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)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Farghali Abdel Hafiz

Architecture is the art that people live in. They see it everyday. So if you live in a beautiful city, it affects your manners, style and attitude. Farghali Abdel Hafiz, a seasoned modern Egyptian artist, has lately been working on a series of exhibits in which he tries to show the relationships of love, passion and art between himself and certain cities.
He started with Venice, moved on to Aswan, and last year he presented a series of astoundingly sensitive and nostalgic works on Cairo. This month he pays homage to Florence, a city that he first visited back in 1964, and which, since then, has become a living, breathing creature in his imagination.
The most conspicuous feature of Abdel Hafiz's city series is the successful use of several media. With oils, crayons, watercolors and acrylics, he creates exquisite, multi-layered works. The works that grab your attention in this exhibit are two huge canvases placed on two adjacent walls. The first initially gives the impression of a beautiful, bustling city. Using pastel crayons on top of the painted background, Abdel Hafiz adds in architectural details.
Every window and every line is accounted for. But these lines are not rigid; they are soft and malleable, as if they were breathing. The third layer of this work presents three human figures. On the left is a huge female figure blown out of proportion.
She seems like some ancient vestige from the past, dressed in Roman attire. On the right, another woman takes over the scene. She is swathed in a gauzy fabric and is holding a flower. Is she love, is she beauty, is she art? Maybe. In the middle, a third element is imposed over the painting. It is the image of a couple walking arm-in-arm. Executed in red and blue, the two people look like elegant fashion models judging from the stylized way they seem to be moving.
In this work, Abdel Hafiz tries to assemble all the elements that make Florence special to him, whether it is history, beauty or modernity. He recalls his first impressions of the city upon stepping off the train: "I paused and examined her profile and her features. She stood proud of her historic background and dignified beauty. I shared such pride, since I hail from a land steeped in history and civilization. It was a friendly encounter full of emotions teeming with waves and vibrations that stem from the depth of history."
To him, Florence soon becomes a woman to be wooed and loved. And in the adjacent canvas, he tries to put a shape to this woman. The canvas is transformed into a map of the city with a rich earth-colored background on which buildings and streets are drawn in thick yellow brushstrokes. Superimposed on a large section of the work is a voluptuous woman dressed in fashionable modern clothes. Although she is blond, her profile portrays an Ancient Egyptian face similar to those beauties engraved in our 5,000-year-old temples.
The smaller works are also fascinating because of the spontaneity and intensity of feelings divulged through the vibrant, powerful lines. And in these works, you also begin noticing some Florentine landmarks. Here the artist makes interesting use of white, which becomes more than just a color.
Abdel Hafiz utilizes a thick, dry brush to lay on the white, and then adds lines of blue and black on top of it. The result is new and fresh. Through his loving eyes we see lovers, we see joy, we see art in progress, and in every single painting, the elegant architecture of Florence is there. Sometimes it encircles the work, as if it is embracing anyone who reciprocates her love.
Scattered throughout the works are the sweet horse-drawn carriages Florence is known for. One of the most romantic of these is a drawing of a park in which the artist reveals the beauty of black wrought-iron designs. The curves and lines intimate movement and in the center he paints three pink roses. The juxtaposition is simply breathtaking.
Abdel Hafiz portrays the classic sculptures of Florence in a way that makes you forget these figures are statues, not the people of Florence. "Sounds emanating from its profound history and chants of its artistic glory found their way to my ears," the artist says. "I heard dialogues by Michelangelo and Da Vinci."
For Abdel Hafiz, "Florence is part of the spiritual energy that feeds my mind." After seeing the exhibit, his comment seems to crystallize.

Gad al-Haqq Ali Gad al-Haqq

Date of birth April 5, 1917; Daqahliyah; Egypt
Mini-biography 1944: Graduated in the Faculty of Islamic Sharia, Azhar University 1946: Obtained his Alameya Degree
History of employment 1946: Judge, Islamic Sharia Courts 1953: Secretary of Fatwa, Dar al-Ifta, Egypt 1976: Counselor, Court of Appeals 1978: Mufti of Egypt (In his capacity as such, he sought to revive the role of the fatwa (opinion)-giving establishment) 1982: Appointed Minister of Waqf (from January to March 1982) 1982: Became Grand Imam of al-Azhar (His appointment marked a revival of al-Azhar's role) Under his tenure as Grand Imam, many Azhar Institutes were established throughout the country.
Awards Order of the Nile from Egypt (1983) Order of Intellectual and Scientific Excellence from Morocco The King Faysal International Prize (Service To Islam) (1995)
Died on March 15, 1996

Youssef Idrees

Youssef Idrees
With a unique style, a distinct way of presenting ideas and commitment to the cause, aspirations and concerns of his country, Dr Youssef Idrees is a glittering star in the realm of contemporary Arabic literature, both as a short story and novel writer and playwright. He has left a rich legacy of writings, including novels, short stories, plays and essays. Youssef Idrees is considered a turning point in the history of Arabic short story and novel. Thanks to his contributions, the Arabic novel evolved from "pathetic" romanticism to realism. He was born on May 19, 1927. Throughout his school years, he was an intelligent, talented and distinguished student. He used to read stories, scientific and literary books where he got acquainted with major contemporary Arabic writers. He also read translations of foreign literature.
During his study at the Faculty of Medicine, he became more interested in literature, psychology, poetry and other arts such as music and painting. There, he started to write short stories and show them to his colleagues. In his last year at the Faculty, he participated in the students' demonstrations against British colonisation; he became the executive secretary of the committee defending students. He was engaged in clashes with the British soldiers. On account of his revolutionary activities, he was patsiotic from pursuing his study for several months.
While he practised medicine during the period from 1951 1960, he remained committed to the patriotic cause of his country and took part in the secret meetings of the liberation movement until the July, 1952 Revolution took place. He took part in editing "Al Tahrir", the first magazine published by the Army in September, 1952.
Landmarks along his career
Youssef Idrees started writing short stories, while still a student of medicine. His early short stories drew the attention of critics, many of whom foretold he would reach outstanding status especially after he wrote "The Strangers' Song" published in "Al Qissa" magazine in 1950.
Idrees' stories were published in "Rosel-Yousef" magazine , then Abdel Rahman Al Khamisi introduced him to "Al Masri" newspaper.
He published his first collection "Cheapest Nights" in 1954, which contained short stories previously published in "Al Qissa", "Rosel-Yousef" magazines, and "Al Masri" newspaper. Then he began to publish his works in "Sabahel-Kheir" magazine . He was appointed as Editor in "Al Gomhouria" newspaper where he started his career as a journalist and a writer.

He was entrusted to write a book on the Suez War, to be translated into English, and another book on the National Union. He made a successful debut in the theatre when he wrote his one-act play entitled "Farahat's Republic".

In 1973, he was appointed as writer in Al-Ahram newspaper. In his late years, he had a special interest in writing articles as he used to write weekly articles which were published in Al-Ahram every Monday. These essays, published under the heading "From My Diary", with their rich and daring subjects and elaborate style, constituted another form of Idrees' writings.

Ph.Ds. on literature of Youssef Idrees

Youssef Idrees's literary works were the subject of about 95 Ph.D. theses in and outside Egypt. In foreign universities, these works were subject to more than 22 studies. For example, the Spanish researcher Pilar Liro El Elegado made her Ph.D. on "The Dramatic World of Youssef Idrees". Owing to the significance of this Ph.D., it was printed and published in a book by the Egyptian Institute for Islamic Studies. It was discussed in a seminar in Taha Hussein's Hall at the Institute, attended by some of the Egyptian and Spanish university professors and orientalists.

Merits and awards won by Youssef Idrees

A wards:

- Order of Algerian Militants in 1961, in recognition of his contribution to the independence of Algeria. - Order of the Republic in 1963. - The annual prize in 1965 from "Hewar", a Lebanese magazine, which is dedicated every year to eminent writers in the Arab world. Yet, he declined the prize.

In 1970, he was unanimously elected a Director-General of the Society of Dramatists.

