Prominent Italian Ballet Troupe “Balletto di Milano” is set to stage the Cairo Opera house, performing “Anna Karenina” on January 22, 23 and 24 at the Main Hall. The event s description lists the show s costume designer as Federico Veratti, visual artist Marco Triaca and music by the legendary P.I. Tchaikovsky. The theatrical performance is adopted from acclaimed novelist Leo Tolstoy s story of Anna, Karenin s wife, a classy woman who happens to meet the bachelor Vronksy, delving into a relationship through which Tolstoy highlights the imperialism of Russian society. Dozens of characters in the story demonstrate love, betrayal, faith, passion and more. Established in Italy and supported by the country s Ministry of Culture, the Balletto di Milano is renowned for introducing a new “cultural phenomena” to the Italian community through its collaborations with international renowned theaters as well as dance festivals across the world. Balletto di Milano was the first ballet troupe to stage the iconic Bolshoi stage, artistically reviving numerous classics including Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet and more.
Over the last few days, Egyptian entertainment channel DMC released a series of short documentaries presenting the variety of art institutes in Egypt. The videos, whose lengths vary between five and 10 minutes each, come three months ahead of the submissions to those schools by potential students. The short documentaries provide the students with insights on the academies missions, their curricula, possible career paths and successes in Egypt and internationally. The videos feature a series of interviews with the schools deans, professors as well as a few of the most successful graduates who already work in the field of their specialisation. The schools featured in each documentary are: the High Institute of Art Criticism, the High Institute of Cinema, the High Institute of Ballet, the Arab Music Institute, the Cairo Conservatory, the Institute for Folkloric Arts, and the High Institute of Theatrical Arts. Many of these are located in a large campus for arts in Cairo or in its close vicinity. An introductory video presents a overview of the schools and history in Egypt. To view all the videos, please visit DMC YouTube channel s documentary section. DMC channel is a general entertainment channel that airs news and talk shows in addition to drama series. It started broadcasting in January 2017.
Egyptian actress Magda Al-Sabahi, whose years of glory marked Egypt s 1950s and 1960, died in Cairo after struggling with illness, Al-Ahram Arabic revealed. Born on 5 May 1939 as Afaf Ali (or Afaf Kamel Al-Sabahi) in Tanta (Gharbia governorate), the Egyptian star was better known as Magda Al-Sabahi, or simply Magda. Throughout three decades of her career, and prior to her retirement from acting, Al-Sabahi appeared in over 60 films, with the most notable roles being those in El-Naseh (1949), Malish had (1954), Hegret El-Rasoul, Ayna Omry (1957), Banat El-Yom (1957), Al-Ragol Allazy Ohebo (1962), El-Omr Lahza (1978), among many others. She played the leading role in Youssef Chahine s historical film Djamila l Algérienne (1958), which tackles the life of Djamila, one of the most remarkable revolutionary women of Algeria.
Award winning Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek has been announced as the latest face of the French fashion brand Yves Saint Lauren, appearing in a newly released a black and white photoshoot boasting several bold looks all in black and white. Featured in the 2020 spring/summer collection by Anthony Vaccarello, Malek rocked pieces including sequined trousers and jackets. Malek was recently nominated a Golden Globe award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama” for his leading role in the USA Network show “Mr. Robot.” The Egyptian-American star previously won the Oscar for Best Actor at the 91st Academy Awards for his acclaimed portrayal of Freddie Mercury, the legendary front man of the British rock band Queen, in the biopic film “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018). Malek beat Christian Bale for the award, who portrayed former American Vice President Dick Cheney that year in “Vice,” as well as Bradley Cooper, who played musician Jack Maine in “A Star Is Born.” He also took the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a leading role. The Egyptian-American actor first came to major attention for his role in “Mr. Robot,” which was created and produced by Egyptian Sam Esmail, who serves as head writer for the show. Malek stars as Elliot, a brilliant cyber-security engineer and computer hacker who suffers from an anxiety disorder. “Mr. Robot” was a life-changing experience Malek considers a turning point in his career. He described the opportunity to take on the leading role in a popular television series as the experience that put him on the map. Malek s next role is a highly-anticipated appearance in the next Jame s Bond adventure “No Time To Die” (2020). Malek will portray a villain armed with dangerous new technology, with Bond hot on his tail to protect the world from a mysterious new adversary – all in a day s work for 007.
