis might have seemed like a death sentence, ``I m not dying until I do, Harper said in a TV interview. ``I promise I won t. She continued to work, with guest shots in 2015 on ``2 Broke Girls and ``Melissa & Joey as well as her stage dates. And she outlived her famous co-star: Mary Tyler Moore died in January 2017. Harper was a chorus dancer on Broadway as a teen before moving into comedy and improv when, in 1970, she auditioned for the part of a Bronx-born Jewish girl who would be a neighbor and pal of Minneapolis news gal Mary Richards on a new sitcom for CBS. It seemed a long shot for the young, unknown actress. As she recalled, ``I m not Jewish, not from New York, and I have a small shiksa nose. And she had almost no TV experience. But Harper, who, even as a dancer had battled plumpness and who arrived for her audition packing a couple of dozen extra pounds, may have clinched the role when she blurted out in admiration to the ``Mary Tyler Moore Show s reed-thin star: ``Look at you in white pants without a long jacket to cover your behind! It was exactly the sort of thing Rhoda would say to ``Mar, as Harper recalled in her 2013 memoir, ``I, Rhoda. Harper was signed without a screen test. Of course, if CBS had gotten its way, Rhoda might have been a very different woman with a much different actress in place. As ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show was being developed, its producers were battling a four-point decree from the network, which insisted that the nation s TV viewers would not accept series characters who were (1) divorced, (2) from New York, (3) Jewish or (4) have mustaches. The producers lost on having Mary Richards divorced (instead, she had been dumped by her long-time boyfriend). But with Rhoda they overrode the network on two other counts. The show that resulted was a groundbreaking hit, with comically relatable Rhoda one big reason. Item: ``What am I? I m not married, I m not engaged. I m not even pinned. I bet Hallmark doesn t even have a card for me! Item: ``I came to Minneapolis because of the cold. I figured if I was frozen I d keep better. ``Women really identified with Rhoda because her problems and fears were theirs, Harper theorized in her book. ``Despite the fact that she was the butt of most of her own jokes, so to speak ... her confident swagger masked her insecurity. Rhoda never gave up. Neither did Harper, who confronted her own insecurities with similar moxie. ``I was always a little overweight, she once told The Associated Press. ``I d say, `Hello, I m Valerie Harper and I m overweight. I d say it quickly before they could. ... I always got called Chubby, my nose was too wide, my hair was too kinky. But as ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show evolved, so did Rhoda. At first, she made jokes about her weight, famously cracking that she the candy she was eating should be applied ``directly to her hips. But Rhoda (and Harper) trimmed down and glammed up, while never losing her comic step. The audience loved her more than ever. Then, in fall of 1974, the ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show producers spun the character off. Rhoda was dispatched from Minneapolis back home to New York City ( This is your last chance, she told New York in the opening titles), where she was reunited with her parents and younger sister in a new sitcom that costarred Nancy Walker, Harold Gould and Julie Kavner. She also met and fell in love with the hunky owner of a demolition firm. The premiere of ``Rhoda that September was the week s top-rated show, getting a 42% share of audience against competition including Monday Night Football on ABC. And a few weeks later, when Rhoda and her fiance, Joe, were wed in a one-hour special episode, more than 52 million people _ half of the U.S. viewing audience _ tuned in. But ``Rhoda couldn t maintain those comic or popular heights. A domesticated, lucky-in-love Rhoda wasn t a funny Rhoda _ not the Rhoda who could claim ``I had a bad puberty. It lasted 17 years; not the Rhoda who before a date had been hungry but refused to eat, explaining, ``I ve got to lose 10 pounds by 8:30. By the end of the third season, the show s writers had taken a desperate step to shake things up: Rhoda divorced Joe. Thus had Rhoda (and Harper) defied a third CBS taboo. The series ended in 1978 with Harper having played Rhoda for a total of nine seasons. She had captured the character by studying her Italian stepmother. But Harper s own ethnicity _ neither Jewish nor Italian _ was summed up in a New York Times profile