A Russian sculpturer designed a medal for Dr. Youssef Idrees. This sculpturer is famous for his designs for prominent figures in art and literature.

Works of Youssef Idrees

Youssef Idrees started his career writing short stories and articles as early as 1954. He continued writing articles to the press until shortly before his death in 1991. He made rich contributions to "Al Qissa", "Rosel-Yousef", "Al Tahrir", "Al Hadaf" , "Sabahul Kheir", "Al Masri" and "Al Ghad" magazines, and "Al Gornhouria", "Al Shaab" and "Al Ahrarm" newspapers.

Idrees published about 12 collections of short stories, 8 plays, 6 novels, 11 books containing his essays. Besides, he wrote on childhood, its innocent world and awareness of the surrounding reality. He took part in most of political, literary and intellectual seminars organised at his time. He also co-authored some books.

Short story collections include:

"Cheapest Nights", "Love Story", "Isn't It?" , "The Hero", "Too Far", "The Oh! Language", " An Accident of Honour", "Al Naddaha", "A House Made of Flesh" .

Plays: "Farahat Republic", "King of Cotton", "Critical Moment", "Al Farafeer" ( common people), "The Earthly Farce", "The Stripped", "The Third Sex", "Towards an Arabic Theatre".

Novels: "The Prohibited", "The Wrong", "Men and Bulls", "The Black Soldier", "The White"

Reflections: "Limited Frankness", "The Discovery of a Continent", "Dr.Youssef Idrees's Diary," in three parts.

Stories for children: "Right", "A Look", "Is It a plaything?" , "Play" and the "Grey Triangle".

Monday, May 12, 2008

Al Falaki Mahmud Ahmad Hamdi

Al-Falaki, Mahmud Ahmad Hamdi
(1815-19 July 1885)
Engineer, mathematician, and scientist. Mahmud was born in the village of al-Hissa (Gharbiyya province); his father died early, and he was reared by a brother and sent to MUHAMMAD 'Ali's Polytechnic School in the Citadel, He later taught mathematics and astronomy at that school.
Chosen to be a part of 'ABBAS I's student mission to Europe in 1851, he spent nine years in Paris. Upon his return to Cairo, SA'ID charged him with drawing maps, among them the first complete topographic map of Egypt .
He held several important government posts, including public works minister, and became the president of the khedivial Geographic Society.
He represented Egypt at the International Congress of Geographer in Venice in 1881 and in Paris in 1885.
As minister of education (1884-1885) he instituted several important educational reforms, one of which was to require that the foreign schools receiving subsidies from the Egyptian government undergo regular inspections.
In his published writings, he tried to prove that the Giza Pyramids were built for astronomical purposes; he also established the exact birth and death dates for the probhet Muhammad.
He directed the Education Ministry and the Geographical Society until his death in Cairo.
Bibliographic Sources
" Abd-al-Rahman , Ibrahim Hilmi, "Mahmud al-Falaki"
'Aqqad, Abbas Mahmud, "Mahmud Basha al Falaki"
Brockelmann. GAL,S, 642-3,747,
Cheiko,al-Adab al-'arabiyaa,103