When WWII was coming to an end in the mid-1940s, Egyptian cinema was about to usher in a new stage in which it soared by the use of two wings, comedy and singing, relying on new names in most cases. This explains the reason behind the Egyptian cinema welcoming, at the time, singers and songstresses, especially those coming from the Levant courting attention of the Arab audience. This was precisely what happened with Sabah and her companion and countrywoman Nour Al-Hoda. Nour Al-Hoda, whose real name was Alexandra Nicholas Badran, was born in Turkey on 24 December 1924. Her childhood years were spent in Lebanon where she received her primary education. Through her school activity, Nour Al-Hoda discovered she had a beautiful voice, to the extent that they dubbed her “Lebanon s Umm Kulthum,” with the encouragement of her father, who used to write poetry. Although she attained widespread fame in Lebanon at 17 years old, it didn t satisfy her artistic ambition. At the time, the director and actor Youssef Wahbi was visiting Beirut and one of his friends advised him to listen to this girl dubbed Lebanon s Umm Kulthum. Immediately after listening to her, he decided to take her with him on his return to Cairo along with her father Nicholas Badran. In Egypt, Wahbi provided his new discovery with all she needed to accomplish her training. It was agreed that she should change her name to Nour Al-Hoda instead of Alexandra Badran. Wahbi cast her as the leading lady in Jawhara (1943, Youssef Wahbi) and Berlanty the following year. In 1945, she was the leading lady in two films, Miss Bousa (Niazi Mostafa) and Princess of Dreams (Ahmed Galal). Yet, all these films did not satisfy her artistic ambition, which was attained the following year when she starred alongside the most famous Arab composer, Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, in his last film I am not an Angel (1946, Mohamed Karim). It was an acknowledgment from the cinematic and singing fields of Nour Al-Hoda s stardom and her ability to bring success to any film she starred in. Despite the fact that Nour Al-Hoda s artistic career was very brief, acting in only 25 films, she succeeded in becoming an integral part of Egyptian musical films at the time. This was established after she became one of the most capable songstresses by participating in duets with singers and performing musical dialogues on the silver screen. This was the reason behind Nour Al-Hoda s appearance alongside big names in musical films, the first of which was Mohamed Abdel-Wahab. It was followed by pairing with Mohamed Fawzi in Glory and Tears (1946, Ahmed Badrkhan), Nargess (1948, Abdel-Fattah Hassan), Farid Al-Atrash in I want to Marry (1952, Ahmed Badrkhan) and Tell No One (1952, Henri Barakat), Abdel-Aziz Mahmoud in My Lover s Window (1951, Abbas Kamel) and Mohamed El-Kahlawi in Congratulations to You (1949, Abdel Fattah Hassan). It seemed that Nour Al-Hoda was part and parcel of a guaranteed successful commercial formula. However, this approach did not prevent Nour Al-Hoda from simultaneously acting in some important tragedy films. She starred in Betrayal and Torment (1947, Hussein Sedki) and The Avenger (1947, Salah Abu-Seif), among others. Although Nour Al-Hoda did not have exceptional acting abilities, her keenness to choose the simple, helpless girl role made her occupy a special place in the hearts of the 40s audience. In addition, she enjoyed a singing voice that had a singular stamp and suited tragedies, melodramas and light musical comedies. After Nour Al-Hoda acted in Time s Verdict (Henri Barakat) and Qaraqoush s Rule (both 1953, Fateen Abdel-Wahab), her fans were shocked when she vanished from Egypt only to appear in Lebanon, announcing that the 10 years she had spent in Cairo were enough. Rumours began to circulate that she left Egypt due to a dispute with the Tax Authority, and another rumour suggested that her father, who entered the field of film production, was restricting her artistic choices. It was reportedly said that her yearning to go back to the Cairo limelight would drive her to return to Egypt once again. However, this did not materialise. It seemed that she had retired from acting altogether and confined herself to singing on Lebanese Radio. But in 1958 she returned to act in For Whom the Sun Rises (Youssef Fahda) starring Abdel-Hamid Rushdi and Gilda. The film failed spectacularly which pushed her back into retirement. Her retirement continued for 40 years except for a transient participation in the TV series Alhambra Palace (1971). She was keen to appear on TV talk shows in Beirut and Damascus until she was unable to do so due to illness and senility. She died on 9 July 1998 at the age of 74. It is astonishing that Nour Al-Hoda achieved all this fame and immortality in only 10 years. What she presented was original and unique amid a climate that inspired proficiency and perfection.
The administration for the 51st Session of Cairo International Book fair published the transportation routes for the fair, which will open on January 22 and run until February 4. The routes include seven lines with a total of 80 buses, increasing to 100 buses on weekends. The first route starts with Abdel Moneim Riad, passes through Ramses and ends at the book fair with a total number of 15 cars. The second route starts with Abbasiya, passes through the Sixth District in Nasr City and ends at the book fair with a total number of 10 cars. The third route starts with New Nozha, passes through the Seven Buildings and ends at the book fair with a total number of 10 cars. The fourth route starts with al-Amiriya, passes through al-Mataria and ends at the book fair with a total number of 10 cars. The fifth route starts with Giza Square, passes through al-Sayeda Aisha and ends at the book fair with a total number of 15 cars. The Sixth route starts with al-Salam city, passes through Autostrad and ends at the book fair with a total number of 10 cars. The seventh route starts with al-Mazalat, passing through Hadayek al-Qoba and ends at the book fair with a total number of 10 cars. The eighth route starts with May 15th city and ends at the book fair. Prices for every ticket is six Egyptian pounds, the administration said.
