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March 2018

Since 1996

In tune with the Community SINCE 1996

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Special Features:

Real Estate Women & Youth

Is the Real Estate Market Approaching a Bubble?

Amal Mowafy:

from “ariel girl” to Development Role Model fighting unemployment

Say it with a sparkle at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

Tie the knot with sheer romance and understated elegance. Every couple will win exclusive experiences and prestigious prizes upon booking. One lucky couple will win the ultimate prize, a prize so special, one that holds a life-long promise. A one carat diamond ring. For more information please call +202 25778899 or 01277232882. Book your wedding before end of June 2018, subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. Š2018 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L. L. C.

contact us for more information and distribution ( +202 22908127 - +2 01000052322 ) /CommunityTimesEgypt



Contents  March 2018 TOWN TALK 04



Talk of the Town News


Style 06


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Culture 08

Scenes Al Noor Mosque: An Architectural Gem in Sharjah Travel Australia: A Piece of Heaven Down Under

ART Artist Aya Tarek Startles Geneva with Graffiti of Omar El Sherif


Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival


Events India By The Nile


Events You Do Not Want to Miss


FIlm Sharm El Sheikh Film Festival


MUSIC Janan Band’s Inspirational Music




Special Features Real Estate

March 2018

Since 1996

In tune wIth the CommunIty SInCe 1996

Mother’S Day giFt iDeaS


Egyptian Real Estate Market: Are we on the Verge of a Bubble?


Latest Real Estate News

Special Features Women and Youth 30

Tales of Motherhood


Successful Egyptian Women Across Special Needs Fields


Amal Mowafy: The Female Role Model for Development


A Glimpse at Egypt’s Young Synchronized Swimmers


Youth in the Community: The Doodle Factory

Special FeatureS:

Real estate Women & Youth

iS the real eState Market approaching a BuBBle?

Amal Mowafy:

from “ariel girl” to Development role moDel fighting unemployment

COVER PHOTO Courtesy of Amal Mowafy


Ct | Mar 2018



Mother’s Day Dessert Recipes


Social Events and Gatherings

Publisher Live Colors, Nicosia Managing Partner Najla Riad Associate Partners Ahmed Samy Mohamed Maher

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief Moguib Roshdy Acting Editor Najla Riad Assistant Editor Rawan Abdel Latif

Writers Ahmed Kafafi, Basma Mostafa, Katharina Froehlich, Mona Bassel, Noha Kandil, Rehab Saad, Selma Köhn and Yasmine Mabrouk

Art Department Art Director Khadiga El Badan

Senior Graphic Designer

Editor’s Note


ooking at the freezing weather in Europe and some of the states in the U.S., we feel lucky that we wake up most of the year with the sun shining. It is also getting warm fast in Egypt, so mothers are lucky because there is nothing better than celebrating Mother’s Day out in the open. There are umpteenth places to go to and enjoy a warm breeze or explore some of the packages that hotels are offering on this day. We also put together a few ideas for mothers’ gifts for you in the Style section.

Several articles in this issue focus on women with disabilities, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, who have not let their impediments deter them from reaching their dreams.

Marina Raafat

Sales Department Sales Director Rania Halim

Business development Department Business Development Director Sherif Anis

Production MANAGER Enas Adly

Administration Department Distribution Manager Rana Ezzat Salem Salem

Office Manager Magda Adib

Financial Consultants Hazem Abdel Tawab Ahmed Abbas

Office Clerk Mohamed Adel Office Custodian Ismail Othman

March is also the month for festivities. D-CAF, the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival, has put together a huge program that includes urban vision, performing arts, stage, music and art exhibitions, besides workshops. India by the Nile festival is also back. Audiences will enjoy a variety of India’s culture prepared by the Indian Embassy. Among those performing are two of the most prominent figures in India: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the iconic Sarod Maestro in classical music and Choreographer Gilles Chuyen, who will conduct several workshops in Bollywood dance. Also, for the first time in Egypt, the Malavika Sarukkai’s Ensemble will perform a dance and the Kabir Café will perform Sufi fusion music. There will also be several seminars conducted on Indian tea, India and Egypt’s economic engagement, and practicing yoga the right way. Enjoy the good weather, for Egypt has been and will always be blessed.

Distribution Al Ahram, Next Media Mohandessin, Zamalek, Heliopolis, Maadi, Nasr City, New Cairo, 6 October City, Sheikh Zayed City

Prepress & Printing: Sahara Printing Company

Address: 48 Abdel Moneim Hafez Street, Midan El Sabaa’ Emarat, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt Tel/Fax: (+202) 2290 8127 - 2415 8762 Mobile: 0100 005 2322 - 0100 005 2323 E-mail: Website: © Copyright 2004 Community Times is a monthly publication published by LC Live Colors Nicosia, Cyprus

The Editor



@CtimesEgy Mar 2018 | Ct



Say it With a Sparkle at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo The All New Iconic Brand, Ds Automobiles, Now In Egypt Last January, the first DS Salon in Egypt opened its doors to the public by Ezz Elarab. The opening comprised the official launch of the DS brand along with the reveal of the DS 7 Crossback, which was brought in specifically as a display model. DS Salon was inaugurated by Phillipe-Jean Lefond, Vice President - Groupe PSA who went on to explain that DS is the latest brand and the flagship of Groupe PSA that officially awarded Ezz Elarab as a sole importer in Egypt. The opening was also attended by Mohamed Adnane Serraj, Area Manager – Groupe PSA, Frank Tavernier, Quality Manager – Groupe PSA and a multiple network of guests. p

and superior to all other networks in the country. This assessment that was based on network tests taken with Speedtest during Q3 and Q4 of 2017 entitles Orange Egypt to claim it operates the fastest network in Egypt and uses the commercial rights of Ookla in its campaigns. The efficiency and the speed of mobile networks in Egypt have been tested through a number of standards based on data resulted from tests by the internet users. According to such tests, the Ookla Speedtest application measures the speed of operators in a market and, based on rigorous analysis, determines which performs fastest in the award period.