Refa'ah Rafie' Al Tahtawi

Refaa Al-Tahtawi was one of the most distinguished and outstanding literary figures of his time.He was a prominent historian, man of letters, translator and journalist. He was characterized by conscious thought, penetrating insight and his ideas were too advanced for his time.Al Tahtawi is one of the banners of enlightenment in Egypt. Moreover,he succeeded in tackling the most difficult economic issues, expressing his worthy views to solve them.
He left behind about twenty works of translations and intellectual heritage which shaped the thoughts of many intellectuals and poiltical figures such as Ali Mubarak, Muhammad Abdo, Ahmed Orabi, Abd Allah Al-Nadeem and Saad Zaghloul, and still shaping the thoughts of generations up till our days.
Refa'ah Rafie' Al Tahtawi was born in Tahta, Upper Egypt, on 15 October 1801. Tahtawi is a man of noble birth. His ancestors assumed positions of authority and responsibility. While a child, Tahtawi enjoyed aristocratic privileges including financial allocations.
When Mohammed Ali came to power, he denied noblemen financial privileges in implementation of his economic reform program. Consequently, Tahtawi's family lived in straitened circumstances. At the age of 12, Tahtawi accompanying his family moved from Tahta to Gerga, Qena and Farshoot.
Meanwhile, Tahtawi successfully learned how to read and write and fully memorized the Koran. When Tahtawi's father died, Tahtawi returned to Tahta and lived with his maternal uncles.
Tahtawi's intellectual talents were soon manifested when he joined Al-Azhar University in 1817. Tahtawi studied under and was deeply influenced by Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Al-Attar, the son of a poor tradesman who wanted his son to work with him. The boy went to Al-Azhar secretly and attended lessons given by Sheikh Al-Amir. When the French occupied Egypt, Al-Attar fled to Upper Egypt. He was of the opinion that Muslim countries should benefit from the knowledge, sciences and educational methods of the West. He was a poet and wrote also on medicine and anatomy.
In 1823, Tahtawi graduated. Immediately after graduation, he worked as a teacher in Al-Azhar for two years. Tahtawi spent most of his time in Al-Attar's house reading Western books which were not available nor allowed at those times. Thanks to Al-Attar.
Tahtawi was appointed imam (religious head of a Muslim community) of an Egyptian battalion till 1826 and later imam of the educational mission Mohammed Ali sent to Paris.
As of the moment Tahtawi trod in Marseille, he decided to be more than an imam. He started learning French as a means of translating Western sciences into Arabic. It took him a month to master the rules of spelling.
Tahtawi believed in the necessity of opening channels of contact between the cultures of both the West and the East. As a result, Mohammed Ali decreed that Tahtawi be a member of the mission. Besides his post as an imam, Tahtawi studied translation. On 19 October 1830, he submitted to a panel of French professors 12 translations of French masterpieces in different fields, some of which were sent to the Cairo-based Bolaque printing house, and the manuscript of the book he wrote during his stay in Paris which is entitled 'Takhlees Al-Ibrease fi Talkhees Paris' (A Paris Profile).
Tahtawi finally received his degree. In 1831, he returned back to Egypt. Prior to his return, reports on his excellence and unchallenged supremacy telling how promising he is were sent to Mohammed Ali. On his return, Tahtawi worked as a translator in Medicine School for two years. He was the first Egyptian holding such a position for it was completely dominated by Moroccans, Syrians and Americans. Meanwhile, Tahtawi managed to translate many books such as "Explaining Anatomy Terminology." Besides his work at Medicine School, Tahtawi took the responsibility of supervising the Preparatory Medicine School.
In 1833, Tahtawi moved to Tobigia School (Artillery School) in Tora where he worked as a translator of engineering and military sciences. There, he took the first step towards his dream of establishing an Egyptian university patterned on the Eastern Languages' School. His plan was to establish, step by step, a number of separate high schools to be incorporated into a university at a later stage. As a start, Tahtawi set up History and Geography School in 1833.
In 1834, plague broke out and Tahtawi had to move to his village Tahta where he stayed for six months spending two of them translating one volume of "Maltibron Geography." When he returned to Cairo, he submitted his translation to Mohammed Ali who awarded and promoted him. Tahtawi then made the suggestion of establishing a translation school which was inaugurated in 1835 and was later named Al-Alsun School. Tahtawi's post in Al-Alsun was technical and managerial supervision, teaching literature and Islamic and Western laws, choosing the books to be translated , reviewing and rectifying translated works as well. Al-Alsun School gradually began to assume the structural form and educational content of modern universities.
Tahtawi, not only was the first to establish an Arab civilized university but was also the first to establish a museum of Egypt's antiquities. In 1835, he submitted to Mohammed Ali a plan to preserve Egypt's antiquities. The plan which was published in Al-Waqa'i newspaper (The Official Egyptian Gazette) stipulated that any antiquities found by individuals should be handed over to Tahtawi in his capacity as Principal of Al-Alsun School. Consequently, Al-Alsun's courtyard became the nucleus of the first antiquities' museum in Egypt.
Tahtawi's interest in Egypt's antiquities was not for artistic reasons only but originally stems from absolute patriotism. He criticized Mohammed Ali when he offered the Obelisk, now standing in the Concord square, to France as a symbol of friendship.
Tahtawi is also considered the founder of the first Egyptian newspaper entitled "Al-Waqa'i Al-Misrea." He is indeed the father of Egyptian journalism. Tahtawi also supervised editing the Military Magazine in both French and Arabic.
In 1841, Tahtawi established the Translation Department as a specialized institution mainly dealing with four branches of knowledge: mathematics, medicine and physics, social sciences and Turkish writings. In 1843, Tahtawi was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Two years later, he translated the second volume of "Maltibron Geography." Again, Mohammed Ali awarded and promoted him to the rank of brigadier general. Since that date, Tahtawi became known as Refa'ah Bey instead of Sheikh Refa'ah. Then, Tahtawi finished translating that bulky book in four volumes.
After Mohammed Ali's death, Khedive Abbas I came to power with his backward thoughts. He insinuated to the Private Council in a bid to abort Tahtawi's enlightened achievements that Tahtawi should be exiled. Tahtawi was well aware that he is in their power and knew that it was pointless to resist.
Khedive Said came to power after Abbas I in 1854. He declared an amnesty for those exiled to Sudan. Determined to revive the intellectual, cultural achievements of Mohammed Ali reign, Khedive Said appointed Tahtawi member and translator in the Municipal Council. In 1855, Tahtawi was also appointed vice president of the Military School in Al-Haud Al-Marsoud district.
Tahtawi's ambition was behind the establishment of the Accounting School in Al-Qala'a district in 1856. He was also appointed principal of the Royal Engineering and Architecture School and manager of the Educational Buildings' Authority.
During that period, he not only finalized the first project of reviving Islamic heritage but also succeeded in issuing a large number of Arabic books.
As of 1863 to 1873, Tahtawi regained his enthusiasm. His production in the fields of education, translation and writing significantly increased. Under Khedive Ismail's reign, "Diwan Al-Madares"(the Schools' Department) was re-established and Tahtawi was chosen member of such a department. In 1867, he was authorized to outline the statute for organizing national bureaux and was later appointed head of National Bureaux Council. He supervised Arabic language teaching, interviewed teachers so as to choose the best and taught them new teaching methods. He also headed a lot of examination committees in Egyptian and foreign schools as well.
In 1863, he established a translation department devoted to translating new laws. He was appointed director of such a department. As of 1866 to 1868, Tahtawi and his fellows translated the French law, the Ottoman constitution, the civil law and the commercial law as well. In 1870, the Schools' Department issued a cultural magazine entitled "Rawdat Al-Madares"(The Schools' Garden) and Tahtawi was appointed editor-in-chief. He held such a position publishing 6 issues till his death in 1873.
Traits of Tahtawi's educational philosophy:
According to Tahtawi, education was the only way for development. He spent his life in learning, teaching and translating. It seems that from the moment he realized what he could give his own nation, he prepared himself to be a teacher. He believed that the way to civilization starts with education which help people to fathom the significance of life. The traits of his educational philosophy are as follows:
Education is a prelude to progress.
Tahtawi believed that education is a necessity, that man cannot do without it. Man's mind which distinguishes him from all other creatures is the only device that can save mankind. On the contrary, animals can protect themselves only by physical power. Tahtawi asserted the importance of the mind as a power governing man's life. He, following suit of the philosophers of enlightenment, believed in man's ability to change reality so as to meet the needs of the modern age.
Education is essential for youth.
Youth may be exposed to writings against their own culture and moral norms. Only education can save them from falling into the trap of deviation. In this respect, Tahtawi echoed exponents of realism who believe that the key to virtue is education. According to him, girls' education is important for the following reasons:
1- It helps a girl get a suitable husband. 2- It helps women bring up their children. 3- It takes them away from gossiping and pointless chat.
Tahtawi, a pioneer of women emancipation
Al-Tahtawi is undoubtedly the Middle East pioneer of women emancipation movement, the movement Qasem Amin later devoted his life to. He took precedence over all other advocates. However, Qasem Amin's name has always been associated with accomplishments in this regard. This is in part due to the fact that the public opinion at that time was not crystallized enough to fathom Tahtawi's thoughts. Moreover, Tahtawi's writings were mostly directed to and available for government employees and educators.
In 1836, Tahtawi in his capacity as a member of the Education Planning Committee called for certain measures be taken towards women education. The Committee's move was not implemented but gained currency among families of powerful social and economic class. Affluent families hired qualified teachers for their daughters at home.
In 1872, Tahtawi wrote "Al-Murshid Al-Amin" (The Honest Guide) where he advocated building schools for girls and stressed that an educated women has a happier family, rears polite well-behaved children and has better job opportunities if necessity demands. Tahtawi's efforts were finally crowned with success when the first school for girls was established in 1873.
Tahtawi's writings
"A Paris Profile," written during Tahtawi's stay in France. "The methodology of Egyptians minds with regard to the marvels of modern literature," published in 1869 crystallizing Tahtawi's opinions on modernization.
"The honest guide for education of girls and boys," published in 1873 and reflecting the main precepts of Tahtawi's educational thoughts. "Tawfik Al-Galil insights into Egypt's and Ismail descendants' history," the first part of the History Encyclopedia published in 1868 and tracing the history of ancient Egypt till the dawn of Islam.
"A thorough summary of the biography of Mohammed" published after Tahtawi's death, recording a comprehensive account of the life of Prophet Mohammed and the political, legal and administrative foundations of the first Islamic state.
"Towards a simpler Arabic grammar," published in 1869.
"Grammatical sentences," published in 1863.
"Egyptian patriotic lyrics," written in praise of Khedive Said and published in 1855.
"The luminous stars in the moonlit nights of Al-Aziz," a collection of congratulatory writings to some princes, published in 1872. Tahtawi's translations
" The history of ancient Egyptians," published in 1838.
"The Arabization of trade law," published in 1868.
"The Arabization of the French civil law," published in 1866.
"The unequivocal Arabization approach to geography," published in 1835.
"Small-scale geography," published in 1830.
"Metals and their use," published in 1867.
"Ancient philosophers," published in 1836.
"Principals of engineering," published in1854.
"Useful metals," published in1832.
"Logic," published in1838.
"Sasure's engineering," published in 1874.
"General geography."
"The French constitution."
"On health policies."
" On Greek mythology."
Tahtawi's death:
At the age of 72, sickness attacked Tahtawi. On 27 May 1873, Tahtawi passed away. His funeral procession headed by Al-Azhar Sheikh made its way through the crowded streets. Tahtawi is buried in Bab Al-Wazir cemetery, Boustan Al-Ulma, Al-Darb Al-Ahmar district near Al-Azhar mosque.

Mohammad Ibrahim Abu Senna

Mohammad Ibrahim Abu Senna
One of the most outstanding poets in Egypt and the Arab World in the 1960s, Mohammad Abu Senna's writing is both eloquent and smooth. His love poems are also unique.
Abu Senna graduated from Al Azhar University's Faculty of Arabic Studies in 1964. He worked as political editor with the State Information Service (1965 – 1975), and later as a radio host in 1976, climbing up to the post of director-general of the Cultural Program in 1995.
Abu-Senna is member of the Poetry Committee of the Supreme Council of Culture, the Egyptian Writers' League, and the Egyptian Center of International Pen.
He participated in the 1990 Kuala Lumpur International Poetry Festival in Malaysia.