With Martin Scorsese s "The Irishman expected to battle "Once Upon a Time in. Hollywood and "1917 for the best picture Oscar in February, all eyes are on the special effects team that made the sprawling crime epic possible. "The Irishman unfolds over decades, with the 76-year-old Robert De Niro and his co-stars playing their characters from their 30s into retirement age, a feat that s made the film one of 2019 s most acclaimed movies. It s all possible through new digital de-aging techniques that in the past year in cinemas have shaved decades from Samuel L. Jackson s face and turned back the clock to the 1990s for Will Smith. When Monday s Academy Award nominations are announced, "Captain Marvel and "Gemini Man could see their names called along with "The Irishman in the visual effects category. Each film has arrived at its reverse aging trick through a different technique, leading some to call 2019 a monumental year for de-aging in film. To many, "The Irishman stands out from the field, thanks to its complete avoidance of "tracking markers _ dots painted onto actors faces which allow computers to mathematically replicate facial movements and manipulate them as the director sees fit. The youthful transitions of "The Irishman are the work of Pablo Helman, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, who s an Oscar nominee for his work on "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and "War of the Worlds. Helman says the decision to forgo tracking markers came directly from Scorsese and De Niro. "He s not going to wear a helmet with little cameras in there, says Helman. "He s going to want to be in the moment with Joe Pesci and Al Pacino on set, with no markers on him. So, if you re going to capture the performance, how are you going to do that? Enter the "three-headed monster, a unique camera rig that has a director camera in the center and two "witness cameras on either side shooting infrared footage. That allowed Helman to eliminate shadows created by on-set lighting. The shadows could potentially interfere with the geometric facial shapes constructed by de-aging software. "You re not interrupting the director s thread of thinking, explains Helman. "You re not changing the light on set, but the computer can see in a different spectrum. While the team at Industrial Light and Magic was working on "The Irishman, another group of technical wizards were experimenting with de-aging at director Peter Jackson s Weta Workshop in New Zealand, creating an entirely digital, 23-year-old version of Smith for the action movie "Gemini Man. "Since I started visual FX 25 years ago it s been the Holy Grail, says Bill Westenhofer, one of the film s VFX supervisors. "You have that many years of expertise of looking at a human face and knowing what s wrong. So, to try and get all the different things together and get it to pull off right, that s been the challenge. To create the character of Junior _ a younger clone of Smith s assassin Henry Brogan _ the superstar wore the traditional gray tracksuit, complimented by a head rig with two cameras capturing his facial expressions via tracking markers. "We decided (on) a ground up approach to build everything from scratch _ from the skull all the way to the skin pores, all the way to the animation and the final kind of oil in the eyes was really the best approach we could take, says Stu Adcock, head of facial motion at Weta. Before filming commenced on both "Gemini Man and "The Irishman, the teams at ILM and Weta drew up test footage to show the films directors that what they were suggesting was possible. For "Gemini Man it was a clip from the 1995 movie "Bad Boys into which they inserted two shots of their new, digital Will Smith and asked Ang Lee to spot the "fake. For "The Irishman, De Niro also returned to the 1990s, performing the Pink Cadillac scene from "Goodfellas before being de-aged in post-production _ convincing an initially skeptical Scorsese that he could bring the long-gestating project to life. Helman and his team then spent two years looking through old movies and cataloging the targeted ages that De Niro, Pacino and Pesci would appear in "The Irishman. They created a program _ similar to that used to create online "deepfake videos where one actor s face is swapped for another s _ which would check their work on the movie was heading in the right direction, with the system "spewing out hundreds of images for cross-referencing. Creating Junior required Smith to spend time in a photogrammetry booth where multiple cameras captured his likeness as numerous lights fired in different sequences, giving a base scan of the actor and analyzing the structure of his face from a skin pore level. Ironically, considering Scorsese s vocal criticism of Marvel movies as "not cinema, a similar system was used to de-age Jackson in "Captain Marvel." A young Nick Fury was created by comparing footage from old Jackson movies with the work the actor did on set _ again, using tracking markers. "I looked at that face as, you know, maybe The Negotiator face, says Jackson, referring to his 1998 movie of the same name, "Fortunately for them and for me, I had enough stuff from that period in my life that they could use a bunch of different facial expressions and films to put that face together that made sense to people who knew me from that time." Darren Hendler, director of the Digital Human Group at Digital Domain and the man responsible for turning Josh Brolin into "Avengers supervillain Thanos, was impressed by Jackson s appearance in the movie. "That s more of a 2D-image based approach where they re taking the actor s performance and then they re painting and tracking certain frames. They re still using some of the actor s performance directly, but they re modifying it. It was very believable. It may not have been exactly what the young Samuel Jackson looked like, but it definitely looked de-aged. "The de-aging of Samuel L. Jackson is absolutely fantastic, agrees Weta s Guy Williams, adding, "different approaches suit different requirements. It s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. That s a sentiment echoed by Helman, who believes that 2019 was a watershed year for VFX. "It s not by chance that we have several movies that have motion capture performance, facial performance, in three or four different ways. That shows that we re all thinking about digital humans. "I mean, we all stand on each other s shoulders, Helman says. "I can t wait for somebody to pick this up and do something else with it, you know?