Orange Awarded by Ookla as the Fastest Network in Egypt and Introduces the Newest Youth Tariff “Orange Dragon” Orange Egypt has been certified by Ookla as the fastest in Egypt, with a data speed matching international standards


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On this occasion, Orange is introducing the newest youth tariff “Orange Dragon”. With the new Tariff, Orange is introducing the newest internet unit that guarantees the full usage of internet packages “Dragon Bytes” where youth will get 150 minutes in addition to 7000 Dragon Bytes, all for only 70 EGP per month. Youth can also benefit from the new internet units to use them however they want on social media, music and Internet. p

The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo celebrates each couple’s unique love story, creating world-class weddings and timeless memories. The hotel’s wedding experts promise to craft once in a lifetime experiences for couples and their guests. The hotel cooperates with exclusive luxury wedding partners to bring fairytale weddings to life. From bridal couture, floral arrangements, jewelry, professional makeup, bridal hair to indulgent experiences, the hotel promises every wedding to be special. Couples choosing The Nile RitzCarlton for their wedding during the summer months of June, July, August and September, are entitled to win attractive prizes that range from bridal makeup with Zeina El Naggar, floral arrangements with Flower Power, bridal packages with Al Sagheer group, videography with Ramy Azmy, music with Khaled Hussein and much more. Additionally, one lucky couple will get a chance to win the coveted grand prize - a diamond ring. The hotel offers stunning indoor venues that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests, breathtaking outdoor venues, delectable menus that are sure to delight and gracious service. The Nile Ritz-Carlton also offers royal suites on the wedding day, a special honeymoon getaway, curated bachelor and bachelorette parties, pampering bridal spa treatments, a complimentary wedding cake, romantic dinners and so much more. p

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day at Le Meridien Cairo Airport A Memorable Mother’s Day at Jw Marriott Hotel Cairo JW Marriott Hotel Cairo showcases special offerings to celebrate cherished mothers on Mother’s Day. Celebrate with picture perfect views of the stunning landscape at Mirage Café and treat her to a special dinner buffet overlooking the golf course and lakes, savoring a various range of fresh and delicious international cuisines. If you are looking for an oriental Middle Eastern ambiance, head over to Ahlein and enjoy the diverse flavors of Lebanon. Gather with your mom and family for a special four-course set menu and enjoy the true essence of Beirut in an elegant setting and generous hospitality. Ultimately, add the cherry-on-top of her day and give her the gift of relaxation with a special Mother’s Day package at Mandara Spa valid throughout the month of March. Starting with a 60-minute aroma massage, followed by a 30-minute detoxifying green tea scrub, complemented by a 60-minute Cleopatra facial treatment; this 150-minute road to paradise will leave her glowing, both physically and mentally. p

A massage session, a memorable dining experience or a comfortable night’s stay, Le Meridien Cairo Airport is giving you every opportunity to pamper mom on her special day. Spoil her with a memorable stay including a one-hour massage session for a relaxed experience in a double room including breakfast for two. You can also treat her with a heartwarming dining experience at EVOO! Bring the whole family and dine, where mothers eat for free and get a complimentary cake and roses. p

Mother’s Day at Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel Discover a dazzling selection of Mediterranean dishes in the bright contemporary atmosphere of Citron, and enjoy a complimentary tart for your mom when you are dining with a family of four, or more. If you are craving Chinese, treat your mom and family with a mouthwatering selection of authentic Chinese delicacies at Chinoix. This signature restaurant offers desirable dishes such as Beijing duck, dim sum, and a range of other Chinese platters in a chic yet casual setting. Your mom will enjoy a complimentary dinner for every table of four guests. p

Treat your Queen this Mother's Day at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo Treat the most important woman in your life to a spectacular Mother's Day at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo. Spend an afternoon celebrating mom with the family at Vivo over a lavish Italian lunch with many different set menus and a la carte dishes. For dinner, Vivo will also feature its delicious a la carte menu, but will also have a special supplementary menu with Mother’s Day specials that your mom is guaranteed to love. In addition, all moms will receive a complimentary white rose and a box of macarons. Bab El-Sharq restaurant is offering an exceptional Arabian dining delight. Dine in a group of four guests and your mother will receive a complimentary experience. There is no better gift than offering her a mother-daughter escape from the rigors of city life at The Nile Ritz-Carlton Spa. Indulge in any of the holistic treatments and your mom will be offered a complimentary facial or massage. p

Mar 2018 | Ct



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

The 21st of March marks the date when we prepare a day full of presents and activities for all the mothers out there, celebrating their lifetime of giving unconditionally. We have put together a few ideas on how to make that day a special occasion they will not forget.

Gift Basket This can be as big or as small as you want, and you can customize it to include all of her favorite things. From her favorite chocolates and creams to a nice pair of sunglasses, you can really include anything and everything that will put a smile on her face. For an average sized basket, go for a selection of chocolates or baked cupcakes, a scented candle, a personalized card and her preferred perfume or body splash. Make sure to pass by a gift shop to have them fill up any spaces or wrap it nicely.

Makeup Bag and Cosmetics Gifting her both will make for a complete present. Take a look at some of her favorite brands of lipstick, nail polish and foundation and complete it by buying a makeup bag that will compliment them. Place the cosmetics inside so that she gets a little surprise that the present consists of more than the bag.