as ``an exotic mixture of Spanish-English-Scotch-Irish-Welsh-French-Canadian. And she was not a New Yorker. Born in Suffern, New York, into a family headed by a peripatetic sales executive, she spent her early years in Oregon, Michigan and California before settling in Jersey City, N.J. By high school, she was taking dance lessons in Manhattan several times a week. By the time was 15, she was dancing specialty numbers at Radio City Music Hall. By 18 she was in the chorus of the Broadway musical ``Li l Abner (then appeared in the film adaptation a year later). She also danced in the musicals ``Take Me Along (starring Jackie Gleason) and ``Wildcat (starring Lucille Ball). She found comedy when she fell in with a group of Second City players from Chicago who had taken up residence in Greenwich Village. One of these improv players was Richard Schaal, whom she wed in 1964 (and would divorce in 1978). Harper and Schaal moved to Los Angeles in 1968, and in a theater production there in 1970, she was spotted by a casting agent for the role of Rhoda. During ``The Mary Tyler Moore, Harper appeared in her first major film, the comedy ``Freebie and the Bean, and later appeared in ``Chapter Two and ``Blame It on Rio. In 1986, she returned to series TV with a family sitcom called ``Valerie. While not matching her past critical successes, the series proved popular. But in the summer of 1987, Harper and her manager, Tony Cacciotti, whom she had married a few months earlier, were embroiled in a highly publicized feud with Lorimar Telepictures, the show s production company, and its network, NBC. In a dispute over salary demands, Harper had refused to report for work, missing one episode. The episode was filmed without her. She was back on duty the following week, only to be abruptly dumped and replaced by actress Sandy Duncan. The show was renamed ``Valerie s Family and then ``The Hogan Family. Meanwhile, lawsuits and countersuits flew. In September 1988, a jury decided that Harper was wrongfully fired. She was awarded $1.4 million compensation plus profit participation in the show (which continued without Harper until 1991). ``I felt vindicated, Harper wrote in her memoir. ``I had beaten Lorimar and reclaimed my reputation. During the 1990s, Harper starred in a pair of short-lived sitcoms (one of which, ``City, was created by future Oscar-winner Paul Haggis) and made guest appearances on series including ``Melrose Place, ``Sex and the City and ``Desperate Housewives. She reunited with Moore in a 2000 TV film, ``Mary and Rhoda. And in April 2013, there was an even grander reunion: Harper and Moore were back together along with fellow ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show alumnae Leachman, White and Georgia Engel to tape an episode of White s hit comedy, ``Hot in Cleveland. It was the ensemble s first acting job together in some 36 years. The character of Rhoda ``taught me to thank your lucky stars for a fabulous friend, Harper noted during a news conference, referring to Mary Richards and pointing to Moore and laughing. Harper is survived by her husband, Tony Cacciotti, and daughter, Cristina Cacciotti.
Renowned Egyptian pianist and composer Omar Khairat and his orchestra will conclude the 28th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing with a concert on Sunday 1 September. One of the most popular and celebrated contemporary composers in the region, Khairat has composed the scores for over 50 Egyptian films, including The Sixth Day (1984), The Terrorist (1993), Mafia (2002), Girl s Love (2003), The Embassy in the Building (2005) and Deer s Blood (2006). In television, his memorable works include Lailat El-Qabd Ala Fatma (1984) and Dameer Abla Hekmat (1991). Khairat, 70, also composes music for theatre and special ceremonies, such as the opening of important Egyptian and regional cultural festivals. Khairat has also arranged compositions by celebrated Egyptian musician Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, releasing them as Wahabiat 1 and 2. His arrangements of Oum Kalthoum s songs have also brought him acclaim. Organized by the Ministry of Culture, 45 concerts is being held at the 28th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing between 18 August and 1 September hosting three concerts everyday at the historical venue. Cairo Steps, Massar Egbari, Nesma Abdel Aziz, Ali El-Haggar, Hani Shaker, Medhat Saleh, Dina El-Wedidi and Ghalia Ben Ali were among the performers at the event that is also hoting performances from Algeria, China, Namibian and Venezuela.
