July 26, 2014

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  • Play On With Rami: Adam Awad

    Photo by Nada Elissa.

    We’re Back! Today on the Podcast we have local musician Adam Awad. The half-British half-Egyptian all awesome guy has a unique folk style which is rare to come across in Egypt. He tells us about growing up bouncing around from the UK to Saudi and then finally Egypt. Find out why he almost never continued as an artist due to rave reviews of his first recording and listen to a premiere of his latest song “Simplicity” on the podcast. He currently is in the Rolling Stones Middle East’s competition Street To Stage, so make sure to go over to www.rollingstoneme.com/sts…

    Media and Egyptian identity

    In "Ordinary Egyptians" Ziad Fahmy delves into the homogenizing influence of the media on Egyptian society.

    BY KATHARINA GOETZE Bookstores have seen a flood of publications on media and popular culture in Egyptian society since the revolution, some more profound than others. Ziad Fahmy’s recent book provides an enlightening read for all those interested in the role played by popular media in Egypt long before the “Facebook revolution.” In “Ordinary Egyptians,” Fahmy takes a few steps back to examine the five decades between 1870 and 1919 when the modern Egyptian nation was forged. Against the backdrop of British colonial power in Egypt, growing centralization and the rise of the urban middle class, new forms of mass…

    Reel Estate: Arabs in Sight & Sound poll

    Scene from Youssef Chahine's classic "Cairo Station" shows Chahine and Hend Rostom.

    BY JOSEPH FAHIM The Sight & Sound greatest movies of all time poll, which was published earlier this month, is unparalleled in its ability to seize the attention of movie critics the world over. Conducted every 10 years, the survey is the most prestigious, most highly regarded in the world, acquiring its importance from the fact that only film professionals (critics, writers, academics and directors) are eligible to vote. This year, the venerable British Film Institute publication invited 846 film critics, writers and academics and 358 directors, up from 145 critics and 108 film directors who voted for the last…

    Buttered Up: Lunchbox pasta

    Pesto Pasta Salad. (Photo by Sarah Khanna)

    BY SARAH KHANNA My lunch box was not a friend. I didn’t bond with it, would not look forward to hearing it snap open and found no pleasure in its content. Considering it a waste of my arm’s energy, I slugged it over to school reluctantly, with a new trick I had learned — the eye roll. The only thing I liked about it was that I’d choose a new one each year, reflecting my ever-morphing personality through brightly colored images glued onto boxed plastic. In the first grade, I was dubbed a “cookie monster”, protesting against sandwiches until I…

    Op-ed: Owners of the revolution

    Bird's eye view of Cairo. (Photo courtesy Marwa Sameer Morgan)

    BY REHAM BARAKAT It’s Eid. Kahk (cookies) is overflowing; amateurish and almost dangerous fireworks light up the sky; fire-crackers are startling and there is an assumed spirit of joy.But not for everyone. There are millions of Egyptians living below the poverty line. In extreme cases, we know that unlike what we were brought up to believe, that “nobody in Egypt sleeps hungry,”  some people are eating out of piles of garbage whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. I say this because unfortunately there are some people who ignore these facts or even worse, believe that it’s not a…

    Op-ed: Our fabled Arab rulers

    File photo of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    BY AMRO ALI Saudi Arabia’s revered King Faisal once remarked: “If anyone feels wrongly treated, he has only himself to blame for not telling me. What higher democracy can there be?” This line of “reasoning” has permeated the thinking of Arab rulers in which somehow they are the personification of a popular mandate and that democratisation is misunderstood by the wider population. Yet it’s one thing when Arab rulers say it, it’s another when the Arab public quotes and endorses it. One of the ideational stumbling blocks to the Arab uprisings and democratic transitions is a public adept at citing…

    Egypt ups IMF loan request to $4.8 bln

    IMF Chief Christine Lagarde.

    BY AMIRA SALAH-AHMED Cairo: Egypt’s new government has officially requested a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, significantly higher than the original $3.2 billion on the table since July 2011. The five-year loan comes at an interest of 1.1 percent with a 39-month grace period, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil said Wednesday at a conference with IMF chief Christine Lagarde. “The loan should be finalized before the year’s end or sooner if possible,” Qandil said, “and our program will focus on the budget deficit, supporting investment and targeting subsidies to the poor.” “This is a homegrown program developed by…

    Op-ed: Can laughter change Egypt?

    Photo taken during Egypt's January uprising at the center of Tahrir Square shows sketches, jokes and slogans. (Photo by Rania Al Malky)

    BY MARK PETERSEN Oxford, Ohio That Egyptians are funny is a well-known Arab stereotype. Egyptians are said to be khafiift id-damm (light of blood) — able to turn things that would make anyone else’s blood boil into a joke. Before the revolution, this was often expressed in everyday life through political satire – jokes about politicians, the police and the president himself challenged the status quo and poked fun at the pretensions of the powerful. But because these jokes were told privately, among friends and family, they had little effect upon the regime’s grip on power. However during last year’s…

    Qandil: Technocrat vs. revolutionary

    Hisham Kandil, Egypt's new prime minister.

    BY NICHOLAS OXENHORN  Hesham Qandil, prime minister of mystery. At least he seems to be, as in no one knows very much about him. So can we make any judgments about the man who will lead Egypt’s first non-transitional post-Mubarak government? Do we know his perspectives? His opinions? His ideology? His inclinations? In response to criticism of his religiosity and out of concern that he may be from out political group or another, he proclaimed himself a “technocrat.” What does this designation mean and is it meaningful? What we do know is that Qandil has worked on water management issues…

    Op-ed: Transparency first

    Until today, there has been no transparency in explaining the reasons behind excessive power cuts nationwide. (Photo courtesy Marwa Sameer Morgan)

    BY REHAM BARAKAT Mark Twain once said: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything,” reflecting that once we are guided by honesty, we can live in peace because we don’t have to worry about following up on what we have said. It makes perfect sense, and you would think that this would be the premise upon which politicians would build their communications strategy — truth and complete transparency. But somehow this doesn’t always appear to be the case. Why this issue matters is because despite Egypt having a democratically elected president, we are evidently still going…

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