Happiness Planners It is never too late to start organizing the year ahead. All mothers seek a little structure in their lives, and so buying her one of the planners that include the calendar, goals, to-do lists and games with definitely add value to her everyday routine. You can find these in most bookstores or megastores.


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Gift Card If the day is getting closer and you can’t pinpoint exactly what she would like, then you can’t go wrong with a gift card. Whether from her favorite clothes store, perfume store or hotel spa, sometimes the best present is being given the freedom to choose it yourself.

Tickets to a Concert or Show Sometimes a night out without any of the responsibility is much needed. Check out the events that are taking place around that date and book two seats, whether you will be accompanying her or her husband. According to her taste and preference, look for art exhibitions, musical performances or a ballet. Make sure she does not have to drive to and from the venue to make it the perfect experience.

“Thank You Mom” Book If you want to get her a very sentimental present, you can look for places that can let you customize a notebook and write inside reasons why you are grateful for having her or even inspirational quotes that she can enjoy at anytime, whether she is feeling happy or sad.

Jewelry No one can say no to an additional piece of jewelry. Whether she prefers bracelets, earrings or necklaces, they always make for a perfect gift that will be something that will remind her of you whenever she wears it. Pair it with her favorite chocolates or flowers.

Day Trip As the day falls at the beginning of the spring weather, planning a day trip, whether to Ain Sokhna or even Wadi Degla Protectorate, will definitely make it a day to remember. Either call and book for a day-use at one of the hotels and later head to one of the restaurants on the sea in Sokhna, or pack a lunch and reserve a day on a yacht. If you are looking for something even closer, get a barbecue ready and head to Wadi Degla to set up a small camp and spend your time eating, hiking and telling stories. p

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Arts Though still young, Aya Tarek has been internationally conceived as a valued Egyptian graffiti artist and muralist, who also works with advanced design solutions and illustrations.

Artist Aya Tarek

Startles Geneva with Graffiti of Omar El Sherif By Rehab Saad


Ct | Mar 2018


he 29-year-old Egyptian artist from Alexandria graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and began sharing her street art in 2008 as a way of expressing her own views in a more exposed atmosphere, where viewers are left to reach their own conclusions. Since she began painting, she has gained many followers and bloggers. Getting her inspiration from her grandfather who was a graphic designer, Tarek started to practice her passion with a group of friends in a small workshop owned by him called “Fo’ we Taht” (Up and Down). Her first work was at Azareeta’s tram station that comrpised of a painting of a man selling liquorice juice, wearing a shirt with bright colors, which took her weeks to prepare, but was completed in five minutes. She then, along with a few friends, painted an image of Sheikh El Shaarawi, a significant figure in Egypt’s culture, slowly transforming the walls of the city into a true reflection of the community. Tarek also produced several independent films, including “Microphone”, which displays Alexandria’s art, and participated in the “White Wall” exhibition in Beirut in 2012 that included 15 international artists. Currently, in partnership with Saradar, her main concern is not to portray any political view. “We are about style, technique and making art that can be valued for more than just a political statement,” expresses Tarek.

However, we find that some of her paintings do reflect politics, like her poster for City Leaks Urban Art Festival in Cologne, which showcases a man holding a rifle across his body like a banjo, boldly titled “Country Music”. She produced another mural named “The Good, the Bad, and the Politician” which was used on the documentary film of the same title in 2011. Tarek also participated in the USF program, sponsored by the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Art2Action. The program allows Middle Eastern artists to work closely for two years with volunteers to complete a large wall mural. The graffiti for the late actor Omar El Sherif covers the façade of one of the buildings in Geneva, 40 meters above the Pâquis. “This piece fulfills one of the promises of the Antigel Festival this year, which focuses on two African countries: South Africa and Egypt,” she says. Melanie Rouquier, one of the event curators, was looking for support in Lagos, Johannesburg and Egypt. During her stay in Cairo, she invited Tarek. “As the festival is held on the 70th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration, I chose to paint an Egyptian hero with a great moustache acting as the famous Dr. Zhivago,” she explains. The painting was completed in five days, and the inauguration was attended by the Mayor of Geneva and the organizers of the Antigel Festival of Fine Arts, alongside a large crowd of Swiss citizens. The mural has resounded in various online media platforms like Le Courriere and Konbini.

Tarek is currently living in Cairo and started to transfer her activities onto canvases using acrylic. She considers herself an experimental artist, who is not confined to a particular technique or theme, allowing herself to be more creative. The acrylic painting “Made in China” is her most recent piece. p

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Arts

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) 8 – 29 March 2018 Performing Arts Cherepakha (Canada) – Performing Arts Cherepaka transforms the acrobatic language within body language. The performance reimagines the spectacular technique of contortion as a substance of representation and ultimately dismantles the fragile beauty of human existence. 10 and 11 March - 8:30 to 9:25 pm AUC Falaki Theater, 28 Falaki St., Bab El Louk


Emerging Arab Choreographers AAF The Absentee (Egypt) - Dance

Possession (Egypt/UK) - Devised, song and music-led ensemble theatre

The absentee tackles the issue of overlooked people, the ones we see everyday and the ones we take for granted. It explores the missing links and unsaid words caused by fear, distance, love and death.

Utopia (Egypt)

We’re the sons of the question, the sons of knowledge and the constant search for the right and best road.

Possession/Al Ghiwaya takes the audience on a whirlwind journey through music and song, inspired by both silence and possession.

I Listen, See (Tunisia)

21, 22 and 23 March 5 pm to 6 pm Jesuit - 15 El Mahrany Street, El Faggala, Ramsis

25 and 26 March - 8 pm to 10 pm AUC Falaki Theater American University in Cairo Downtown Campus, 24 Falaki Street

I Listen, (You) See is built on a choreography that centers on the interaction between sound and movement.