From matcha ice cream to cake and chocolate, producers of traditional Japanese green tea are capitalizing on growing global interest in its flavor — even as demand for the drink declines at home. At Shigehiko Suzuki s tea shop in central Japan, adorned with a traditional “noren” drape, the customers are flooding in but more to scoop up gelato or cake than to sip the bright-green tea. In 1998, Suzuki s company Marushichi Seicha started making powdered matcha green tea — traditionally made using a bamboo whisk in a tiny room. The firm now exports 30 tonnes of green tea to the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. “The demand for matcha is rapidly growing in the world… There s demand for ice cream, desserts and coffee,” Suzuki told AFP at his shop in Fujieda, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Japan exported more than 5,000 tonnes of green tea — mainly to the United States — last year, 10 times more than two decades ago. But in Japan, the consumption of green tea leaves for drinking dropped from 1,174 grammes per household in 2001 to 844 grammes in 2015, according to the latest government data — a trend Suzuki puts down to a more westernized diet. “The number of Japanese who regularly drink tea is decreasing while there are more Japanese who enjoy various kinds of food, so tea doesn t sell like before,” said the 55-year-old. Japanese traditionally drink green tea with rice but are doing so less as the diet becomes less dependent on the grain. Sensing the shift, Suzuki branched into matcha-flavoured ice cream nine years ago, opening a shop where customers can choose gelato from seven levels of bitterness. It became so popular, he opened two stores in Tokyo and one in Kyoto, matcha s traditional home. Not many successors Tea growers like 67-year-old Yoshio Shoji are also jumping on the bandwagon to grow matcha leaves — as they command a higher price than “sencha”, needle-shaped leaves used to make the traditional Japanese drink. The matcha leaves sell for 3,100 yen ($30) per kilo on average, compared to 1,400 yen for sencha, according to the Japanese Association of Tea Production. But Shoji said tea fields are shrinking as farmers get too old for the physically demanding work. “The oldest one is over 80. There are not many successors,” he told AFP as he gazed out over his tea fields on the mountain slopes. “The tea price is dwindling and the work is tough.” Tea leaves were first brought from China to Japan in the early ninth century and the tea was treated more as a medicine at that time. Matcha developed in 16th-century Kyoto when tea master Sen no Rikyu established the traditional tea ceremony known as “chanoyu.” Sencha was invented two centuries later and its manufacturing method spread quickly. Now, sencha accounts for half of 80,242 tonnes of green tea produced annually in Japan, compared to 3.3 percent for matcha tea leaves — although production of the latter is growing. Unfashionable Traditional Japanese tea also suffers from something of an image problem, argues Suzuki, as it is considered the preserve of older generations. “It is mainly the over-60s who drink tea. The younger people are, the more they drink coffee… Tea is no longer attractive to customers. Our priority is to boost its appeal,” he said. Some tea rooms are trying to modernize the traditional drink to pull in younger punters. At Tokyo Saryo, a stark-white zen-style space in a quiet neighborhood, “barista” Yuka Ihara brews Japanese tea in special glass cups. “There s the cultural tea ceremony and practical bottled tea. But something in-between, like a cafe where customers can enjoy tea in comfortable surroundings, didn t really exist before,” Ihara said. “It s important to come up with new ways to present and taste tea, as well as new recipes to let people rediscover the value of Japanese tea.” Mikito Tanimoto, creative director who founded Tokyo Saryo in 2017, said Japanese tea is regarded as “unfashionable.” “But we can make it more cool.” But despite these innovative efforts, there is widespread skepticism that the decline can be stemmed. “The Japanese sell kimonos and tea ceremonies — the cultural side — overseas but in the meantime, farmers are crying” because they cannot survive, said Stephane Danton, the French owner of a Japanese tea shop in Tokyo. Danton infuses green tea with various flavors from mango to plum to cater to the palate of foreigners not used to the bitterness of Japanese tea. And while Suzuki has enjoyed some success in expanding his matcha products, he doubts whether the industry can be saved given intense global competition. “As matcha is popular around the world, it s now made everywhere in the world. Japan is no longer the only country making it. We ll face global competition.”
