July 31, 2014

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  • Cairokee matures with third album

    Cairokee's third album marks a growth in the band’s sound.

    BY MOHAMMED YAHIA Cairo: Egyptian music outfit Cairokee has come a long way from their underground roots. What was once a young band playing out small gigs for a limited pool of fans at Sawy Culture Wheel can now fill big venues packed with thousands singing along to their music. The band’s third album, “Wana Ma’a Nafsy A’ed” (While I’m sitting Here By Myself), released last month, marks a growth in the band’s sound. Since their last record, the everyday life in Egypt has becoming far more complicated, with a lot of confusion and lack of clarity seeping across all…

    Maria TV: Exclusive for niqab

    Screen grab from BBC show on Maria TV where the niqab is mandatory on and off camera.

    BY HEBA HESHAM Cairo: A new TV channel run exclusively by women wearing the face veil provoked a mix of astonishment and denigration as it started broadcasting this Ramadan.”The founder and head of the channel had this idea for a long time in order to end the persecution and discrimination against wearers of niqab,” said Heba Serag El-Din, the program’s director who wore a loose, dark burgundy dress and a black scarf that covered her face except for the eyes. Serag El-Din, who studied directing at one of Egypt’s prestigious universities, was denied a job at a renowned Islamic satellite…

    EFSA to regulate foreign stock trading

    In early June, Kamal El-Ganzoury signed a decree amending the capital market law, making it illegal for brokerages and investment firms to trade in foreign securities.

    BY AMIRA SALAH-AHMED Cairo: A sudden decision to ban Egyptian brokerages from trading foreign stocks will likely be reversed as guidelines are currently being drawn up to attempt to regulate this activity on the market. Ashraf El-Sharkawy, chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, told The Egypt Monocle that an article may be added to the amended capital market law to regulate the way local brokerages and investment firms deal with foreign securities. Over the past two weeks, “we’ve had two meetings with representatives of brokerages and investment firms to [discuss] regulating this activity…to make sure they [investors] are buying…

    Buttered Up: Samosa, Sambusak

    Beef and pine nut samosas.

    BY SARAH KHANNA Thinking back, samosas may have been the first food to confuse me, a never-ending love affair that was tedious to understand. Never knowing what I should call them when chatting with people hailing from different places, never understanding just what were to go in them, I went on a mental hunt quite early on in life to find out just what a samosa was. Stuffed with curried potatoes and peas then folded into tight triangles, these were the samosa I was first acquainted with. Popping them straight onto my tongue from the bubbling oil without a second…

    Knocking on the president’s door

    One of the presidential palaces in Heliopolis.

    BY HEBA HESHAM Cairo: Once recognized as the place where the president receives foreign and official delegations, Egypt’s luxurious presidential palaces are now the public’s complaints offices, a place where Egyptians submit their personal requests. But many say this service is doing little to address their grievances. Shortly after he took office, President Mohamed Morsi ordered the establishment of the so-called Grievances Office, with branches in Al-Arouba and Abdeen’s palaces, to receive the complaints of citizens and work on swiftly finding solutions. This came after a number of protests and sit-ins were organized in front of the palaces, once highly restricted…

    Politics seeps into labor movement

    The Suez strike ended in a violent confrontation with security on July 17.

    BY SARAH EL SIRGANY Cairo: Workers on strike at the Cleopatra Ceramics Factory last Thursday weren’t only demanding  their rights, they were also chanting for Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president. For some, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi represents the other side: a man who can defend their interests in the face of a factory owner long associated with the Mubarak regime. In the Suez and Tenth of Ramadan City facilities, some workers saw their dispute as symbolic of the political struggle gripping the country today. The old regime with its intertwined web of business and politics, represented by factory owner…

    Lincoln, Vampire Hunter misses the mark

    Benjamin Walker and Erin Wasson in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

    BY FIRAS AL-ATRAQCHI It shouldn’t have been very hard to promote “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” The title, after all, is perhaps the film’s strongest marketing tool. Attuned to the social manifestations gripping America today, the film (and its title) plays to both the need for strong leadership qualities in a president and contemporary pop culture’s baffling obsession with the vampire genre. What could be more titillating than having America’s iconic President Abraham Lincoln, the visionary emancipator of slaves and the great unifier of a nation nearly torn apart in 1861, taking to arms himself and doing battles with the ghouls…

    ‘Hayy’ doubles Ramadan nights

    Lebanese artiste Oumeima El Khalil will perform at the Azhar Park's Geneina Theater on the weekend of July 26 and 27.

    BY CHITRA KALYANI Cairo: Keeping in their own Ramadan tradition, Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy this year will feature alternative female voices from the region. And in keeping with tradition, Al-Mawred has some trump cards up their sleeve this year.The Ramadan “Hayy” program, which first began in 2004, will kick off this year with Lebanese artiste Oumeima El Khalilpresenting her music at the Azhar Park’s Geneina Theatre on the weekend of July 26 and 27. Unlike previous years, some artistes this season will give two performances. The culture center is “doubling some artists” this year, said Charles Akl from Al-Mawred, since it is…

    What’s your label?

    The social label called “typical Egyptian” that governs how we perceive and define others and ourselves.

    BY REHAM BARAKAT I drove to the club with my exercise partner and walked in silence until our routine was interrupted by a pleasant lady who asked if she could join us to improve her pace. We immediately engaged in a very enjoyable conversation, discovering mutual interests, ideas and outlooks, and then she left. My friend then turned and said, “That lady is really nice but she’s obviously very different. Typical Egyptians don’t normally approach each other that comfortably.” For some reason I found myself agreeing with her, as though there was a silent rule as to what “typical Egyptian”…

    Play On With Rami: Wetrobots + Bosaina

    bosaina-1

    Today on Play On With Rami we have The Wetrobots + Bosaina, an amazing up and coming electronic outfit featuring Bosaina, Hussein and Ismail. We recorded this interview at their Epic 101 studio where the group explained to Rami the idea behind their name, why Polos are the new indie outfit and why they hate that everyone’s a photographer…even themselves. To listen to this podcast on your mobile device, find us on SoundCloud at Play On With Rami. You can create a SoundCloud account and stream the podcast. Or you can download the SoundCloud app on your iPhone/iPad from the App Store and…

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