Wojoud Wa Hodoud (Jordan)

Wojoud Wa Hodoud is about living between many worlds and with many identities.

Egyptian Contemporary Dance Programme (Egypt) Program Titles: Resilience of the Body, Portray, Nawah 22 and 23 March - 10.30 pm Townhouse Rawabet Theatre 10 Nabrawy Street, off of Champolion Street


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Tarab (Switzerland) - Dance

Watch Cairo’s streets come to life in this hypnotic, spiraling group performance! 28 and 29 March - 8 pm to 9 pm AUC Falaki Theatre American University in Cairo Downtown Campus, 24 Falaki Street


As Far As My Fingertips Take Me (Lebanon) As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is a oneon-one performance by Tania El Khoury, performed by Basel Zaraa. One person at a time, audience members sit beside a hole in a wall with a refugee seated on the other side. Without seeing each other, the audience member reaches their arm through the hole and their fingertips meet. 23 and 24 March - 4 pm to 10 pm D-CAF Festival Hub

And Here I Am (Palestine/Iraq/UK) Theater Based on actor Ahmed Tobasi’s personal coming of age story, And Here I Am is an epic voyage of identity and self-discovery that combines fact and fantasy, tragedy and comedy, spanning both the first Palestinian intifada and the second. 24 and 25 March - 6:15 pm, 26 March - 8:30 pm Townhouse Rawabet Theatre 10 Nabrawy Street, off of Champolion Street


Ta’ Sakena (Egypt) Theater Ta’ Sakena explores the fascinating and contrasting sides of motherhood, femininity and sanity. Ta’ Sakena (“Dormant Energy”) is the result of a yearlong theater workshop with twelve female caregivers at the children’s clinic at the Abassia Mental Health Hospital. 24 and 25 March - 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm French Consulate, 1 Madrasset El Huquq El Frenseya ,off of Kasr El Eini Street, Mounira

Aysha (Egypt) – Theater (Monodrama) Small Rooms (Egypt) - Theater Small Rooms is a play set in Damascus in 2010, where the main characters Saba, Saad, Hanan and Ammar are attempting to experience love in a hostile and perverse social environment. 22 and 24 March - 5 pm to 7 pm El Warsha, 17 Sherif Street, 3rd floor, apt. 8, Downtown Cairo

The Second Copy 2045 (Morocco) AAF

Aysha is a one-women show, where a beautiful exterior clashes with an internal darkness.

Atbane often loses himself in the passion of his performance as he discusses the perils of limited freedom of speech.

24 March - 8 pm and 26 March - 7 pm Jesuit - 15 El Mahrany Street, El Faggala, Ramsis

24 and 25 March - 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm French Consulate, 1 Madrasset El Huquq El Frenseya ,off of Kasr El Eini Street, Mounira

Alors, est-ce que c’est là? (France) - Theater This sensory immersion dances on the edge of so-called reality. So, is it there? 13 and 14 March – 8:30 pm to 9:20 pm American University in Cairo Downtown Campus, 24 Falaki Street

Before The Revolution (Egypt) AAF Yes the arts can make a difference, but we are keen to be seen and heard for our artistic expression. 18 to 21 March - 7 pm to 7:40 pm 24 and 25 March - 5 pm to 5:40 pm Townhouse Rawabet Theatre 10 Nabrawy Street, off of Champolion Street p

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Arts


Urban Visions - Dance


Trolleys (Australia) Trolleys will tease and thrill in this humorous outdoor performance set to a pounding electro-acoustic score. 23 March - 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm MASQ - Maq‘ad of Sultan Qaitbey, behind the mosque 24 March - 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Alfy Bek Street, Downtown


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Bachar Mar-Khalifé & US “Tek Live” and Bit Tuner & local 100 copies act

D-CAF Music Concerts


Following the invitation to the Nuits Botanique, Bachar created his own version of The Water Wheel, a song originally by Hamza El Din, a Nubian Oudist and Singer who created the original song. This project is a homage to Hamza El Din. 22 March - 8 pm The Greek Campus, 28 Falaki St., Bab El Louk


Tarek Yamani & Out of Nations band

(Lebanon/USA/ Germany/Egypt)

Critically acclaimed for music that is “full of poetry and mysticism”, Tarek Yamani explores classical Arabic music and revisits the traditions of the Khaleeji region through the complex rhythms and harmonies of African-American jazz. In an invigorating style he calls Afro Tarab, Yamani ingeniously bridges the boundaries between two eclectic cultures and musical heritages. Out Of Nations is a dream for a future world where people take each other as humans before they see each other as members of a certain nation. Lety, Jonas, Christian, Ayman, Charis and Fabian connected on a musical level before realizing that each one of them carried a different passport. Live, the band invites audiences on a journey through Middle Eastern and Latin inspired ElectroAcoustic grooves — a soundtrack to match the visual wonderland they create on stage. p 16 March - 8 pm The Greek Campus, 28 Falaki St., Bab El Louk

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Arts

D-CAF FESTIVAL Film & Literature

Snowpiercer (South Korea) The movie takes us into the future to the year 2031 after an environmental experiment fails and causes the world to freeze, leaving only the survivors who were aboard a Snowpiercer. This train develops class systems and economies that slowly begin to disrupt life on board. 12 March - 7:30 pm at Zawya Cinema 18 March - 7:30 pm at Zawya Cinema