On Monday 26 August, El-Gouna Film Festival (GFF) held a press conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel announcing the launch of its third edition that will run through 19-27 September. This edition will be attended by festival founder Naguib Sawiris, El-Gouna founder Samih Sawiris, CEO and co-founder of the festival Amr Mansi, COO and festival co-founder Bushra Abdallah Rozza, CFO and festival co-founder Kamal Zadeh, CEO of Orascom Development Holding Khaled Bichara, and festival director Intishal Al-Timimi. The festival aims at showcasing a wide variety of films from around the globe, it also seeks cooperation and cultural exchange through connecting filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts through the CineGouna Platform to help Arab filmmakers find artistic and financial support. The festival comprises three official competitions; the Feature Narrative Competition, the Feature Documentary Competition and the Short Film Competition, in addition to the Official Selection Out of Competition and Special Presentations with a total of 80 films in the festival. In the third edition, CineGouna SpringBoard received 133 submissions (92 projects in development and 41 films in post-production), and like every year the CineGouna Bridge will present roundtable discussions, workshops, presentations and master classes with key industry professionals and experts on a wide range of subjects related to the social and business aspects of cinema. Engineer Naguib Sawiris said, "The festival is now an accomplished event around the world despite being only three years old. It has embraced the film scene and its key players. El-Gouna has become a platform that allows civilisations to get closer and dialogue through the exchange of arts and culture.” "Since its inception in 2017, the festival has rapidly built success as one of the leading cultural events in the region.” Engineer Samih Sawiris said, “With Orascom Development s relentless efforts to make El-Gouna a cultural and artistic hub, we are pleased to announce the construction of El-Gouna Convention and Culture Center,” announcing that a new building will host the fourth edition of the festival as well as major orchestras from around the world. COO and co-founder of the festival Bushra Abdallah Rozza said, "One of the names that will be honoured this year is a leading figure of the comedy genre and one of the most influential of his generation, Mohamed Henedy," who will receive GFF Career Achievement Award. "Usually festivals don t honour comedians despite the fact that the comedy genre is very influential in the box office," she said. Festival director Intishal Al-Timimi said, "The GFF will grant the Creative Achievement Award to the acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri alongside the Egyptian star Mohamed Henedy." This year, 12 films are participating in the Feature Narrative Competition, nine films in the Feature Documentary Competition, 23 films in the Short Film Competition, as well as three films in GFF s Special Presentations programme. The festival will be screening 21 films in its Out of Competition section, which brings the present total count to 68 confirmed titles. The Official Selection Out of Competition includes; Parasite, winner of the Palme d Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, Bacurau and Les Misérables, the joint winners of the Jury Prize at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival; Once in Trubchevsk, which was part of the Un Certain Regard section of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival; Pedro Almodóvar s latest film Pain and Glory starring Antonio Banderas, who was awarded Best Actor at the 72ndCannes Film Festival; and acclaimed filmmaker Karim Aïnouz s latest film The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. The jury of the Feature Narrative Competition will include Egyptian film star Sawsan Badr, while the Feature Documentary jury will include Egyptian costume designer Nahed Nasrallah. Film director Marwan Hamed will head the Short Film Competition jury, with Tunisian star Dorra Zarrouk. Celebrating the centennial birth of the late acclaimed Egyptian writer and journalist Ihsan Abdel-Quddous, the GFF will host an exhibition honouring his memory. The exhibition will include his handwritten notes of both fiction and journalistic pieces, representing a large collection of his works as well as certificates of appreciation, exquisite furniture, magnificent paintings, and rare photographs. In the official press release, Al-Timimi said, "This year, we will host retrospective screenings of some newly restored film classics, such as Stolen Kisses (1968) by French auteur François Truffaut and Caméra d Afrique (1983) by Tunisian director Férid Boughedir. Additionally, we have the Egyptian classic The Well of Deprivation (1969) by Kamal El Sheikh, celebrating the centennial of the birth of renowned Egyptian screenwriter and novelist Ihsan Abdel Quddous.” He also commented on the budget decrease in comparison to the first edition, saying, "Budget sustainability is one of GFF s main objectives. In spite of the expansion of the festival activities and programmes, we are not looking forward to having a bigger budget that turns into a burden. In the first edition, up to 85 percent of the budget was provided by the founders, the Sawiris family. In the second edition, however, they contributed 55 percent of the budget. This year, they are contributing around 45 to 50 percent. The rest of the budget is secured by the growing number of companies and entities that are very enthusiastic to be part of the event. “There is also a growing interest from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, as well as other governmental entities, in the festival s activities, and they contribute with logistical support. In this edition, we received support from Orascom Development, Beltone Financial, O West, Orange, Euronews, Carrier, Makadi Heights, This is Egypt, Mercedes-Benz, SIXT, dstore, Concrete, Pepsi and Egypt Air. Generally speaking, there is a growing interest in supporting the festival by many new organisations."