Mustafa Ismail

Date of birth
1905; Gharbiyah; Egypt Memorized the Quran as a child and studied at Tanta's Religious Institute Mini-biography
1945: Became member of the Royal entourage, charged with reciting the Quran Ramadan 1960: Visited East Jerusalem and recited in al-Aqsa Mosque 1987: Accompanied President Anwar al-Sadat on his visit to Jerusalem and recited verses of the Quran in al-Aqsa Mosque Awards
Order of Merit from President Gamal Abdul-Nasser Order of the Cedar – Lebanon (1958) Order of Arts - Egypt (1965) Order of Excellence - Egypt (1985) Order of Merit - Syria Decorated by Malaysia and Tanzania

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Abdel Rahman al Shafei

Born in Sharqiyah Governorate, Abdel-Rahman al-Shafei was the father of folklore arts. He introduced music, narration and chorus into the directorial process and was the first stage director in Egypt to put on a purely folkloric show to be watched by the general public.
Al-Shafei's beginnings in the stage business were early in life. In his secondary education stage, he formed a folklore troupe which presented its shows in the mawaled (plural of mouled) (occasions observed by the public as holy).
Al-Shafei graduated in Ain Shams University's Law School and later joined the International Theater Division. In 1963 he became in charge of the Musical Troupe. He later formed al-Ghori Troupe and stage-directed such musicals as Yassin wa Baheya (Yassin and Baheya) ah ya leil ya amar (Oh Night, Oh Moon) Adham al-Sharqawi and sonbolet amh alla abr Gammal (A Shoot of Wheat on a Camel Man's Grave).
Al-Shafei was appointed director to al-Samer Theater-House in September 1971 for which he directed a number folklore stories; e.g. Ali al-Zeibaq, Shafiqa and Matwali among other plays.
Al-Shafei was keen on going to the public in their gathering places with his shows. By so-doing he developed a close relationship with his audiences.
1985: Received the State Incentive Award for stage directing al-Seira al-hellaleya (The Life Story of the Hellalis).
Key Achievements
Yassin wa Baheya (Yassin and Baheya)
ah ya leil ya amar (Oh Night, Oh Moon)
Adham al-Sharqawi
sonbolet amh alla abr Gammal (A Shoot of Wheat on a Camel Man's Grave)
Ali al-Zeibaq
Shafiqa and MatwaliAl-Leila al-Kabira (The Big Night)al-Seira al-hellaleya (The Life Story of the Hellalis)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mohammad Abdul-Mottaleb

Birth name
Mohammad Abdul-Mottaleb Al-Ahmar
Date of birth
August 13, 1910, al-Bohayrah, Egypt
Abdul-Muttaleb's songs still live with us because of their authenticity and also because of his beautiful voice which reminds us of the warmth of Egypt's popular districts.
He learned music at the hands of renowned composer Dawood Hosni, who was his mentor. In his early beginnings he was influenced by vocalist Abdul-Lattif al-Bannah, and by composers Sayed Darwish, Dawood Hosni, Abul-'Ila Mohammad, Ibrahim al-Qabbani, Saleh Abdul-Hay and Mohammad Abdul-Wahab.
He worked with composers Fareed Al-Atrash, Ahmad Sharaf, Ezzat al-Gahli and Mahmoud al-Sharif.
He received the Order of the Republic from President Gamal Abdul-Nasser in 1964

Fouad al Mohandes 1924 2006

The third of four siblings, Fouad al-Mohandes was born to a father who was a linguist, a professor at Dar al-Ollum, (the Arabic Language College) and a member of the Arabic Language Academy. As a child, al-Mohandes was influenced most by his father, from whom he inherited his wit and humor.
Al-Mohandes studied at the Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University where he joined the drama group. His life was turned upside down, however, after he watched the great Naguib al-Rihani performing on stage. Later, he became one of the man's followers. This caused him to graduate in six years rather than in four when he should have.
In 1953, after al-Rihani's death, opportunity came knocking at his door. The program saa le-albak (An Hour for the Heart) was launched grouping many of Egypt's comedians of the time, including al-Mohandes.
Having lived close to the Zul-Foqqars, the two brothers Mahmoud and Ezz signed up him for several supporting roles in movies they directed including the Neighbor's daughter, the Good Land and the River of Love, among others
In the early 1960s, Egyptian television began its broadcast. It was then that he became famous in his role in the program waraa al-setar (Behind the Curtains) facing actress Sanaa Gamil. Al-Mohandes later joined television theaters. His major breakthrough was when he took the lead role in a new version of al-Rihani's play al-Secretair al fanni (The Technical Secretary) starring another entrant to the world of entertainment and show business Showikar Toub Saqqal, who later became his wife.
In all his plays and movies, al-Mohandes' motto was "entertainment for the sake of entertainment". His version of "My Fair Lady" earned him a great deal of acclaim. His play ana wa howa wa heya (He, She and I) prophesied the now-pressing housing problem.
He, She and I marked the end of an era in which most performances showed pre-Revolution persecution of farmers and workers and the beginning of another where situation and social comedies were the order of the day in government-run theaters.
In the 1950s, as the nation faced numerous economic and political challenges, private sector theaters were interested only in providing entertainment to the public. This is where al-Mohandes excelled the most.
At the time, movie-makers found al-Mohandes to be their golden-egg-hatching hen. He presented a number of successful movies; e.g. His Excellency the Ambassador, Love in August, a Husband's Confessions, among others. Those were entertaining films.
Al-Mohandes also presented a number of critically acclaimed plays such as ard al-nefaq (Land of Hypocrisy) directed by Fatin Abdul-Wahab (1968) and kan wa kan wa kan (Once upon a Time) directed by Abbas Kamel (1977). In both those two movies, he reached the peak of maturity.
Al-Mohandes died at age 82

Ahmad Hassan al Baquri

Date of birth

May 26, 1909, Assuit, Egypt
Mini-biography 1932: Alameya Degree, Al-Azhar University 1935: Specialized in literature and literary embellishments
History of employment

1936: Instructor, Arabic language and literary embellishments, Cairo Religious Institute 1947: Deputy-dean, Assuit Religious Institute 1952: Minister of Waqf (Islamic Endowments) (until 1959) 1964: President, al-Azhar University
Professional membership

Member, Academy of Arabic Language Member, Academy of Islamic Research Member, Supreme Council of al-Azhar Member, Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs Member, League of Islamic and Arab Peoples Head, Society and Institute of Islamic Studies Member, National Council of Education, Scientific Research and Technology Member, Committee on Education, National Democratic Party Member, Committee on coordination between universities and the Academy of Scientific Research Advisor, UNESCO, Regional Branch, Cairo
Wrote numerous books on psychology and Islamic philosophy

State Merit Award in Social Sciences (1985)

Adel Abdul-Rahman

Born in Cairo in 1958, Adel Abdul-Rahman graduated from the Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University in 1982. He got a first degree in art education and was appointed demonstrator in the Department of Designing immediately after graduation. In 1987, he got an MA for the thesis entitled "Developing child imagination." In 1994, he got a Ph.D. for a doctoral thesis on "The impact of ancient Egyptian art on modern European arts."
As of 1991 till 1997, Abdul-Rahman carried out studies in the fields of photography, colour theories, graphics, carving and theatrical decor in the Munich-based Arts Academy. His several exquisite art exhibitions enriched the modern Egyptian artistic movement. Abdul-Rahman also wrote a number of artistic articles to Egyptian, Arabic and German newspaper as well.
Abdul-Rahman designed the posters of the Amnesty International in 1992, the 1994 Cairo International Film Festival and the poster marking the inauguration of Uffing Museum in Germany in 1997. He drew the maps of some German cities in 1995 and 1997 and was assigned the task of photographing some of the German museums’ finest pieces. He was also awarded first prize for the best internal design of Freizing tunnel in Germany in 1996.
1984 Foreign Diplomats Exhibition.
1991/92/93/96/97 Sparkasse Murnau Gallery.
1993/97 the Munich-based Fine Arts Academy.
1993/96/97 Uffing Museum.
1995 The Syndicate of Plastic Artists.
1997 Moevenpick Hotel Gallery.
1997 Light and Colour Exhibition

