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CAIRO, June 21, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt will have a holding company for investment in the fields of culture and the film industry upon a decision issued by Culture Minister Enas Abdel-Dayem.

The decision comes in light of the state's keeness to support culture and the film industry, the Ministry of Culture said in a press release on Wednesday.

"It comes also in view of efforts exerted to promote the artistic and professional levels; to revive the film industry ; to restructure the system of preserving the country's cultural legacy;  and to enrich the work of the cultural and cinema community," added the statement.

The decision has been welcomed in the cultural and cinematic communities as it will promote the cultural movement at large in Egypt as part of the country's 2030 vision for sustainable development.

CAIRO, May 17, 2018 (MENA) - The Arab League underlined the importance of cultural diversity in enriching different civilisations and building bridges of communication among individuals with different cultural backgrounds.

Holding an intercultural dialogue is the best way to know the other, spread values of tolerance, understanding and mutual respect and enhance international peace and security, the Arab League said in a statement on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which falls on May 21.

The pan-Arab body underlined the importance of this occasion in promoting awareness related to cultural diversity and acceptance of the other.

CAIRO, May 17, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Ambassador to Burundi Abir Bassioni has praised Egypt's win of the best picture award at Burundi Film and Audio Arts Festival FESTICAB.

Egyptian film Shad Agza' (Pulling parts) produced by Hassan al Minyawi won the prize and a certificate of merit for using state-of-the-art technology.

The Egyptian movie was competing with 69 others including nine from Burundi.

FESTICAB is the major film festival in Burundi which promotes the diversity of the African cinema. Egypt has taken part in the festival for the first time this year although FESTICAB was launched ten years ago.


CAIRO, May 10, 2018 (MENA) - Minister of Culture Enas Abdel Dayem and her Saudi counterpart Awwad Saleh al Awwad on Thursday reviewed means of boosting bilateral cooperation in culture and arts.

The meeting comes within the framework of the Saudi minister's visit to Egypt to attend the 49th session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

The Egyptian minister stressed the robust ties with Saudi Arabia, expressing her enthusiasm about several ambitious plans to bolster cooperation in the field of arts.

She said Saudi Arabia wants to benefit from the Egyptian expertise in the management of specialised institutions that teach various types of arts as a way to confront terror. 

The Egyptian minister accepted an invitation from the administration of "Souk Okaz" festival in Ta'if, in the kingdom, to participate in the festival as a guest of honour.

Egypt's participation involves evening shows, literary and poetry symposiums, and artistic performances.

By Ramadan A. Kader

“I think we no longer exercise our willpower and that the contemporary man has resigned himself to the cushy, pleasant life like a piece of wood involuntarily flowing with water current.

“This is the exact wording: Doing what you have to do, what you are expected and usually do... .

“This means that the contemporary man has been deprived of instinctive spontaneity and the adventure spirit. This adventure spirit was the one that led the first human flock to discover the fire, exploring the plains and the desert, thus saving the infant humanitarian species from claws of the ice ages.”

Set in a futuristic world in the 24th century, “Al Sayed Men Haql Al Sabanekh” (The Man of the Spinach Field) by Egyptian writer Sabry Moussa marks a welcome addition to the Arabic genre of science fiction. The dystopian novel, first serialised in the Egyptian magazine Sabah Al Kheir in 1981, features the protagonist Mr Homo, who works on a high-tech spinach field.

Events unfold when one day he departs from the line of his strictly-regulated daily life in the so-called Honey Era and skips the flying vehicle that transports him from the workplace to home. His absence prompts his wife to call his managers, unleashing search for him through ubiquitous monitoring screens.

Afterwards, Mr and Mrs Homo are subjected to questioning by authorities aimed at finding out what is wrong with him and how to treat his “abnormal” case viewed as a peril to the public system.

The novel, published by the General Book Organisation, 
imagines that a devastating electronic war broke out in the early 21st and that several hundreds of scientists have survived the genocide. Over the next three centuries, they have been able to develop an automated system for mankind where life runs comfortably and “mechanical slaves” or robots are the order of the day.

Rigid systems have been instituted for division of work, distribution of food and availability of all services. It is a world free of diseases and wars. It is a world where childbirth is no longer done in the womb.

It is conceived in the lab with the bred children belonging to the regime. In this futuristic world, traditional institutions such as marriage and the family stop to exist. Homo finds this regime quite depressing.

“Had it not been for the few minutes of his walk from his ward on the field to the car park, from his capsule over the [residential] tower rooftop to the elevator, and along the corridors to doors of apartments, his bones would have frozen and stiffened,” the narrator says in the early part of the 228-page novel.

The work, one among just three novels by Moussa, explores man’s perpetual conflict between the intellect and the instinct, emphasizing human yearning for individual freedom.

“The Man of the Spinach” is apparently influenced by Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” (1932). It also shows a remote impact of George Orwell’s classic “1984” (1949) – although “The Man of the Spinach Field” goes far beyond physical oppression pervasive in the former. In Moussa’s masterpiece, unlike in the distant past, the regime does not rely on brutality to subjugate people.

Instead, it employs indoctrination and the fear factor to keep them in rein. People are constantly reminded of the old human life, which culminated in the eruption of the First Electronic War. So, when the protagonist veers off the course, his conduct is seen as perilously a "setback" to the old world.

In his third and final novel, Moussa rings the bell about the machine’s growing dominance of human life. He provides minute details about imaginary advances, making his work a valuable sci-fi piece.

All the same, the author has his eye on the present, warning against racialism and fanaticism in the “old human mind” blamed for the First Electronic War, or World War III. The prologue, attributed to the lead character, attempts to deliver the message.

“We, humans, are now passing through a situation similar to the pre-history man when he opened his eyes more than 5,000 ago to an entirely new world. We used to study the past to shed light on the present. But now, I’m showing you the mirror of the time, convinced that a clear picture of the future can also provide your present with several indispensable eye-openers.”

Sabry has a fascinating style in “The Man of the Spinach Field” as he does in his two other novels: “The half-Metre-Accident (1962) and “Corruption of Places” (1976). He also wrote four collections of short stories during his literary career that spanned more than five decades. He has to his name three travel books regarded as milestones in this Arabic genre.

Sabry has also established himself as a leading scriptwriter. Some of his films including “Um Hashem’s Lamp” and “The Postman” – both based on stories by Egyptian writer Yehia Haqi – are among the Egyptian classics. Earlier this year, Sabry died at the age of 85, leaving behind a varied, inspiring legacy.

RIYADH, April 26,2018 (MENA) - Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem asserted the importance of cultural interaction between Egypt and Saudi Arabia as it represents the safety valve for the protection of the Arab identity.

Her remarks came to mark the first ever concerts of the Cairo Opera House to be held in Saudi Arabia.

A Cairo Opera House mission consisting of 45 musicians and singers from the Arab Music Troupe performed at the concerts which started on Wednesday and will end on Thursday.

In statements on the sidelines of the concerts, Abdel Dayem lauded the steps taken by the Saudi government recently concerning the kingdom's cultural and artistic sectors.

The concerts, which are held at King Fahd Culture Center, are just the start of a move towards supporting and promoting cultural and artistic exchange between the two countries, Abdel Dayem said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad al Awwad welcomed the Egyptian delegation led by Abdel Dayem, saying that organizing such cultural events asserts the distinguished ties between both countries.

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