Monday, May 26, 2008

Zahi Hawass

Zahi Hawass is an Egyptian Egyptologist and archaeologist who obtained a Bachelor's degree from Alexandria University, and his Doctoral Degree (Ph.D) from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities; prior to that, he was the Director of the Giza Plateau and has also worked at archaeological sites in the Nile Delta, the Western Desert, and the Upper Nile Valley.
Hawass is currently spearheading a movement to return many prominent Ancient Egyptian artifacts, such as the Rosetta Stone, the bust of Nefertiti, the zodiac ceiling painting from the Dendera Temple, the bust of Ankhhaf (the architect of the Chephren Pyramid), and the statue of Hemiunu, nephew of the Pharaoh Khufu, builder of the largest pyramid, to Egypt from collections in various other countries.
In July 2003, the Egyptians demanded the return of the Rosetta Stone. Hawass, as secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, told the press, "If the British want to be remembered, if they want to restore their reputation, they should volunteer to return the Rosetta Stone because it is the icon of our Egyptian identity."
He is also a vocal opponent of the ancient astronauts theories about a previous worldwide civilization. He appeared on a History Channel show to dispel the theories, and provided evidence to show that the Egyptians built the pyramids of Egypt. Hawass is now a regular columnist for Egypt Today magazine.
Hawass was also alongside the Egyptologist Otto Schaden who opened Tomb KV63 in February 2006 — the first intact tomb to be found in the Valley of the Kings since 1922.
In June 2007, Hawass announced that he and a team of experts may have identified the mummy of Hatshepsut in KV60, a small tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Dr Hawass was recently in the UK for the opening of the "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibition in London.
He is the author of many books including one on "King Tutankhamen: The Treasures from the Tomb" published to coincide with this major exhibition in the UK.
His most recent article on Tutankhamen was published in Ancient Egypt magazine.
He has written several articles for this bi-monthly UK-based magazine on ancient Egypt.
He is opposed to the claims of Afrocentrists. According to Dr. Hawass "Tutankhamen was not black, and the portrayal of ancient Egyptian civilization as black has no element of truth to it."

Mahmud Ali al-Bannah

Mahmud Ali al-Bannah
Date of birth 1926;Minufiyah; Egypt
Memorized the entire Quran at 11 Studied at Tanta's Minshawi Religious Institute
1945: Settled in Cairo
1948: Recited the Quran on the anniversary of the Prophet's birth
1976: Recorded his reading of the Quran at the Egyptian Radio
1985: Recorded the Quran in UAE
Took part in the ceremony marking the opening of the first mosque in Austria
Visited Muslim communities in Germany, Britain and France
Died on July 20, 1985
Order of Science and Art (1990)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mostafa Lotfi al Manfalouti

Mostafa Lotfi El Manfalouti was born on December 30, 1877, in the city of Manfalout in Upper Egypt. Brought up in a family of Ulamas, he was motivated to finish his education at Al Azhar in Cairo. When first there, he met Imam Muhammad Abdou and became his student. He accompanied him throughout so that Imam Muhammad Abdou himself used to say that this student would be among the best to disseminate his principles which conformed entirely with El Manfalouti's reformatory thought. During that period, his literary talent cropped up. He began to write poetry at the age of 16, which made him the centre of attention. He was imprisoned, while still a student at Al Azhar, because he wrote a poem slandering Khedive Abbas II the then ruler of Egypt.
In disseminating his ideas, El Manfalouti relied heavily on essay-writing which he developed into a full art. El Manfalouti gained more renown from his essays than that from his novels. Orientalist Brookleman said that El Manfalouti is the most famous essay-writer in the 20th century. Moreover, he was a pioneer of the short story and the novel in general. His smooth style made his novels readable in successive editions all over the Arab world. El Manfalouti distinguished himself with:
First: Tenderness of feeling, which enabled him to visualize the miseries of society. He was known to be always seeking comfort for the miserable, the deprived and the bereaved.
Second: his ideal, moral inclination that was manifested in his call for righteousness, goodness and virtue.
El Manfalouti's most important reformatory principles were:
1. Education. 2. Social justice 3. Authenticity and modernity. 4. A special view of art. 5. Women's rights. 6. Religious reform

Abdel-Fattah al-Kussary

Born on April 15, 1905, Abdel-Fattah al-Qossari is considered one of Egypt's most distinguished comedians. He was almost always cast as an illiterate, who thinks that he knows everything when turns out that he does not. He graced Egyptian cinema in over 60 films which include:Sokkar hanemIsmail Yassin in the madhouseIbn HamidoIsmail Yassin meets Rya and SakinaMiss HanafiAs you wishShamshoun and LiblebHouse of ghostsHe wants to get marriedFriday nightThe black marketIf you were richThe accusedSi Omar
Al-Qossari died in 1965

Amal Abul-Qassem Donqol (b. 1940 - d. 1983)

Amal Abul-Qassem Donqol (b. 1940 - d. 1983)
Donqol was known for his politically-colored poetry. At the beginning, Greek mythology dominated his writing.Later, however, he relied more on pre-Islamic and Islamic imagery to modernize Arabic poetry.
Donqol's father, an Azhar graduate, who wrote classic poetry, possessed a library full of books in the various Islamic disciplines of which his son took advantage.He died, however, when Donqol was ten years old and at such an early age,the son became responsible for a mother and two younger brothers.
He completed his secondary education in Qena in 1957. In 1958, he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts,Cairo University. Before the end of his first year, he dropped out to work for a living as an employee at the Qena Court of Justice,the Customs Departments in Suez and Alexandria and the Afro-Asian Solidarity Organization.But he was always running away to poetry.
Donqol died in 1983 after a long illness.
Famous works : Al-bokaa bayn yadai Zarqaa al-Yamama (Crying on the Shoulders of Zarqaa al-Yamam) – Beirut 1969 Taaliq alla ma hadeth (Commenting on What Happened) – Beirut 1971 Maqtal al-qamar (Death of the Moon) – Beirut 1974 Al-'ahd al-aati (The Forthcoming Epoch) – Beirut 1975 Aqwaal gadida an harb al-Bassous (New Statements Regarding the Bassous War) – Cairo 1983 Awraq al-ghorfa 8 (Documents of Room No. 8)