A Lebanese court has ruled to release the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram s husband Fady al-Hashem, but are preventing him from traveling abroad pending further investigation after Hashem killed an armed robber in the couple s home on Sunday. “The Public Prosecutor in Jabl Lebanon Judge Ghada Aoun decided to release Nancy Ajram s husband Fady al-Hashem following (review of) the files and watching (tapes from) surveillance cameras…Aoun ensured that Fady was acting in self-defense (when he killed the thief),” the court said, adding that Aoun would follow up with the ongoing investigation into the case. Aoun issued on Sunday a decision to arrest the Lebanese star s husband following an exchange of fire between him and Mohamed Hassan al-Mousa, who is originally from Syria, after Mousa allegedly entered the couple s villa in New Suhaila, Keserwan district at dawn with the intention of robbing them, according to the National Information Agency. Hashem alleges that the intruder pointed a pistol in his face and asked him to leave the house, threatening to kill the family if anyone attempted to stop him. When Mousa insisted on heading to a room where the couple s daughters slept, Hashem shot him dead. Pictures spread on social media appearing to show injuries Ajram allegedly sustained during the incident, while another photo showed the Mousa s body laying in a pool of blood.
An economic adviser at the World Tourism Organization and member of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Saeed al-Batouti announced that the number of tourists expected to visit Egypt in 2020 will exceed 15 million, thanks to Egypt s current stability. In an interview with the MENA News Agency, Batouti said that Egypt s tourism sector has significantly recuperated with 13 million tourists having visited Egypt in 2019 due to efforts by the political leadership to support the tourism industry. Also a board member of the German Travel Association (DRV), Batouti added that the Italian and Spanish markets are particular targets for Egypt, with 422,000 Italian tourists having visited Egypt in 2018 while 66,000 from Spain did. He further suggested opening new types of tourism markets for Egypt, such as towards the religious. Batouti said there is global excitement for the launch of the Grand Egyptian Museum, with particular interest from the German market. The number of German visitors jumped from 707,000 in 2018 up to 2.5 million in 2019. Batouti stressed that campaigns designed to promote Egyptian tourism are not enough to attract tourists, and that creativity is the key for coming up with ways to attract people alongside collaboration with travel companies. He signified also the importance of hosting youth conferences in Egypt, as they have played a noticeable role in boosting the nation s tourism sector over the past few years. Praising the recent step of merging the ministries of Antiquities and Tourism together, Batouti said that this would help augment tourist flow into Egypt – especially with the inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum. Lexie Alford, who broke the Guinness World Record as the youngest traveler to visit all of the world s 196 countries at the age of 21, chose Egypt on the top of Forbes “Where to Go Next” 2020 list, referring to the highly-anticipated opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum. Constructed on approximately 500,000 square meters, the mega museum is located near the Giza Pyramids and is expected to be one of the largest museums in the world showcasing artifacts from a single civilization. The museum will break new ground and aims to impress with King Tutankhamun displays, exhibiting artifacts that have never been shown since they were unearthed in 1922. After several years of work on restoration and transportation, the GEM is expected to house around 100,000 artifacts from various periods of Egypt s rich history. Citing Intrepid Travel, AFAR magazine highlighted how Egypt s tourism sector recovered from the major drop in international tourists following the 2011 revolution and several years of unrest. Egypt witnessed a 177 percent increase in the number of North American visitors in 2018, according to Intrepid. A recent report by the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) revealed that the number of visitors to Egypt annually is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next few years from 1.49 million in 2018 to 2.23 million in 2022. The report predicts that travelers coming from Europe to Egypt will represent a major boost to the tourism sector, anticipating 9.1 million tourists in Egypt in 2022 compared to just 6.2 million in 2018.
The General Authority for Veterinary Services issued new conditions for obtaining a pet dog license, while also mulling an increase in the license s prices in coordination with veterinary directorates across the country. The conditions stipulate that dog owners must apply for a license to the veterinary department located in the area of their residence. The authority further requested a number of documents be submitted and steps be taken by the owner which include an animal registration card, immunization against rabies, examining the dog at a veterinary unit before proceeding to the licensing procedures, and paying the license fees. The license will be issued within three days at the latest from applying for it, it added. The owner is required to attach the license to the dog s neck and the license must clarify its validity period, which is one year from the date of applying for the license.
Lebanese pop superstar Nancy Ajram has said she is "fine" after her husband shot an intruder to death in her villa in New Sheileh, Lebanon. "I am fine," Ajram, who sustained a minor leg injury in the incident, told Lebanese TV channel MTV on Sunday, thanking all the people who called her. Early on Sunday, Ajram s husband Fadi Al-Hachem shot dead an intruder, identified by the prosecution as Mohamed Hassan Moussa, who allegedly broke into the home with the purpose of theft. The couple s children were in the house at the time of the incident. Al-Hachem has been detained by police for questioning. "I am fine, my family is fine. I can t talk right now," Ajram told a reporter at her home. Ajram shot to fame with the Akhasmak Ah video clip almost two decades ago, and has since become one of the most popular pop singers in the Arab region, producing a series of hit albums and starring in the most prestigious international talent shows.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi s new “Maternal Health Initiative” is set to launch in 5,300 health facilities across Egypt in the coming days, aiming to provide health screenings to pregnant women to detect and treat genetic and communicable diseases while raising awareness about maternal and reproductive health. An official source with the Health Ministry said that a doctor and a nurse in each clinic are set to follow up on health screenings for pregnant women across the country as part of the initiative. The initiative aims to detect genetic diseases likely to be transmitted from the mother to her unborn child, according to the source, who added that the program also hopes to raise awareness on the possible dangers of marriage between relatives and genetic diseases associated with the practice. Meanwhile, communicable diseases transmitted from the pregnant mother to her child include syphilis and Hepatitis C, the source from the Ministry said, adding that the initiative Includes screenings for Hepatitis B as well. An infection of Hepatitis B during pregnancy may lead to bleeding in the last trimester or a premature birth. He explained that syphilis can be transmitted from the pregnant mother to the fetus and has been linked to birth defects, which increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of the child shortly after he or she is born. He added that the mother might be unaware that she had contracted syphilis, especially since the STD often does not show symptoms. Primary care, population and family planning sectors held a meeting on Wednesday and identified a package of services for pregnant women in primary care units and family planning centers, the source added. The Maternal Health Initiative also aims to raise awareness on reproductive health, hoping to educate on safe methods of contraception and family planning across the country, the Ministry source said. Early detection of adverse conditions associated with pregnancy and information on maternal health and nutrition are also cornerstones of the new program.