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Zaki Naguib Mahmoud

Zaki Naguib Mahmoud
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud is one of the pioneers of enlightenment along half a century. He is "the philosopher of authors and author of philosophers," as Abbas Mahmoud Al-Aqqad put it.
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud was born on February 2,1905 in Damietta governorate. He attended Gordon College in Sudan where his father was working at that time, returned to Cairo and joined the department of philosophy at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. He graduated in 1930. Then, he worked as a teacher of philosophy in the secondary stage. In 1974, he was given a scholarship to England to do a doctoral thesis on self-determinateness. There, he knew closely the philosopher of the 20th century Ph.D. Bertrand Russell and the great logician John Eyre.
When he came back, he was appointed lecturer, then, assistant professor and finally professor of philosophy at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. Among the distinguished positions Zaki Naguib Mahmoud held are: professor of philosophy in the University of Kuwait, writer in Al-Ahram Newspaper, member in the Supreme Council of Culture, the National Council of Culture and the National Council of Education and Scientific Research.
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud’s encyclopedic reference books on philosophy and literature, not to mention his translations of the masterpieces of philosophy, all contributed to enrich Arabic literature. His intellectual life is divided into two main stages:
• In the first stage, Zaki Naguib Mahmoud laid the foundations of his intellectual production from which and sometimes from the corrective or polemical treatment of which the second stage emerged. He held that disciplined and systematic verification of knowledge is the ultimate object of philosophy and that logical analysis of language is the prime tool to that end. He concluded that knowledge is of two kinds: mental and sentimental.
At that stage, Zaki Naguib Mahmoud wrote:
Symbolic Logic (1951), The Philosophy of Science (1952), The Mythology of Metaphysics (1953) reprinted in 1983 under the title An Attitude Towards Metaphysics, Intellectual Life in the Modern World (1956), The Theory of Knowledge (1956) and Towards a Scientific Philosophy for which he was given the State Incentive Award.
• The second stage began with the publication of The Artist East in 1956 where Zaki Naguib Mahmoud revealed the historical dimension of knowledge and the civilized, structural and comprehensive significance of such a dimension rather than its limited social perspective. It is in that book that he began to discover the main cultural peculiarities of eastern cultures against a background of those characterizing western cultures through dichotomies between the sky and earth, sentiment and reason, good and evil, originality and modernity and so on. He generally attributed the first item of each pair to the East, the second to the West. The two items were not, however, dealt with as being completely separate.
In his later works such as The Poetry of Al-Ghazali and The Attitude of Ibn Khaldun Towards Philosophy, the question of the historical reality of the Arab culture occupied his mind and he became much more interested in the Arab cultural heritage.
His book The Revival of Arab Intellect written in 1970 marks the peak of the second stage. It drew a distinction between the genius of the Arab culture and borrowings from other cultures. The two criteria he established were the nature of creativity and the way borrowing occurs.
In the books mentioned below, Zaki Naguib Mahmoud attempted to shape an integrated philosophical attitude, engage in, criticize and foresee the future of the cultural and intellectual Egyptian and Arab life. These are:
• The Reasonable and the Absurd in our Intellectual Heritage (1975). • Our Culture Facing the Challenges of the Age (1976). • Our Intellectual Life (1979). • This Age and its Culture (1980). • On the Philosophy of Criticism (1983). • An Islamic Vision (1987). • On the Modernization of the Arab Culture (1988). • Seeds and Roots (1990).
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud was given the State Incentive Award in 1960, State Merit Award in 1970, Arab Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Award in 1984 and The American University in Cairo Honorary Doctorate in 1985.
In September 1997, the London-based Association named for Zaki Naguib Mahmoud was established.

Ismail Serageldin

Ismail Serageldin
Ismail Serageldin, Director, Library of Alexandria, also chairs the Boards of Directors for each of the BA's affiliated research institutes and museums and is Distinguished Professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Ismail Serageldin is an Egyptian national, born in Giza in 1944. He is married with one son. He is tri-lingual: Arabic, French and English.
Dr. Serageldin serves as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions and civil society efforts which includes the Institut d'Egypte (Egyptian Academy of Science), TWAS (Third World Academy of Sciences), the Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is former Chairman, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR, 1994-2000), Founder and former Chairman, the Global Water Partnership (GWP, 1996-2000) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), a microfinance program (1995-2000). Serageldin has also served in a number of capacities at the World Bank, including as Vice President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (1992-1998), and for Special Programs (1998-2000). He has published over 50 books and monographs and over 200 papers on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability, and the value of science to society. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Cairo University and Masters' degree and a PhD from Harvard University and has received 18 honorary doctorates.
1964 B.Sc. (First Class Honors) Cairo University 1968 M.R.P. (With Distinction) Harvard University 1972 Ph.D. Harvard University
Honorary degrees
1996 Doctor of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania 1996 Doctor of Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne, Australia 1997 Doctor of Science, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India 1998 Doctor of International Affairs, American University, Washington, DC, USA 1998 Doctor of Science, Punjab Agricultural University, India 1998 Doctor of Science, Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences Univ., India 1998 Doctor of Natural Resources Management, Ohio State Univ., USA 1999 Doctor of Science, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 1999 Doctor of Science, ANGRAU, Hyderabad, India 1999 Doctor of Economics and Management, CNAM, Paris, France 1999 Doctor of Science, Egerton University, Kenya 1999 Doctor of Agricultural Science, University of Tuscia, Italy 2000 Doctor of Humane Letters, American University in Cairo, Egypt 2002 Doctor of Science, SNHU, Manchester NH, USA 2003 Doctor of Science, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada 2004 Doctor of Letters, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia 2004 Doctor of Letters, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France 2005 Doctor of Laws degree, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
Director, Library of Alexandria. Distinguished University Professor, Wageningen University, the Netherlands Also serves as chair and member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions and civil society efforts.
Previous appointments
Chairman, Youth Employment Summit (YES) Campaign (1998-2002) Special Advisor, The World Bank Distinguished Visiting Professor, American University in Cairo (AUC) (2000/2001) Advisor to the Egyptian Government on the New Library of Alexandria Vice President of the World Bank till July 2000, (for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, from October 1992 to March 1998, and for Special Programs from March 1998 to July 2000) Chairman, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR, 1994-2000) Chairman, Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), a microfinance program (1995-2000) Chairman of the Global Water Partnership (GWP, 1996-2000) Chairman, World Commission for Water in the 21st Century (August 1998-March 2000) Worked in a number of capacities at the World Bank since joining in 1972.
Economist in education and human resources (1972-76); Division Chief for Technical Assistance and Special Studies (1977-80), and for Urban Projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (1980-83); Director for Programs in West Africa (1984-87), Country Director for Central and Occidental Africa (1987-89), Technical Director for all Sub-Saharan Africa (1990-92), and Vice-President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (1993-98).
In addition, he was active in promoting NGO-Bank relations, and served as Co-Chairman of the NGO-Bank Committee (1997-99). Prior to joining the World Bank, worked as a consultant in city and regional planning, and taught at Cairo University and Harvard University.
Professional Memberships
Supreme Council for Culture, Egypt Institut d'Egypte (Egyptian Academy of Science) National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Austria Bangladesh Academy of Science, Dhaka American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Third World Academy of Sciences, Italy World Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrinae (ABA)
Publications & Speeches
Over 50 books and monographs (edited or authored) and 200 articles, book chapters, and technical papers on various topics, including: Nurturing Development (1995), Sustainability and the Wealth of Nations (1996), Architecture of Empowerment (1997), Rural Well-Being: From Vision to Action (1997, with David Steeds), The Modernity of Shakespeare (1998), Biotechnology and Biosafety (1999, with Wanda Collins), Very Special Places (1999) and Promethean Science (2000, with G. Persley).