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Beggars and Noblemen (Egypt) Adapted from the graphic novel by Albert Cossery “Mendiants et Orgueilleux”, the Egyptian movie “Beggars and Noblemen” is set in Cairo in the 1940s and follows an inspector who tries to solve the murder of a young prostitute who fell under the hands of a former university professor. The movie has been awarded the Critics’ Award in the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival. 11 March - 7:30 pm at Zawya Cinema 19 March - 7:30 pm at Zawya Cinema


How to Turn a Graphic Novel into a Film (France) This international overview hosted by Initiative Film discusses the famous graphic novel adaptations, while explaining their significant role in entertainment today and how to target a worldwide audience. 21 March - 7 pm to 8:30 pm French Consulate


Sharing of Experience (France) This roundtable discussion and Q&A includes many of the professionals in the field and talks about the different ways to adapt media, the economical and psychological implications as well as real life examples. 23 March - 7 pm to 9 pm Institute Francois d’Egypte p

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Events

India By the Nile 6 to 17 March

The festival presents India’s cultural diversity showcasing Indian contemporary and classical music, dance, puppet theater, visual arts, food and yoga in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. The Semiramis InterContinental Hotel will play host to the Indian Food Fiesta from 10 to 16 March. Acclaimed Indian celebrity chef Vikram Udaygiri will curate an exquisite gastronomical journey in Indian fine dining.

Indian Classical music

Dance Thari – The Loom Malavika Sarukkal’s Ensemble

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

6 March - 8 pm

8 March - 8 pm

Sayed Darwish Theater, Alexandria

Arab Music Institute, Ramsis St. Cairo

9 March, 8 pm El Goumhoureya Theater, Cairo

10 March - 8 pm Sayed Darwish Theater, Alexandria

Malavika Sarukkai is an Indian classical dancer and choreographer specializing in Bharatnatyam. The Loom explores the fundamental concepts that are shared between the two disciplines of dance and weaving.

Ali Khan is one of the most distinguished maestros in the world of Indian classic music. He has traveled widely and performed in several international music festivals.

Workshops Bollywood Dance Workshop by Gilles Chuyen 10 March – 11 am (by registration)

All Saints Cathedral, Zamalek, Cairo 10 March – 4 pm Grand Nile Arts Center, Cairo

Sufi Fusion Kabir Café

11 March - 8 pm Grand Nile Arts Center, Cairo 13 March El Sawy Culture Wheel, Cairo

The Kabir Cafe, a unique collective of folk musicians, will produce passionate and energetic live Sufi and Indian folk melodies.


Ct | Mar 2018

13 March – 12 pm Plaza, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria 14 March – 11.30 am El Sawy Culture Wheel, Cairo

Gilles Chuyen, a well-known Bollywood choreographer, will provide a high-energy Bollywood dance experience through multiple workshops in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. p

Culture Events

Events not to be Missed

Boléro and Carmina Burana Ballet Cairo Opera House – Main Hall 26 to 29 March

The Cairo Opera Ballet Company will be presenting a mesmerizing performance alongside the Cairo Opera Orchestra at the Opera House. Boléro is a one-movement orchestral piece originally composed as a ballet by the French Maurice Ravel and premiered in 1928. Carmina Burana is a cantata of 24 poems from the medieval collection that was composed in 1935 by Carl Orff. Tickets available at E7gezly Time: 8 pm

Live from the Metropolitan Opera – Così Fan Tutte Cairo Opera House – Small Hall 31 March

Così Fan Tutte is a two act Italian opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that was performed for the first time in 1790 in Vienna with the theme of “fiancée swapping”. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Time: 7 pm

Dalia Farid’s Album Launch El Sawy Culture Wheel – Wisdom Hall 20 March

Hosted by Soft Power Productions, Singer Dalia Farid will be performing music from her newest album “Khatawat el Raqssa” at El Sawy Culture Wheel. Farid graduated from the American University in Cairo with a Political Science degree before pursuing her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has performed in several venues, including the Cairo Opera House and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland. Tickets available online and at the venue


Ct | Mar 2018

Opera Aida Pyramids of Giza 8 and 9 March

The famous Opera Aida, a four-act performance by Giuseppe Verdi about love and war that was set in Egypt, is coming back to its roots; to the Pyramids of Giza. Tickets available at Ticketsmarche Time: 7 pm

Omar Khairat Concert The Marquee – Cairo Festival City 16 March

The legendary pianist and composer Omar Khairat will be performing his masterpieces at Cairo Festival City. Tickets available at Ticketsmarche Time: 8:30 pm

Cairo Opera House – Main Hall 13 and 14 March Time: 8 pm

Live from the Metropolitan Opera Semiramide Cairo Opera House – Small Hall 10 March

Semiramide, the two-act opera by Gioachino Rossini that was first performed in Venice in 1823, is based on Voltaire’s tragedy “Semiramis” that was derived from the legendary Semiramis of Assyria. Time: 8 pm

Photography Exhibition Bayt al Sennari - Sayyeda Zaynab 15 to 25 March

The City and the Territory Imagining Cairo and Egypt through historical and contemporary Photography. The photography exhibition will be addressing the topic of foreign perception versus self-perception through photography in & about Egypt. Opening: 15 March - 6 pm Daily opening hours of exhibition: Sunday to Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm The event is a cooperation project between the Austrian Cultural Forum/Cairo, Swiss Embassy Cairo and Bayt al Sennari

She Can by Entreprenelle The Greek Campus 2 and 3 March

Empowering women has become the main drive behind many organizations such as Entreprenelle, who offer trainings and education to help achieve that. This two-day event aims to address education, technology, media and creative industries to further explain the word “entrepreneur” to women in several fields. She Can 2018 will include up to 40 speakers who will help the audience learn from and get inspired by their experiences, as well as designated workshops and activities to get the audience involved and aware of future opportunities.