An announcement that will take certain e-cigarette flavors off the US market is coming soon, President Donald Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday. "We re going to protect our families, we re going to protect our children and we re going to protect the industry," Trump said, adding some products could "very quickly" return to the market. Multiple outlets reported Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration plans to announce a ban on the sale of cartridge-based e-cigarette flavors other than tobacco and menthol later this week. The plan was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. An FDA spokeswoman told CNN the agency had no comment or information to share. The White House did not respond to CNN s request for comment. Citing administration officials, the New York Times reported the sales ban would not apply to tank vaping systems common in vape shops. Cartridge-based e-cigarettes have been popular among underage users. Juul, the leading e-cigarette maker, has previously stopped selling flavors including mint, mango, creme and cucumber. Trump administration officials announced in September the FDA would try to curb a youth vaping epidemic by stripping all flavors except tobacco from the market. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the time that flavored-product manufacturers would also have the opportunity to file for approval from the FDA, but their products would be off the market until approved. Questions and criticism have followed since then. Vaping advocates say a flavor sales ban would curtail some adult smokers efforts to quit, put small vaping companies out of business and eliminate jobs. A Trump campaign adviser previously told CNN that Trump s political aides have warned him that such a ban may not be helpful with his base and that he should reconsider. Health and anti-tobacco advocacy groups have urged the Trump administration to take all flavored products, including menthol, off the market. More than 5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2019, according to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey published in December. For the sixth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school students. Studies published in the medical journal JAMA in November found that nearly 60% of high school students who vape use Juul, the market leader, and mint was the most popular flavor among US 10th and 12th graders. An estimated 2.4 million high school and middle school students use flavored e-cigarettes, one of the studies found. Fruit was the most commonly reported flavor category, at 66.1% for high school and 67.7% for middle school, followed by menthol or mint at 57.3% for high school and 31.1% for middle school. In a statement on Tuesday, Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the reported Trump administration policy "falls woefully short of the bold action the Administration promised." "By leaving menthol flavored e-cigarettes widely available and totally exempting liquid flavored products, this policy will not stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic. It is a capitulation to both Juul and vape shops and gives a green light to the e-cigarette industry to continue to target and addict kids with flavored products," Myers statement said in part. CNN has reached out to Juul for comment. Juul has previously noted its action to prevent youth vaping, including halting sales of flavors, implementing age verification tools and supporting legislation to bring the legal age to use tobacco to 21. Stanton Glantz, director of University of California, San Francisco s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said that the reported sales ban is "better than nothing" to curb youth vaping, but likely will have less of an impact than the outright flavor ban originally promised. "It is a step forward. Although menthol is by far and away the most important flavor and what the evidence is showing is when you get rid of the other flavors, kids just go to menthol," Glantz said. Additionally, "the fact that they are exempting the tank systems is very concerning because there is even less quality control on the tank systems than the closed systems," he said, noting that tank systems are currently a "relatively small" part of the vaping market. In December, the sweeping spending bill President Donald Trump signed into law included a measure that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. As of last week, the FDA said on its website, "it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product -- including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes -- to anyone under 21."