Salah Abdel Kerim

Salah Abdel Kerim
A third child of five, Salah Abdel Kerim was born in the Egyptian city of Fayiom in 1925. His father was a public server. The family moved in 19737 to Cairo and a year later the Abdel Karim met Hussein Bikar, the great artist, under whom he studied for two years in Qena school. In 1940, Abdel Karim he met Hussein Yousif and the members of Contemporary Art Society in King Farouk secondary school based in Abassia area, where he made his first acquaintance with their surrealism.
In 1943, he joined the faculty of Fine Arts and majored ornamentation. He graduated in 1947 with t grade average point of excellent with honor.
He was nominated as an assistant in the same faculty. In 1952, he traveled to France where he studied theater decoration and advertisement.
In 1956, he moved to Rome where he studied cinema decoration art and was granted San Vito Romano International Award in photography in Italy. He obtained PhD form the Experimental Institute for Cinema Decoration in 1958.
Back home a year later, he set out his teaching career in the faculty of Fine Arts and embarked on metal sculpture work. He won the first Biennale Alexandria award for his objet d'art, Revolution. He took part in the fifth Biennale in S?o Paulo and was awarded the International Medal of Honor, Mencao Hpnrosa, for his statue, the Fish.
Abdel Karim represented Egypt in Guggenheim competition where his oil picture ' the Cocks Struggle' won the award. He also participated in Venice Biennale.
He laid the foundations of the Interior Engineering department in the faculty of Fine Arts and developed necessary student curricula. He, also, founded the Fine Art Museum at the faculty. He played a major part in establishing and teaching in the decoration departments in both Cinema and Theater Institutes.
He designed the decoration of many public building such as the People's Assembly, Television and Police Academy buildings, hotels such as M?venpick Heliopolis and Cairo Sheraton and banks such as Alexandria Bank, Kuwait International Bank and the Euro-Arab Bank in Brussels.
Cooperating with Kamal Malakh, he founded the Luxor Museum for Antiquities. He participated in a good many number of international exhibitions in Cairo and Damascus. He participated in the seventh Biennale in S?o Paulo (Brazil) and won the international award of honor 'Honuosa Mencao' for his statue 'Beast's Scream'.
He won the Order for Science and Arts, first class, in 1963 and in the same year was delegated to New York to organize the Egyptian suite in New York International exhibition.
In 1964, Abdel Karim was granted the State's Encouragement Prize in ornamental sculpture and photography and took part in the Egyptian suite in Montreal. In 1967, he participated in Biennale Venice and won the Republic's Order, third class. In 1968, he participated in the first Triennale in India, then the Indian government bought his statue Kaboria 'Crab' for the Modern Art Museum in New Delhi. Indeed, Abdel Karim was one of the Egypt's celebrities in the world of art in general and sculpture in particular.
He chaired a department in the faculty of Fine Arts in 1979-1980, then was nominated as the dean of the same faculty in 1982. He took over he presidency of Helwan University in 1984 and was awarded the Medal of Distinction, first class, in 1985. He retired in 1986, but continued his teaching career in the Faculty of Fine Arts. He gained the State's Award of Appreciation in arts. He died on November 20, 1988.
Orders and Medals • Order for Science and Arts, first class, in 1963 • State's Encouragement Prize in ornamental sculpture and photography, in 1964 • Republic's Order, third class, in 1967 • Medal of Distinction, first class, in 1985 • State's Award of Appreciation in arts, in 1986

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Abdu al-Hamuli

Abdu al-Hamuli

A vocalist and renovator, al-Hamuli's influence has extended to affect Twentieth Century singers.
Date of birth1836, Tanta, Gharbeya
A chance meeting with a senior vocalist catapulted al-Hamuli into studying the fundamentals of music. His reputation was such that he formed his own group and was heard by Khedive Ismail who liked his voice and took him in to become part of his entourage. Hamuli traveled to Turkey, where he had the opportunity to listen to Turkish music. Later he would compose oriental music that appealed to both Egyptians and Turks alike.
His choice of songs was so refined that he would resort to statesmen/poets of the caliber of Mahmoud Sami al-Baroudi, Ismail Sabri Pasha, Abdurrahman Qurr'a (then Egypt's Mufti) and 'Aisha al-Taymouria.
Hamuli composed in keys never-before-used by other Egyptian composers.
He married the renowned singer Sokaina, known as Almaz.
Abdu al-Hamuli died on May 12, 1901

Mahmoud Yassin

Mahmoud Yassin
The notion of art for art’s sake is as repugnant to Mahmoud Yassin as are claims that art is haram (proscribed). “Art, in whatever shape or form it takes, has a sublime message,” says veteran actor Yassin. “Apart from the aesthetic merit and artistic quality of the work, it must have a clear social and humanitarian function.”
With this as his philosophy throughout a career that spans more than five decades, the law school graduate has graced Egyptian cinema in over 150 films and starred in roughly 25 theater productions, as well as scores of radio and television dramas.
His personal experience with war as a child growing up in the small coastal city of Port Said, where he was born in 1941, has engrained in him a deep-seated belief in the need to promote social justice and a compassion for the underprivileged. During the 1956 tripartite aggression on his hometown, he had a first-hand encounter with living in a conflict zone.
Partial filmography
1969: A Touch of Fear
1972: Song on the pathway
1973: Night and rods
1974: Where is my mind?
1977: Sonya and the madman
1977: Mouths and rabbits
1979: Conqueror of the dark 1979:
1980: Attention, gentlemen
1981: Traveling without a road
1982: The Trial
1985: The pickpocket
1986: In-camera session
1987: The amulet
1988: Man against the law
1990: Return of the fugitive
1991: License to kill
1992: The scandal
1995: The assassination of Faten Tawfiq
1999: Girl from Israel
On September 29, 2004, Mahmoud Yassin was appointed by the World Food Program as ambassador against hunger, the first Arab to grace the position.

Mohammad Metwali al-Shaarawi

Date of birth
April 5, 1917; Daqahliyah; Egypt
Memorized the Holy Quran as well as numerous poems as a youngster 1937: Joined Faculty of Arabic Language, Azhar University and shown interest in fighting British occupation, which put him jail more than once
1940: Graduated from Faculty of Arabic Language, Azhar University
1943: Obtained his teaching license
History of employment
Worked at Azhar institutes in Tanta (Gharbiyah), Zagazig (Sharqiyah) and Alexandria
1950: Moved to Saudi Arabia to work as professor of Sharia in Umm al-Qura University
1976: Appointed Minister of Awqaf (Islamic Endowments) and Azhar Affairs (until 1978)
Was the one who issued the ministerial decree establishing the first Islamic bank in Egypt
1987: Became Member of the Arabic Language Academy
Order of Merit – First Class to mark his retirement (1976)
Order of the Republic (1983)
12qState Merit Award (1988)
Honorary doctorate in Arts from the universities of Mansoura and Minufiyah
Published numerous books on interpreting the Quran, the foundations of Islam, Women in Islam, Islam and modern thinking, etc…
Died June 16, 1998

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yehia Haqqi was one of the pioneers of the twentieth