Swan Lake Ballet Cairo Opera House – Main Hall 7 March

This classical ballet by Tchaikovsky tells the story of a princess who was turned into a swan by an evil curse and will be performed by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company and Cairo Opera Orchestra. Tickets available at E7gezly Time: 8 pm

The 7s Summit Al Salam Theatre, Tahrir Square 17 March

This summit focuses on the fields of business, education, marketing and science, offering debates, workshops and discussions that help creative entrepreneurs get the push and knowledge needed to network and start up their businesses. Tickets available at E7gezly

Alexandria 3000 Art Exhibition Zamalek Art Gallery

Cityscape Egypt International Exhibition Center

4 to 26 March

28 to 31 March

Futuristic Nostalgia Group Artists: Yasmine Elhazek Aya Elfallah Noha Deyab Adel Mostafa Yasmina Heidar Carelle Homsy Farghali Abdelhafiz

The annual Cityscape property show brings you the largest names in real estate and their newest projects all in one place, and allows visitors to compare property choices, ask whatever questions they may have and assess the market according to their needs.

Standup Comedy Open Mic Night Darb 1718 15 March

Get the chance to showcase your talent or enjoy a night full of laughter and new comedians at Al Hezb El Comedy’s open mic night in partnership with Darb 1718. Tickets available at E7gezly p

Daily, Except Fridays Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Films

Sharm El Sheikh Film Festival 3 to 9 March 2018 Sharm El-Sheikh Film Festival (SHAFF) is an annual competition for filmmakers held in Sharm El Sheikh.


HAFF is organized by Noon Foundation for Culture and Arts with the contribution of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the South Sinai Governorate, as well as other public and private organizations in Egypt and Europe.

The Festival

The festival’s goal is to foster the knowledge and diffusion in Egypt of the Arab and European cinematographic and audiovisual works to promote cultural exchanges between Egypt and the rest of the world.

Included in the festival will be “Women films” screening two important ones directed by women. New to festivals in Egypt is the USA Independent Cinema that will be showing three important films.

SHAFF 2018 will hold a variety of day and evening activities including gala dinners, master classes, American Independent Cinema Celebration, a tribute to women on the occasion of Women’s International Day and a fashion show by Bloom Fashion Institute, plus sightseeing and cruises for the guests.

The opening film is called “I,Tonya”, an independent American movie that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and was theatrically released last December. The film received three nominations for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing, among other awards.

The festival competition will be divided into three major sections: Long Films, Short Films and Panorama: Official-Out-Of-Films Program.

Long Films Competition

Short Films Competition

There will be 12 films showing in the Long Films Competition among which are “Harpoon” (Argentina/ Venezuela/Spain) that received six nominations in 2017 and “Bagahe” (Philippines) that won Screenplay and Acting awards in 2017.

Eighteen short films will be in the competition among which are “Eternally Child” (Kosovo) that received seven awards and two nominations in 2017 and “Aria” (Cyprus/France/Greece) that got two nominations in 2017.


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Official-Out-Of-Films The Official-Out-Of-Films program entails 12 films, including “The Sea Stares At Us From Afar” (Spain/ Netherlands), “When Pigs Come” (Bosnia/Herzegovina) and “Dolores” (Germany).

Other Screenings On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the festival will screen a film on veteran late actress “Sana’a Gameel” that will be directed by Rogena Bassaly and “Tip of the Thread”, directed by four Egyptian women directors.

The American Independent Cinema will be celebrated at the festival through a special program to showcase four of its most recent films that reflect the development and characteristics of this type of cinema. On this occasion, the festival’s management will be preparing a huge artistic and cultural program with the cooperation of the US State Department. Also participating in the official international festival competition is “Dreams I Never Had” starring Malcolm McDowell, Robin Givens and Iyad El Hajj who directed the film in partnership with wellknown Egyptian director Mahmoud Kamel.

Guests of Honor Will Include

Tribute to Youssef Chahine

Director Ali Badrakhan since he played an important role in the history of Egyptian cinema and several of his films will be screened during the festival.

A tribute to the great director Youssef Chahine will be among the festival’s program where three of his films will be screened, including “El Masir” with a special seminar on his cinematic history with the presence of a number of artists and filmmakers including Layla Elwy, Hani Salama, Hussain Fahmy and Mahmoud Hemeida. p

Actors Hassan Hosni and Layla Taher in recognition for their great artistic career and the powerful films they have presented to the Egyptian cinema over the years.

Mar 2018 | Ct


Culture Music


Music Bound to Affect You to the Core

By Mona Bassel


t is hard to deny that good music has the power to affect a person in ways that are difficult to explain. Be it a smooth guitar solo, a soothing voice or a romantic tune on the piano, it often feels like music can coarse through your veins.

This is exactly why vocalist and pianist Noha Fekry, guitarist Youssef El Sioufy, drummer Maged Nagati, bassist Samer George and keyboard player Ahmed Kamar started a new band, aptly named “Janan”, an Arabic word meaning “the core”.

How it Began Entering the local music scene with their first clip titled “El 3esh2 7ala” (Adoration is a State) in late 2015, the music video acquired almost 10,000 views just one hour after its release. Today, it boasts 409 thousand views and more than five thousand shares. Janan started when Nagati listened to a song Fekry had written and sung herself. Already a well-established singer in a plethora of Cairo’s venues, she had just begun taking piano lessons and aspired to start creating her own music. After listening to another song, he urged her to start a new band, and she agreed. Nagati later brought in the band’s former bassist Mokhtar El Sayeh and El Sioufy. Later on, El Sayeh left the group, and George and Kamar joined. After their first single, the band held several concerts in venues like Room Art Space and Café, El Sawy Cultural Wheel, Al Azhar Park and Darb 1718, and were featured on a number of media platforms like BBC Arabic, Mideast Tunes and Nogoum FM. Each single hooked devoted listeners, but while fans get to enjoy the final output, not everyone has the chance to observe the band members behind the scenes.