Egypt s Red Sea Governorate hosted tourists from more than 35 countries over the Christmas holidays, and occupancy rates at resorts at the popular vacation spot have increased to 90 percent, with some anticipating 100 percent occupancy for hotels on Christmas Day in Egypt, which is celebrated by Orthodox Christians on January 7th, according to a report from Egyptian newspaper al-Watan. The Red Sea beaches are a popular tourist destination for foreigners and Egyptians alike, and the area is home to 278 hotels and resorts. Hurghada International Airport and Marsa Alam International Airport have also received an increase in flights from various European countries, especially Germany, Italy and Poland. The airport officials greeted tourists with adornments, flowers and other gifts for the holiday. Tourists from all over the world visited the Red Sea Governorate, with a majority of foreign visitors coming from Germany, Britain, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Serbia, Croatia, and Scandinavian countries, according to al-Watan. Tourism sector expert Essam Ali said that Red Sea hotels witnessed high rates of occupancy compared to previous years, with a number of foreign and Egyptian tourists deciding to visit Egypt during the Christmas holidays. Head of Tour Guides in the Red Sea Bashar Abu Talib clarified that the area has hosted a diverse group of tourists from 35 different countries, following the opening of new tourist markets in Ukraine, Finland, Slovenia, Serbia and Scandinavian countries. The once-ailing tourism sector in Egypt appears to be on its way to recovery after years of instability. Earlier in November, AFAR, an award-winning travel magazine, ranked Egypt fourth among the world s 10 Fastest-Growing Tourist Destinations, with the country s tourism sector recording a 36.8 percent increase. It was not the first time the country was featured in the magazine — Egypt topped AFAR s rankings in 2018 when growth in the tourism sector reached 55.1 percent. Egypt also topped The Independent s new travel recommendations list for 2020 this month, with the newspaper urging people from around the world to pay a visit to Cairo s much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum. Egypt also made it to the top of the list of emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destinations for Americans in 2020, according to the results of annual travel trends released by the United States Tour Operators Associations (USTOA). “Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA. “It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years,” resumed Dale. According to official figures provided by The Independent, 11 million people visited Egypt last year. Moreover, the English newspaper has predicted a remarkable comeback for the Egyptian tourism sector, especially given the resumption of flights to the South Sinai vacation spot Sharm el-Sheikh. The first UK flight to Sharm el-Sheikh since the 2015 ban landed two weeks ago at Sharm El-Sheikh International airport, following a four-year hiatus after a bomb exploded on a Russian plane flying over Egypt s Sinai, killing all 224 people on board. In its latest report “Egypt tourism fastest-growing in North Africa,” the UK s leading tourism publication Travel Weekly linked the noticeable growth in Egyptian tourism to improved security in the country.
French pianist Richard Clayderman will give a concert at Al Manara Inernational Convention Center on Friday 14 February 2020. The Prince of Romance , born Philippe Pagès, has had a career spanning 40 years of music. After studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, his career kicked off in 1976, when record producers Olivier Toussaint and Paul de Senneville selected him to record a gentle piano ballad for de Senneville s baby daughter. Ballade Pour Adeline (Ballad for Adeline) went on to sell 22 million copies in 38 countries, earning Clayderman international acclaim. He has since recorded over 1,300 melodies, and has established a signature style which combines his trademark originals with classics and pop standards. His record sales are over 150 million, with 267 gold and 70 platinum albums. Programme: Friday 14 February 2020, at 9pm Al Manara International Convention Center, New Cairo The tickets price ranges between LE 750 and LE 3000. Tickets can be purchased via Tickets Marche
Beatles tribute band Glass Onion is set to play at Al-Gomhoreya Theater on December 31, with the set list expected to include a diverse collection of cover songs from the legendary English pop band. “Glass Onion is a band that brings The Beatles music to life. Taking you on a Fab Four Journey from the early days of Love Me Do to the psychedelic era of Strawberry Fields Forever and the swansong of Let It Be,” the event s description on Facebook reads. Founded in 2010, the Beatle s cover band is made up of four musicians — guitarists Kareem Ghalid and Hany Mustafa, bassist Amir Shawky and drummer Magued Nagati. Glass Onion has played at diverse music venues across Egypt, including the BCA (British Community Association) in Mohandeseen and in Maadi, Cairo Jazz Club, Uptown Cairo, Biblotheqa Alexandrian Arts Center, Cairo Opera House and The British Embassy in Cairo. The band has also collaborated with other musicians like the Awtar String Quartet, performing songs outside of their traditional Beatles repertoire. The Beatles, with core members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, originally got their start playing in clubs in Liverpool in 1960. The English pop group has been celebrated around the world for its rock and pop hits and is considered by some to be one of the most influential bands of all time.
Egypt s iconic comedic puppet character “Abla Fahita” is coming back to TV screens, but this time, she will star in a comedy-drama series set to be released on the streaming giant Netflix in 2020, according to an official statement. Produced in collaboration with OKWRD and ASAP productions alongside EP Amin EL Masri, the series will test Fahita s acting skills for the first time, following the puppet as her life is turned upside down. “We are very excited to be collaborating with Abla Fahita, one of the most prominent comedians in Egypt and the wider Arab region. We are looking forward to working with Abla Fahita in order to bring our Arab and international audience a fun innovative series full of laughter and excitement,” said Netflix Director of International Originals Ahmed Sharkawi. Fahita also commented on the news of her new Netflix debut: “Damn this globalization! I barely had enough time for my own show and now they want me to do a series.” Fahita went on to say that she only considered Netflix s offer because the show will be available in over 20 languages and aired in 190 countries worldwide. “I always say that Egyptian comedy is a great product for export after Egyptian cotton. And it s obvious how the world today is a sad place in dire need of laughter,” Fahita continued, insisting that nothing can beat the Egyptian sense of humor, which she says can successfully conquer the world s melancholy. The Fahita puppet character made her debut on Youtube, where she introduced her puppet “family” in a series of comedic videos that went viral on social media platforms at the time. Later in 2014, Fahita solidified her media career after launching a TV Show on CBC Channel called “Abla Fahita live from the Duplex.” The show centered on Fahita as she interviewed various celebrities, including Hany Shaker, Mahmoud El Eissely, Fifi Abdou, Hala Sarhan, Dhafer L Abidine, Hamada Hellal, and Rania Youssef, among others. The show was known for its dark humor and sharp sarcasm, with Fahita commenting on various hot topics in Egypt, occasionally getting the puppet into hot water. Fahita is also known for collaborating with prominent Egypt composer Hassann El-Shfei, who was featured with her in a video clip that went viral on various social media platforms and garnered more than 21 million views on YouTube. Fahita s debut on Netflix will be the second Egyptian series to be broadcasted on the streaming giant. In May 2019, Netflix announced it was collaborating with famed Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy and director Amr Salama on an adaptation of late legendary writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik s Paranormal series of novels. In another indication that Netflix is ready to embrace Arab television, the platform has also revealed a new original Arabic series set to debut on the website. “AlRawabi Schools For Girls” is directed by Jordanian producer and actor Tima Shomali and written by Shomali and writer Shirin Kamal, and the series is being produced by a Jordanian production company founded by Shomali, according to an official statement by Netflix Media Center. The new Arabic series comes after Netflix s first ever-Arabic supernatural drama “Jinn,” which was directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and written by Jordanian screenwriter Bassel Ghandour.