Yehia Haqqi (1905-1992
Yehia Haqqi was one of the pioneers of the twentieth centaury literary movement in Egypt. He was a prominent novelist, short story writer and an encyclopedic intellectual that provided a rich tributary of the modern Arabic culture.
• Yehia Haqqi was born on January (7/1/1905) in the popular traditional district of Sayyada Zeinab, Cairo.
• He was graduated from Faculty of Law and he worked for a short period as a lawyer in Alexandria
• In 1929 he joined the diplomatic corps and served in Jeddah, Rome, Paris, and Ankara.
• In 1952 he was appointed Ambassador to Libya.
• In 1953 he was appointed director of arts departments and then a literary advisor to the Egyptian General Book Organization in 1958
• In 1959 he resigned from his post, and became editor-in-chief of the well-known cultural magazine "al Magalla" (1962----1970)
Haqqi effectively contributed to the broad bases of contemporary Egyptian cultural and Artistic revival, including the creation of arts institute, puppet theatre, Cairo symphony orchestra, operatic chores and other folkloric arts troupes.
Haqqi is considered the father of the short story and novel in Egypt. His first short story appeared in 1925 and he established himself as one of the greatest pioneers of contemporary short story writing in the Arab world. His short story conveys attempts to express a certain philosophy in life and advocated to the human will, which he considered the origin of all virtues. He believed that language is not merely a tool of expression or of conveying ideas but rather an integral part of the writing process in all literary norms. His study of law has its impact on his writings, which are characterized by objectivity.
In the field of novel he wrote a number of impressive works such as:
"Qandeel Umm Hashem"(Umm Hasheem Lantern) in 1943, which had its positive impact on the course of Arabic novel, for it was a precious, work in both language and technique. This novel he reviewed the customs prevailing in the Egyptian society and the means of rectifying them through education.
He also wrote "Om Al A'wagiz"(The Mother of the Helpless) "Dimaa we Teen" (Blood and Mud) "Anter and Juliet" " Sah el noom" (wake up) "Ihtigag" (Protest) "Aqrab Affandy" (Mr. Scorpion) "Tanawa'at Al Asbab" (Means vary) "Qessa fi Ard'hal" (A Story in petition) "Iflass Khatibah" (The bankruptcy of a Match Maker) "Al firash al Shaghir" (The Empty Bed) and " Al Postagy" (The Postman) in which he portrayed means of inculcating Egyptian values and principals.
He wrote a number of books on cinematographic art including "Madrast Al Masrah" (Theatre School) "Homom Thakqafia" (Cultural Concerns).
Some of his works were translated into foreign languages. He translated a number of Russian masterpieces and was well acquainted with many foreign literatures such as French, Russian, Italian, and Turkish.
He translated literary works such as:
* The Chess Player - by Stephen Zweig * The Axe - by Mikhail Sadoviano * Anthony Krugger - by Thomas Mann * Blue Brand - by Meter Linel* Cairo - by Desmond Stuart. On Arabic language he wrote "Asheq al Kalima" (world lover) where he discovered some linguistic issues. His book " Khaleeha ala Alah" (Leave it to God) which was the most truthful autobiography of Haqqi, in which he expressed the development of the author's life. In his autobiography Haqqi didn't follow the chronological order, but he opened it with the day he sat for an oral exam in his final year at the faculty of law' His childhood comes in the second part of the autobiography, entitled "shop Wastes" , while his graduation and appointments to governments post are in part one, "Trust in God".
His literary style:
Yehia Haqqi had a characteristically crisp and elegant style with brief and rhythmic phrases. He originated special narrative style of his own, expressing both originality and modernity. He adopted a realistic, and warmly passionate artistic approach in his novels and short stories; he viewed the short story in terms of dramatic structure as an integrated body of poetic images. He firmly believed that the Arabic language is so intensive and extensive that it can easily express all various requirements of our modern age.
In his short stories and novels he honestly embodies the real world with emphasis on the issue of rebellion, hope , sex , and death.
Foremost of the issue addressed by Haqqi he gave supremacy to human resolve, being in his viewpoint the core of all virtues. He also focused on the psychoanalysis and disparities of life such as "Man's Tyranny and weakness at the same time" He also expressed animal feelings in many short stories.
Haqqi in the eyes of the others
SCC Secretary General Gaber Asfour talked about Haqqi as one who always on the look -out for fresh writing talent. He also said that Haqqi was ever willing to lend a hand to young gifted writers by having their works published in the magazine entitled " El Magalla" which he was its editor-in-chief and encouraged them in many ways.
Yehia Haqqi was one of those writers who could strike a balance between Eastern and Western points of view, which is probably due to his experience as a diplomat. Nevertheless, he didn't sever the links with his home country.
Yehia's daughter Noha talked about the traces of Eastern and Western cultures in her father's character saying that despite his long absence overseas he maintained the characteristics of the gallant and pious Egyptian.
In his research on the life of Haqqi author Youssef Al Shourouni said that Haqqi's literary work wasn't isolated from his real life experiences Haqqi saved his critics the trouble of tracing the characteristics of his creation since they could be easily found in his autobiography "Al Sharouni" said adding that Haqqi imagery is unique.
Awards and Prizes
• In 1967 Haqqi was awarded the Recognition Award • In 1968 he won first price for his novel "The Postman" • He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Al Minya University, Egypt. • Order of Merit, Egypt • King Feisal International Prize Saudi ,Arabia • Knight's order in literature, France • Cairo International Cinema Festival Shield (16th session)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mohmmed Hosni Mubarak

Mohmmed Hosni Mubarak

Date and Place of Birth:
May 4, 1928, Menoufeya Governorate
•Bachelor of Military Sciences (1948) •BA in Aviation Sciences (1950) Posts:
•Chairman of the G-15 (1998&2000) •Re-elected for a fourth term of office (1999) •Chairman of the Arab Summit since June (1996) •Chairman of the Organization of African Unity "OAU"(1993 - 1994) •Re-elected for a third term of office (1993) •Chairman of the Organization of African Unity "OAU"(1989 - 1990) •Re-elected for a second term of office (1987) •President of the National Democratic Party (1982) •President of the Republic (1981) •Vice-President of the National Democratic Party (NDP) (1979)•Vice-President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1975) •Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General (1974) •Commander of the Air Force (1972) •Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1969) •Director of the Air Force Academy (1968) •Commander of Cairo West Air Base (1964) •Joined FROUNZ Military Academy, USSR (1964) •Lecturer in Air Force Academy (1952 - 1959)
Marital Status:
Married and has two sons
International Prizes and Medals Awarded to President Mubarak
International Prizes
UN Prize of Population
Prize of Democratic Human Rights, by the Social and Political Studies Center, Paris
Decoration from Comptutense University of Madrid
Emeritus Certificate of Protection - equivalent to 4 medals, by Mr. Laslo Nagui, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scouts
The Medal of the Astrolab, by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Ben Salman, first Arab astronaut, on behalf of the Saudi government
Prize of "Man of the Year 1984" by the Indian Solidarity Council
Prize of "Man of the Year", by an international institution, Paris
The Armour of the “Man of Peace” by Mr. Charles Rayen, President of the World Peace Center
Foreign medals
State of Medal
Supreme Medal of the 7th of September of the Republic of Tunisia
Medal of Grand Mubarak
The Grand Order of Honour
Republic of Columbia
Medal of the Order (Del Congresso) of the Great Extraordinary Cross
The Medal of the Republic
The Sash of Fint
Medal of Sara Fim
Federal Germany
The Great Cross of the German Medal of Merit (Excellent Order)
The Grand Sash of Isabelle the Catholic
The Grand Sash of the Medal of Saviour
The Grand Sash of the National Medal “La Panthere”
The Grand Sash of the National Medal of Mali
Central Africa
The Grand Order of the Republic of Central Africa
Medal of the Sultan of Brunei (Dar El Salam)
The Medal of Henry the Child
The Grand Sash of the Medal of the Supreme Chrysantheme
Democratic Korea
The Medal of the National Flag (First Order)
The Grand Sash of the National Medal of the Niger
The Grand Sash of the Medal of the Great Cross
The Grand Sash of the Medal of “Legion d’Honneur”
The Medal of Terichaki Pata of the First Order
The Grand Sash of the Medal of Isabelle the Catholic
The Great Sash of the Medal of National Merit
The Medal of Indonesia ADIBRADANA
The Great Decoration of the Medal of Honour
The Medal of Ma'areb (Second Class)
The Medal of Oman (Second Order)
The Military Medal of Oman (First Order)
The Medal of Omayad
Medal of Kuwait (Excellent Order)
The Great Sash of the Golden Order of Honour
The Great Sash of the Medal of National Merit
The Great Golden Order of Honour
Saudi Arabia
Medal of King Abdel Aziz of the Excellent Order
Medal of Hemayone (Second order)
Medal of the Republic of the First Order
National Military and Civilian Decorations and Medals
Military Decorations and Medals
•Medal of the Star of Sinai of the First Order (1983) •Order of the Star of Honour (1964 and 1974) •Military Star Medal •Military Badge of the Republic of the First Order •Military Badge of Courage of the First Order •Military Badge of Duty of the First Order
Civilian Decorations and Medals
Egyptian Civilian and Military Decorations awarded to President Mubarak, under the Republican Decree No. 223/1983:
•The Grand Order of the Nile
•Medal of the Republic (1975)
•Sash of the Nile
•Medal of the Republic of the First Order
•Medal for Merit of the First Order
•Medal of Work of the First Order
•Medal of Sciences and Arts of the First Order
•Medal of Sports of the First Order
•Badge of Merit of the First Order
•Badge of Excellence of the First Order
Honorary Degrees
•Honorary doctorate from George Washington University - 1999
•Honorary doctorate from St. Johns University - 1999
•Honorary doctorate from Beijing University-1999
•Honorary doctorate in acknowledgement of his regional, global role ( Bulgaria )- 1998
•Membership and Decoration "Honoris Causa" for International Law, by the Mexican Academic Council for International Law-1991