Disney on Saturday released plans for a dozen upcoming movies, ranging from Marvel superhero films and Star Wars blockbusters to Pixar and Disney animations. Here is a run-through of everything newly announced at the D23 fan fest s movies panel in Anaheim, California: - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Lucasfilm is "hard at work" finishing an official new trailer, but unseen footage and a new poster showed Rey and Kylo Ren locked in a duel. The final seconds showed Rey wielding a red, double-sided lightsaber -- immediately dubbed "Sith Rey" online. Naomi Ackie and Keri Russell join the cast. - Black Panther 2 Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and returning "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler would not even confirm the hotly anticipated sequel s title, but did set a release date -- May 6, 2022. - The Eternals "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington and "Crazy Rich Asians" actress Gemma Chan will join an ensemble cast already boasting Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek. Harington will play a "non-eternal." - Black Widow An extended version of last month s Comic-Con footage featuring Scarlett Johansson locked in a fight in a Budapest apartment was shown. New clips showed motorcycle chases, mountains and Rachel Weisz. - Jungle Cruise Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt rode into D23 on a riverboat and a vintage car to promote their live-action film based on Disney s theme park ride. In a good-humored takedown of alpha-male action heroes, Blunt introduced her own trailer telling the story from her character s perspective -- with Johnson s name in comically tiny font. - Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor join the cast for the sequel to the live-action 2014 hit centered on Snow White s villain. A lengthy clip showed Aurora preparing to marry Prince Phillip -- leading to an extremely frosty dinner between her godmother Maleficent and his parents which quickly descends into conflict. - Mulan The panel for Disney s live-action remake was notable for the absence of Chinese-American star Liu Yifei, who triggered the #BoycottMulan movement with her criticism of Hong Kong protests. Film footage showed a young Mulan s disastrous meeting with a highly-strung matchmaker, before teasing fight scenes as she takes the place of her ailing father in the Imperial Army. - Cruella This live-action "101 Dalmatians" prequel will be set in "punk rock" 1970s London. Emma Stone sent a video from the British capital, where filming has begun, and shared a first image of herself in character sporting a Vivienne Westwood-esque shock of black and white hair. Emma Thompson joins the cast. - Soul Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey were announced as the lead voices of metaphysical jazz adventure "Soul." Prominent musicians including Jon Batiste and Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will feature in the film, where souls are trained at an otherworldly "You Seminar" before being dispatched to Earth. - Onward Julia-Louis Dreyfus was revealed as the mother of protagonists Ian and Barley. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt introduced footage setting out plot details of their characters botched quest to bring back their dead father with a magical spell in a faded fantasy world. - Raya and the Last Dragon Cassie Steele and Awkwafina lead the voice cast in this animated fantasy featuring the search for dragons in a fictional, Southeast Asian-inspired world. - Frozen 2 The sequel will explore where Elsa got her powers, and a mysterious past involving her parents. Evan Rachel Wood ("Westworld") and Sterling K. Brown ("This Is Us") join the cast, with original songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez returning. Footage showed flashbacks of sisters Elsa and Anna with their mother, an enchanted forest, and a new song for Elsa (Idina Menzel.)
Egypt s Media Syndicate announced on Saturday that it has banned controversial TV host Riham Saeed from appearing on TV for violating syndicate rules. In a statement, the syndicate added that since Saeed, host of the show “Sabaya al-Kheir”, is not a syndicate member she has been banned until she can sort out her legal situation. The syndicate s decision comes just a day after the Supreme Council for Media Regulation summoned Saeed for investigation regarding offensive remarks made against overweight people during her show. On the latest episode of her show on Wednesday, Saeed discussed obese people and decried them as a burden on the state. The remarks sparked outrage, with Saeed accused of seriously insulting overweight people, especially woman. The union informed the Public Prosecution against Saeed for practicing her profession without a license, a violation of the union s rules of registration. It also warned the Al-Hayat satellite channel to not air anyone unregistered in the syndicate. The Al-Hayat network said that it has suspended Saeed s show, responding to social media fury over her latest episode. The channel said in a statement that the suspension will continue until the conclusion of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation s investigation with Saeed, with the program s future situation to be determined. Al-Hayat stressed that it respects its audience and is committed to providing them with quality and appropriate content. Saeed has been suspended multiple times before. She was suspended for three months in August 2017 for hosting a married woman and her lover on her show, during which guests shared their story of infidelity. Saeed was also suspended for one month in 2016, after she stated that a woman had brought sexual harassment upon herself by wearing “inappropriate clothing.” Her show had earlier been suspended for one month in 2015 after Saeed ignited public fury for insensitive behavior towards an alleged victim of sexual harassment.