No political correctness here, no catharsis, no punishment for the offender and no glorification of the American dream or any other dream. When you watch “The Irishman” or “I Heard You Paint Houses” by great American filmmaker Martin Scorsese -- the former having been screened at the opening of the Cairo International Film Festival last November -- you have to put aside all you bear in mind not only about films in general, or American films in particular, but about the process of watching films itself. Scorsese does not – and doesn t want to – respect cinematic or even political rules. His only interest is to put another building block -- that the present writer is one of many people who believe it is the last one -- in his favourite cinematic project to disclose the alliance between organised crime and political corruption, or between the mafia and the ruling class, in the United States; he wants to unmask the American society as an entity based on the logic of force, financial corruption, abuse of influence and forgery, even in the election that is said to be the most democratic worldwide. The film, however, is not the work of the imagination of its writer and maker, it is based on real characters and events dealt with in a book with the same title (I Heard You Paint Houses) by Charles Brandt. The veteran director doesn t glorify the idea of the American dream, he rather reminds the Americans and others, as he has done in previous films, of the nightmare of building the American "civilisation" with force, suspicious financial transactions, corrupt politicians and leaders of organised crime. The US flag appears only to challenge the Federal Union itself. When Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the teamster union leader allied with the mafia, notices the American flag lowered on the union s headquarters to mourn the assassination of president John Kennedy, he hurries in anger to raise it, not out of respect for the flag or for the nation it represents, but out of refusing to mourn Kennedy whom Hoffa hates because he thinks he made his way to the White House with the help of the mafia. However, he appointed his brother Robert as attorney-general to pursue its leaders and make their lives miserable. Thus, the camera of the film is higher than the flag when it is raised again. On the dramatic level, Scorsese doesn t care whether the audience knows, from the very beginning, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) s fate, and understands, in a crime film based on excitement and suspense, that the hero won t be killed. By starting the film with the hero in his 80s in an old home, the filmmaker kills suspense. In fact, he doesn t seek the usual kind of suspense in this film; he uncovers every character s fate as soon as it is shown on the screen, with a sentence written on a fixed shot, except for three main ones: Sheeran whose fate we know from the very beginning as mentioned above; Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) who will live safely and whose fate we can deduce as he is a main character represented as “a little God” controlling everything; and Hoffa whose fate is hidden as the only surprise in the end. Instead of the usual suspense, the filmmaker wants the audience to share the hitman Sheeran s long confessions with him, as the audience is all he has left after the death of all his friends, and after his wife and daughters abandoned him. He realises, too late, that they suffered from his career and bad deeds, especially his daughter Peggy, played wonderfully by Anna Paquin, who realised how cruel he is in her childhood and decided to abandon him. Scorsese and scenarist Steven Zaillian want us to share the confessions to the extent of conspiracy, not only with Sheeran but also with Bufalino and Hoffa. You might find yourself sympathising with one of them, or even convinced with what Sheeran gives as reasons of his crimes; that he wanted "to protect his wife and daughters from surrounding dangers" and had no other means to do so. Nevertheless, after your "conspiracy", Scorsese doesn t give you any kind of (catharsis) usually used in classical drama; Sheeran doesn t pay for his crimes; he moreover doesn t repent in the attendance of the priest. When the latter asks him, “Don t you feel sorry for the families of the victims?” he answers: “No, because I don t know any of them, except for one.” As the dramatic construction of the film is based on the continuous overlap of times and flashback scenes, it was difficult to have three young actors to play the three main characters when they were younger. De-aging technology was used to enable De Niro, Pesci and Al-Pacino, who are all over 75, to play the roles of the three characters in their 30s and 40s. The new technology was tested when De Niro recreated some of his scenes in “Goodfellas”, a previous Scorsese film, and achieved amazing results. De Niro said that this technology could prolong his career for 30 more years. De-aging requires shooting with two cameras, each with three lenses. It wasn t an easy task in a film of 309 scenes and 108 days of shooting in 117 locations. That is why its budget jumped to $159 million. However, it is more difficult on the artistic level. Using technology isn t enough to make old people young; performance has to cope with the shooting results of the two cameras and six lenses. The three stars have to keep their backs straight; their heads raised, and increase the speed of their rhythm. You can imagine the great effort they put into this movie. With the help of stunts in many scenes, Scorsese also exerted a great effort, in addition of course to his talent and long experience. With an amazing result on the screen, it is impossible to distinguish any of the previous tricks while watching. You keep asking, instead, how did they do that? Put aside technical details, De Niro, Pesci and Al Pacino s performances are marvellous and could stand as a lesson in acting. Al Pacino as Hoffa, in particular, is one of the best cinema performances I have ever seen.