Kamal al-Tawil

Kamal al-Tawil
Born on 11 October 1922, El-Tawil studied singing at the Higher Institute for Music, graduating in 1949 and turning to composition for the remainder of his career. He worked at the Egyptian Radio until 1956, when he moved to the Ministry of Education, in which he remained until 1965. For several years he worked as an adviser to the Ministry of Information in Kuwait.
Although cultured and proficient in several foreign languages, El-Tawil, ironically for a composer, never mastered a musical instrument. He was known to depend on the internal music of the poetry he was trying to set to music, working closely with the poets in question, many of whom thus became close friends.
Among El-Tawil's most famous compositions is Salah Jahin's Wallah Zaman ya Silahi (It's been long, my gun), first sung by diva Umm Kulthoum during the Suez crisis of 1956 and for years afterwards Egypt's national anthem. Indeed El-Tawil is often remembered for the upbeat melodies to which he set to nationalist songs inspired by the July 1952 Revolution such as Hikayet Shaab (Story of a People), Al-Mas'uliya (Responsibility), Bustan Al- Ishtirakiya (Orchard of Socialism), Sura (Photo) and Khalli Al- Silah Sahi (Keep the Weapon Awake). Along with poets such as Jahin and Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudi and the famous singer Abdel- Halim Hafez, El-Tawil is associated with the propaganda of the revolution. He also composed the music for the national anthems of several Arab countries including Kuwait and Mauritania.
His music in the form of songs was propagated by the Arab world's most famous singers including Nagat, Sabah and Warda. It was with Hafez in particular that he forged a special relationship, and they cooperated on many songs. Their romantic melodies, such as Asmar Ya Asmarani (O Dark One) Fi Yawm Fi Shahr Fi Sana (One Day, One Month, One Year) and Balash Eitab (No Need for Rebuke) remain popular to this day. Also among his most famous songs are those from the soundtrack of the famous film Khalli Balak Min Zouzou (Beware of Zouzou), starring Soad Hosni, like Ya Wad Ya T'il (Cool One), which remain integral to popular culture and are associated with the memory of Soad Hosni.
Yet El-Tawil managed to adapt himself over the years and to continue to work with younger generations of artists after Hafez's untimely death. Among his more recent hits, for example, was Mohamed Mounir's Alli Sawtak Bil-Ghuna (Raise Your Voice in Song), the theme song for Youssef Chahine's Al-Masir (Destiny). He composed soundtracks for numerous films and television dramas including a documentary on Naguib Mahfouz and Huwa wa Hiyya (Him and Her).
El-Tawil's political commitment was not limited to patriotic songs, however. In fact, despite the composer's association with the July 1952 Revolution and after briefly joining the leftist Tagammu' Party, he ran for parliament and was a Wafd Party MP from 1987 to 1990, his family having adopted the Wafdist tradition since before the revolution. As an MP, El-Tawil is best remembered for generating discussion of problems relating to money investment companies in parliament in the late 1980s.
On his death El-Tawil had just received the State Merit Award. He is survived by his wife Paola Ezzat and two sons, Khaled and Ziyad, with the latter establishing a reputation as a composer.

Abul-Enein Sheisha

Date of birth December 12, 1927
Achievements Memorized the Quran at 10 Recorded a recital of the entire Quran on 45 tapes at one time and on 105 tapes at another Recited the Quran at Haj Many converted to Islam at his hands Traveled extensively to Morocco, Malaysia, South Africa, Kuwait, Iraq and Argentina
Awards 1959: Decorated by the Prime Minister of Syria 1965: Decorated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia 1975: Awarded the Order of Merit from Senegal 1980: Decorated by Pakistan 1984: Awarded the Pakistani Order of Scientists 1987: Awarded the Egyptian Order of Merit
Died on November 30, 1988.

Dr. Farouk al-Baz, originally an Egyptian to the core, is a world scientist who has contributed

Dr. Farouk al-Baz
scientist for all ages

Dr. Farouk al-Baz, originally an Egyptian to the core, is a world scientist who has contributed over four decades a great deal of scientific research that has changed our concepts and visions about the cosmos and the planets, in the depths of the earth and the unlimited vistas of space.
Born in Egypt in 1938, Farouk al-Baz completed his education and obtained B.SC in chemistry and geology from Ein Shams university in the same year he left for the United States where he got M.SC from faculty of Mining and Minerals, Mioussuri University in 1961.
Then he obtained his PH.D in economic geology in 1964 and gained honorary membership of several national and international societies as well as fellowships of the U.S geological societies the American Union for the progress of sciences, the Explorers Club in New York, University Club of Boston and Cosmos Club in Washington.
Dr. Farouk al Baz has published more than 200 scientific research and wrote 6 books, mainly about the moon, space pioneers and Apollo space shuttles.
He is appointed a visiting professor in several American and Arab universities, supervising post-graduate studies and giving lectures in several technical institutes worldwide.
Farouk al-Baz lives with his American wife and four daughters in the United States. Currently, Dr. Farouk is occupying the post of the principal of the Space Research Center in Boston University.
"Al-Itihad" newspaper met Dr. Farouk and interviewed him on a number of issues.
Q: There is always a question about your not obtaining the Nobel Prize despite your major achievements in the moon conquest.
A: My brothers wonder the same. Simply, the Nobel Prize does not embrace geology. Therefore, no geologist can get it.
Q: You and your siblings, except one, all got Ph.D. what is the secret behind that success, though you were brought up in an ordinary way?
A: Only three of us got Ph. D. and the rest got university degrees and senior posts. The reason was my father's unlimited keenness to education that he considered the key of life. When I was abroad I was enlightened by his views, and his concern was to advise us not to change and remain Arab in essence and ethical in customs and behaviour.
Q: Tell us about the circumstances of your moving to America and your work in NASA. A: It was customary for Egypt to send missions for higher studies to Russia at the time of President Nasser, and my brother Osama suggested to wait till I got a scholarship from Europe or America, out of his experience from his visits to Russia and America as a diplomat. Finally, I got a scholarship from the United States where I got my Master and then the Doctorate.
In fact, I prepared my self to set up a school for economic geology after several visits to the mines in the mountains and vallies in several states of America.
I also studied in Germany to get acquainted with mines in Europe. Then I returned to America and joined NASA in Washington, for they needed geologists to study geological reports from spaceships on the moon. Later, I was appointed supervisor in charge of training the space pioneers in geology and physiological instructions.
Q: How were you viewed as an Arab by American colleagues? What was their view about geologist in general?
A: Their view to geologists was unpleasant. I remember when I asked a colleague to tell one of the space pioneers to come to meet a geologist called Farouk al-Baz to give him training about geology, he considered the matter as a joke, asking who that Baz is (laughing). Generally, they had some apprehensions and misgivings about me as Egyptian especially when I was nominated the Secretary General of the committee in charge of specifying the landing areas on the moon surface.
At last they were convinced that the best is selected until he makes a mistake leading to his being fired.
The situation remained as such, and during the six space shuttles of Apollo, I was the chairman of that committee as well as Head of the committee in charge of training the pioneers on geology until the Apollo project was completed.

Here Cairo day

Here Cairo Egypt Mother of the World country of civilization and peace are any warmth and compassion and you're looking for any Cairo Egyptian civilization through the ages it is not a normal civilization, but that the tourists visiting the pyramids, which the whole world