Their Message Janan does not deliberately aspire to send a certain message to listeners and fans through their music; the band is more of a passion project and a creative outlet for its founders.


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“Every musician needs an outlet to be able to produce something new, something that is just theirs; something that has never been done before,” El Sioufy mentions. Kamar agreed, noting that the best thing about the band is that they create their music willingly and freely. “There is a difference between having to do something and wanting to do it. We just enjoy our time together and I enjoy the entire experience. It is not about trying to send a message, but rather I believe that if it is something honest, the right message will be sent anyway,” he explains. Fekry writes many of the songs herself, and while the audience might not completely comprehend the meaning of a song the first time they hear it, getting to know the band’s creative process proved that these songs are more than just words and instruments intertwined together.

About the Song “El Sa7er” (The Magician) “It actually started when I saw a post on social media. A friend had written, ‘I am not going to tell them the truth. I am going to tell them what ought to be the truth,’ and I remember replying, ‘It is sad, I understand.’ I stared at the words, and they inspired me. I started writing right then and there,” she says. She originally wrote the entire song in English, but decided to reinterpret it in Arabic for the band. The lyrics portray a magician who uses tricks, smoke and colors to help people forget about the bad things they have seen in the world. The magician says something along the lines of: “It is enough that they have to deal with the world and its issues. I will make them forget what they have seen and I will make up a new lie every day.”

The compelling lyrics are sung against a background of upbeat yet dark circus-like music, which actually makes the song sound happier than its lyrics – perhaps it is the band’s way of making its listeners temporarily forget about the world’s troubles at the thought of a magician who can miraculously make everything better. However, as is the case with any song, there is room for different interpretations, and the band members enjoy listening to feedback about how their songs are perceived. A song about lovers can be interpreted as a moment between mother and son as is the case with their single “La7za”, while a song about how human beings are beautiful can be interpreted as one about angels as is the case with “Antom”.

Songwriting Process What happens after being presented with the lyrics and before coming up with an agreed-on arrangement varies with each song, and sometimes it is just a stroke of luck. “We do not sit to decide on a way to arrange the song: it happens in just one moment of chemistry. It can happen on the spot, after a few rehearsals or even two months later like the case of our song ‘Sane3 El Sela7’,” Kamar mentions. “Sane3 El Sela7” (The Weapon Maker) is one of the band’s upcoming singles that tells the story of a girl talking to a weapon manufacturer and letting him know what his line of work has done to her and her family. Fekry finishes the song with the chilling words “I’ll tell [your loved ones] everything that happened.” Inspired by the Syria war, it is a song so intense that it drains the band members emotionally no matter how often they have played it.

Other songs differed immensely after rearranging. A song called “Al Nour” was originally very mellow and quiet, until El Sioufy suggested incorporating a different time change right in the middle. “It actually worked out perfectly; the lyrics describe a girl telling someone, ‘I will sing you a new song,’ and with this change it actually felt like a whole new one,” Fekry explains.

Inspiration One would wonder who the band’s musical influences are, but it would be a question with no clear answer. Each band member listens to different types of music, resulting in songs that are a melting pot of genres and styles – and that is what gives the band its edge. With their individually favored genres like classical music and progressive rock, among others, the members come together to create their own sound: something uninhibited by genre. “Regardless of what type of music I listen to, I now know this ‘zone’ of sound that is specific to Janan,” El Sioufy notes. “We do not sound like anyone else; whether lyrically, harmonically or melodically, and so it is about the different sound we bring to the table,” Fekry concludes with the agreement of her band members. A visit to one of Janan’s concerts is bound to bring about a mixture of feelings into the minds of the listener; it might be a newfound awareness of the world, a sweet interpretation of what love is or an appreciation of music that genuinely comes from the heart. p Follow Janan on Facebook for updates on upcoming concerts: jananband.egy Mar 2018 | Ct




Real eState

The Egyptian Real Estate Market:

Are we on the Verge of a Bubble By Basma Mostafa

No one would be able to increase the prices of housing units if there wasn't such a huge unmet demand


he Egyptian real estate market can be divided into primary and secondary markets or, in other words, buyers can be divided into two groups—those who buy directly from a real estate company after the initial launch of a project, and those who buy from owners who decide to “resell”, often hoping to make a profit by selling at a higher price than they had originally paid.


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After the Central Bank of Egypt decided to float the pound in November 2016, it lost around 52% of its value as a consequence. Property owners in the resale market realized then that keeping pre-devaluation prices would mean that they have lost over 50% of the value of their units. Resellers had no choice but to double prices of their properties, not to make profit, but to keep the value of their units intact.

Asset Management (CIAM). In the current volatile environment, buyers generally choose long-term payment plans offered by developers over paying large sums of money to a reseller, which may create a shortage in liquidity for the latter.

The currency devaluation also meant that cost of raw materials increased, forcing sellers in the primary market, that is, real estate developers, to raise property prices. However, it was the end customer, or buyers interested in living in the properties they bought, that bore the brunt of the insane price hikes. With almost no significant postdevaluation income increase to make up for what potential buyers lost, real estate developers began offering more flexible payment plans.

The adage “the early bird catches the worm" may have at one point applied to resellers, but they may not be capable of snatching up worms before everyone else for much longer. “Resellers usually buy immediately after the launch of a real estate project and then resell housing units at a higher price; they then use the profits they made to buy another property and sell it again, creating a cycle of buying and selling and buying and selling. However, when more and more buyers consistently choose developers over resellers, an important link in the cycle is going to go missing,” he notes, adding that property owners in dire need of liquidity may choose to sacrifice profitability.