Amnesty International says Brazilian government failures are responsible for fires raging in the Amazon rainforest. The comment by the rights group on Thursday came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggested some non-governmental groups could be setting the blazes in retaliation for losing state funds under his administration.
Christopher Stephens has haemophilia A - his body lacks a protein that makes blood clot. A simple graze can mean the two-year-old bleeds uncontrollably. To avoid this he needs treatment every few days with a drug put into his bloodstream via a tube in his chest. But now, NHS England has agreed to fund a new therapy for patients like him. It s a medication that can be given weekly or fortnightly as an injection just under the skin rather than into a vein. Emicizumab, marketed as Hemlibra, mimics the action of the missing protein, factor VIII. Mummy, don t hurt me Christopher s doctors are recommending he stay on his current factor-VIII treatment but consider switching to the new one when he is a bit older. Like other people with haemophilia A, he will need life-long treatment. His mother, Christy, 22, of Surrey, says: "Without treatment, there s the possibility that he could have multiple bleeds every week, every day. "He is quite an active boy, so he bumps his head quite often and obviously there s always the chance of brain bleeds, and bleeds anywhere really, without that factor VIII. "Christopher has severe haemophilia A. He has literally got no factor VIII in his body until we provide it to him." Christopher copes really well with having his treatment - but it can be difficult. "He s really good with it," Christy says. "He s not scared of things or worried. To him, he s a normal child. We try as much as possible to treat him like a normal child. But a couple of weeks ago, he was in hospital because he had a port infection[, where the tube enters his chest]. "And sometimes he ll say to me, Mummy, don t hurt me, when I m doing his injection and that just kills you as a parent." Trailblazing drugs Haemophilia A is a genetic condition most often inherited but can occur spontaneously and usually affects boys and men. Now, about 1,800 patients in England living with severe haemophilia A will potentially be able to have emicizumab. People with less severe forms of the condition (but who have stopped responding to conventional factor-VIII treatment) have been able to get Hemlibra on the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales since 2018. NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: "Giving patients access to world-class, trailblazing drugs and therapies is a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which aims to save thousands more lives. "As a parent, I know that cuts and scrapes happen to kids all the time but for many families these routine accidents can be distressing and life-threatening, so this new treatment will change lives and lift a weight from thousands of parents." The Haemophilia Society chief executive Liz Carroll said: "This decision is fantastic news for our community. "Current treatments can require intravenous infusions multiple times a week which can place a significant burden on people with haemophilia and their carers. "This decision will mean that people will have the opportunity to have treatment less frequently without intravenous access, which will enable many to live their lives more freely.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that British actor, comedian and writer Russell Brand is in talks to join the crew of the upcoming “Death on The Nile” film next year, an adaptation of mystery author Agatha Christie s beloved classic set in Egypt. Published in 1937, the novel revolves around Hercule Poirot, a detective whose plan to visit Egypt to relax on a Nile cruise is dramatically interrupted by murder. Poirot must investigate the death of a newlywed found shot in the head while spending her honeymoon in Cairo. Brand is known for his roles in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008), “Get Him to the Greek” (2010), “Rock of Ages” (2012) and “Army of One” (2016). Screen-written by Michael Green, “Death on the Nile” follows 2017 s “Murder on the Orient Express” directed by Kenneth Branagh, who will be returning to direct the second film and also star as Poirot. Other cast members in the upcoming film include Wonder Woman s Gal Godot and Armie Hammer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie is scheduled for a December 20, 2020 release. “Death on the Nile” was previously adapted in 1978, starring Peter Ustinov who played Detective Poirot alongside a crew that included Bette Davis, Mia Farrow and Maggie Smith, according to The Pioneer.