The production company for James Bond s highly-anticipated next adventure “No Time To Die” (2020) has unveiled several new glimpses into the film, showing American-Egyptian Oscar winning star Rami Malek as the film s villain. Malek will portray a foe armed with dangerous new technology, with Bond hot on his tail to protect the world from a mysterious new adversary – all in a day s work for 007. Bond had quit active service to finally start a calm life – only to be disturbed by an old friend from the CIA, asking for help to save a kidnapped scientist who unexpectedly defected, leading Bond on the trail of his newest adversary. Expected to hit cinemas in April 2020, the film s stars include Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Leah Siddox, Ralph Vines, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Harris, Billy Magnusson, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Wishaw, Lashana Lynch and is directed by Cary Fukunaga. Malek talked to Empire Online Magazine about how his Freddie Mercury role deeply influenced his stint as a villain for the upcoming project. The most important lesson he learned from his Bohemian Rhapsody experience is the significance of being original, Malek said. “If I went in there and tried to make a carbon copy of someone, what joy or fun would that be for anybody?” he explained during the interview, adding that if it wasn t original “then why bother?” He added that he s worked hard to express something in his next character he felt worked for the role – and warned it might turn out shocking. Malek said he spent a long time with dialogue coach William Conacher to devise an impressive voice for the villain. “I wanted to create something that we couldn t quite peg from any particular part of the world,” he told Empire. Malek was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for his leading role in the USA Network show “Mr. Robot” in December 2019. He previously won the Oscar for Best Actor at the 91st Academy Awards for his exceptional portrayal of Freddie Mercury, the legendary front man of the British rock band Queen, in the biopic film “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He beat Christian Bale for the award, who portrayed former American Vice President Dick Cheney that year in “Vice,” as well as Bradley Cooper, who played musician Jack Maine in “A Star Is Born.” Malek also took the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role based on bis performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a leading role. The Egyptian-American actor is well known for his role in “Mr. Robot,” which was created and produced by fellow Egyptian Sam Esmail. Malek stars as Elliot, a brilliant cyber-security engineer and computer hacker who suffers from an anxiety disorder. “Mr. Robot” was a life-changing experience that Malek considers a turning point in his career. He has described the opportunity to take on the leading role in a popular television series as the experience that put him on the map.
Algerian singer and songwriter Souad Massi is set to stage New Cairo s al-Manara Center to exclusively perform her new song “Pays Natal” from her freshly released album “Oumniya” for the first time, on December 27. The concert comes as part of a larger tour that will roam various countries around the world such as Belgium, Austria and several cities in France. Based in Paris, Massi is known for her deep loyalty to the classical Arabic language, presented in her music enfused with different genres including Spanish Flamenco, American folk, and more. A variety of cultures and poets inspire the 47-year-old singer s work which expresses topics such as love, loss, hope. She has several albums including “al-Mutakallimun” (2015), “Deb” “(2015), “Ô Houria” (2010) “Meesk Elil” (2006) and Raoui (2001) Massi s debut album which was on the UK s Wrasse Records label. Massi further enriched her music career with singles in French and Arabic such as “Je Chante” (I Sing), “Noir Et Blanc” (Black and White), “Ya Kelbi” (My Heart), “Paris” among others. Massi first participated in Paris s “Femmes d Algerie” festival in 1999.
Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry announced on Thursday that he is making an appearance as “Commander Trach” in the latest installment of the popular Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Masry shared on his Instagram a promotional image of the movie, commenting: “Star Wars — I don t know how to describe my feelings. I am lucky to take part in this historical event. Thank you J (JJ Abrams) so much for giving me the opportunity to be in this movie.” “It s been tricky keeping it under wraps until now, but I can finally say I may or may not be making a little cameo in there as Commander Trach,” the actor continued. “Feeling incredibly lucky to be a part of this massive franchise.” Masry has made appearances in a number of foreign work, such as the TV series “Transporter” (2014) and the comedy film “Lost in London” (2017). The young actor has also made a splash in Egyptian cinema, having been features in “Ramadan Mabrouk Abu Al-Alamein Hammouda” (2008) starring Mohamed Heneidy, and “Al Thalatha Yashtaghaloonaha” (2010) starring Yasmine Abdel Aziz.
A few days ago, Egypt witnessed a major historical military achievement as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi opened the South Bernese military base, in the presence of a number of Arab and foreign heads of state and defense ministers and high-ranking diplomatic figures. The South Bernice Military Base was built in a record time, as it took only one year to build one of the giant military fortresses on the southern strat