Renowned Lebanese singer Elissa, 45, revealed that her next album will also be her last. On her twitter account, Elissa broke the news to her fanbase with a heavy heart: “I am preparing this new album with a lot of love and passion. The reason is that it will be the last one in my career. I am announcing this with a heavy heart but with a lot of conviction because I can t work in a field that is similar to mafias. I can t be productive anymore.” The singer has recently recovered from a battle with breast cancer, which she revealed in a music video released on August 2018 titled “Ila Kol Elli Bihebbouni” (For all those who love me)” At the end of the video, Elissa said “I ve recovered. I ve beaten the illness, and I won. Early detection of breast cancer can save your life. Don t ignore it, face it. Do it not only for yourself, but for your loved ones.” Elissa s musical career began in 1992, when she won the silver medal in Studio El Fan music competition according to her Facebook official page. In 2002, she won the Murex d Or award for Best Female Artist. In 2010, she was garnered the Best Arab Female Artist in the Jordan Music Awards and the Big Apple Music Award for the Best Female Artist in the Middle East. Among her most renowned albums are “Ayshalak”, “Bastanak”, “Ayami Beek” and “Asaad Wahdaand Saharna Ya Lail”.
Egyptian singer and actor Khaled Selim will give a concert at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Monday 19 August as part of the 17th International Summer Festival at the Bibliotheca. The concert is being held three days after another appearance by the pop artist at the Damanhour Opera House on Friday. Born in Kuwait but currently living in Egypt, the 43-year-old Selim, who gained his fame with Eish (Live), the theme song of El-Sellem W El-Te ban almost two decades ago, has produced several popular albums in addition to starring in various films and TV series. Organised by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina s Art Center, the festival includes a variety of art activities like music concerts, theatre plays, film screenings, poetry, and stand-up comedy, in addition to a series of workshops and lectures on various aspects of art.
The 10th edition of the Beirut Art Fair (BAF) will be held 18-22 September under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, announced Laure d Hauteville, the BAF s founder and director. D Hauteville together with Joanna Abou Sleiman-Chevalier, artistic director for the BAF, Marie-Mathilde Gannat, VIP coordinator, and Marie Tomb, editorial director, unveiled the fair s programme during a press conference recently held in Beirut. A revealing event in the Middle East, the BAF acts as a catalyst for the artistic and cultural life for Lebanon. D Hauteville reaffirmed the fair s commitment to the discovery of the contemporary art scene, both regional and international. The event also wishes, for this anniversary, to pay tribute to Lebanon through exhibitions of exceptional works from Lebanese private collections. Lynn Tehini, representing Mohammad Daoud, Lebanon s minister of culture, said that “The BAF enjoys a great prestige and is considered a significant event for the cultural, touristic and economic scene of the country. The fair is one of the pillars of the promotion of Lebanon on the international scene of contemporary art. The ministry actively supports BAF and we are proud to celebrate together its tenth anniversary.” D Hauteville reiterated her commitment to promoting openness to innovation by relying on a reinvigoration of artistic programmes and setting new trends. She reaffirmed the core values of the fair: freedom of expression, dialogue of cultures and tolerance. "BAF remains more than ever committed to breaking not only artistic walls, but also interpersonal, psychological and social ones. The fair will present various artistic experiences in parallel with what the galleries stand for — a spirit of openness and innovation." With 50 renowned Lebanese and international galleries showcasing emerging artists alongside recognised talents, BAF confirms its image as a cultural incubator. Coming from 18 countries, it will reflect the rising scene of regional and international contemporary art. Abou Sleiman-Chevalier explained that “The BAF is devoted to discovering the young contemporary art scene, and rediscovering artists whose work might unfairly be less acknowledged. It is this curatorial direction that gives meaning to the fair. This year, the fair will be more contemporary than ever. We are very pleased to present a number of promising young galleries, some of which have been operating for less than a year. We do not focus on a specific region, since the fair is truly part of a global interconnected scene." The BAF relies on a selection committee comprising important figures of the international art scene: Olivia Bourrat, scientific director of Agence France-Muséums, Jean-Marc Decrop, specialised expert in contemporary Chinese and Middle Eastern art, Tamara Inja Jaber, artistic advisor to major collectors and Arab governmental institutions, and Lyne Sneige, arts and culture director at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, DC. On the occasion of the 10 year anniversary of BAF, the organisers invited Rachel Dedman to curate an exhibition. She has selected 10 promising artists from the MENA region following an open call to which more than 400 candidates responded. In addition, the exhibition "Unexpected Trove: The Unseen Works of Hussein Madi" will present a series of paintings from the collection Mazen and Loulia Soueid, which has never been exhibited, including rare landscapes by the renowned Lebanese artist Madi (b. 1938). Painted between 1965 and 1970 during his early years in Rome, the collection, representing a significant phase in the artist s career, was presumed lost for almost 40 years and only recently rediscovered. Curated by Abed Al-Kadiri, the exhibition is taking place under the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Lebanon, and is produced in collaboration with Christie s. "A Tribute to Lebanon" is the title of another inspiring exhibition that explores Western creations inspired by Lebanon from the 18th century to the present day, through works and historical objects from the eclectic and fascinating collection of Philippe Jabre. Gaby Daher, exhibition curator and collector, said: “The exhibition is a journey through time and space. It will invite visitors to discover the image of Lebanon filtered through the Western eye. It will unveil more than 100 exceptional works of art and artifacts, including automata, dolls, photographic albums, historic Orientalist paintings and rare pieces by major 20th century artists, including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, AR Penck, and photographs by Don McCullin taken during the war in Lebanon in the 1980s." Marie-Mathilde Gannat, BAF VIP coordinator, added that “Many museums, private collections and Lebanese foundations will open their doors to VIPs for extraordinary and confidential visits, including the Sursock Museum, Beirut Art Centre, Dar El-Nimer, the MACAM museum, and the art galleries of the American University in Beirut. Important private collections, such as the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Foundation, Nadim Karam s A.MUSE.UM, and Philippe Jabre, will also welcome VIPs. These artistic excursions will be punctuated with convivial moments, dinners and unforgettable evenings which characterise the Land of the Cedars." The five-day fair will offer multiple opportunities for cultural exchange with a rich programme of conferences and roundtables on modern and contemporary art, with a focus on the MENA region. Among topics will be the role of cultural institutions, the factors that shape art and the artist, and the question of "Arabity." The fair s satellite event, BeirutArtWeek (17-24 September 2019), electrifies the Lebanese capital by offering a journey to new experiences throughout the city. From an ephemeral exhibition in a building marked by the war, to a Cuban evening in an abandoned factory, to intimate get-togethers in palaces evoking 1,001 Nights, this series of events mixes contemporary art, dance, and traditional music in atypical places, highlighting the architectural and cultural heritage of the city. Children are equally encouraged to join the festival of colours. The Beirut Museum of Art offers children visiting BAF several workshops led by artists Chantale Fahmi, Soraya Gezelbash and Galeb Hawila.
Amr Diab will perform in the north coast city of New Alamein on Friday, August 16, for the first time. The concert will take place in the Music Arena at al-Masa Complex. The Music Arena can accommodate more than 20,000 spectators and offers the latest equipment. A theater has been prepared with special specifications for this extraordinary event, including the grades VIP, VVIP, and “Lounges.” As Diab prepared for the concert, he announced it on his official social networking pages. He will launch the latest songs of his new album “Ana Gheir” at the concert in addition to a number of his most famous songs. The concert is expected to see a very high turnout from people of all ages. Diab is one of the most famous singers in Egypt and the Middle East. Nicknamed “al-Hadaba” (The Plateau), the superstar has had a long-spanning career that began with his first musical creations in 1983. Over the past three and a half decades, Diab has successfully remained one of Egypt s and the Middle East s top singers, winning awards and selling records. In 2009, Diab won four 2009 African Music Awards for Best Artist, Best Album, Best Vocalist and Best Song for “Wayah”. He is also the only Middle Eastern artist to have received seven World Music Awards.
Our Coptic churches in Egypt and other countries of the Diaspora celebrate the feast of Martyrs (Nayrouz ) which comes on August 11 of each year. It is also known as the Egyptian New Year in the Middle Ages during the Mamluk rule. It is known that Christianity introduced many saints and millions of martyrs and confessors as a result of their persecution from the early Christian times in the first centuries to the fo