“Resellers are facing fierce competition from real estate developers launching new projects. Resellers usually have no payment plans and expect to receive their money upfront. On the other hand, real estate developers offer convenient payment terms such as 0% down payment and installments to be paid over seven or eight years,” explains Noaman Khalid, macroeconomist at CI Capital

Property consultant Iman El Bayadi explains that people who buy a housing unit without ever intending to use it and then sell it a couple of months later to make some profit are known as “flippers”, and this category of customers may ruin an entire project. “If the majority of buyers are flippers and no one ends up actually moving into any of the units of a particular project, what you end up

with is a dead project, because you have just lost the most important segment of customers; those who are actually looking for places to live in. Who would be interested in buying a unit when no one else lives around it?”

Is the Market Approaching a Bubble? Khalid explains the fundamental notion of a real estate bubble. “In very simple terms, if you have an apartment, for example, that was originally priced at one million EGP and then the price rapidly climbs to two, in part to keep up with the inflation and uncertainties in the market, but not to match rising demand, and if similar trends replicate throughout the entire market, you may be standing at the threshold of a real estate bubble,” says Khalid, adding that when the bubble bursts, as all economic bubbles eventually do, prices quickly decline. Khalid adds that when potential buyers perceive housing units to be valued at more than they are worth, an extreme scenario may occur. Absolutely no one would be interested in buying and the market would crash, forcing sellers to significantly lower their prices and, in some cases, lose money. However, potential buyers may not have the luxury to decide whether or not they want to buy a specific housing unit; they may simply be unable to afford the prices sellers are demanding.

“We can’t claim that the situation in Egypt will escalate to the point where there would be no interested buyers whatsoever and the market would inevitably crash; what we may have instead is a slowdown in the entire process, forcing prices to go down,” Khalid notes. To the already ailing Egyptian economy, a slowdown is likely to affect the number of jobs in the sector. He also says that the wealthy communities in Egypt perceive “real estate” as a safe way to protect their savings against currency depreciation. “During the pre-flotation days when the value of the Egyptian pound was fluctuating, more people felt like they needed to protect their savings and opted to invest in property,” he adds. Depreciating real estate prices would mean that middle class and wealthy Egyptians would lose a portion of the savings they thought they were protecting when they made the decision to buy. El Bayadi believes that speculation is rampant regarding the emergence of a bubble in the Egyptian real estate market. “Because of the recent spikes in real estate prices and how people are buying insanely, there have been some views circulating that we are on the verge of a bubble.” El Bayadi, however, does not believe that this scenario will actually play out. “The real estate bubble we know of occurred when people took loans to be able to

afford houses and repaid the loan from their monthly salaries with the guarantee of the property itself,” she says. If they become unemployed or are no longer able to repay the loan for one reason or another, then a bubble could occur. “Based on my experience with clients, most people do not take out loans to buy a housing unit; they actually keep the money at home, not in their bank accounts. Even though they choose to keep their money off the radar, our clients do own the cash, so it is very unlikely that they will not be able to pay off installments, resulting in a market ‘crash’,” she notes. She adds that demand for housing units still surpasses the supply. “If we look at how many people are getting married every year and how many housing units are needed to accommodate them and how we as Egyptians tend to buy more than one house, for ourselves, for our children, in Cairo, Sahel or Sokhna, you will understand that the demand is still there. No one would be able to increase the prices of housing units if there wasn't such a huge unmet demand,” she notes. “If people still think of real estate as their go-to safe investment plan, it is an unlikely scenario that the real estate market is approaching a bubble,” concludes El Bayadi. Just like many other sectors in Egypt, actual research and surveys that reflect the true nature of the situation are sparse. “Developers will say that the market is actually quite stable and would not want to discourage people from buying. However, answers can be found with the very casual brokers operating from the streets. They will be the first to tell you that people are not purchasing as much as they used to and that it takes a lot of time to find a buyer,” concludes Khalid. “They will be the first to admit that perhaps a bubble is not that far away.” p

During the pre-flotation days when the value of the Egyptian pound was fluctuating, more people felt like they needed to protect their savings and opted to invest in property mar 2018 | Ct


Real eState


Hilton Completes Landmark Dual-Brand Signing in Heliopolis


ixty years after first entering the country, with the opening of the Hilton Cairo, the leading global hospitality company has also confirmed plans for the debut of its luxury brand Waldorf Astoria in Egypt later this year – once rebranded this will be the company’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Africa. Hilton has signed two management agreements with Gulf-Egypt for Hotels & Tourism (S.A.E) to operate Heliopolis Hotel & Towers Luxury Hotel under two distinct brands. A 593-room upscale Hilton property is now welcoming guests alongside the 247-room Towers Luxury Hotel which will rebrand as Waldorf Astoria Cairo following an ambitious renovation programme. Scheduled to be completed before the end of 2018, the refurbishment will create a new home for luxury travelers to Africa. This will include a redesign of all 247 guestrooms and suites under a customized design concept reflecting the finest traditions of Egyptian hospitality, a renovation of the spacious atrium lobby area to create an iconic arrival experience and the addition of a refined destination spa. Waldorf Astoria Cairo’s Personal Concierges will ensure that each guest receives anticipatory and personalized service before, during and after their stay. Rudi Jagersbacher, President of Hilton Middle East, Africa and Turkey, says:


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“We are beginning 2018 in style by launching our Waldorf Astoria brand in Africa and making Hilton Cairo Heliopolis our sixth hotel in the Egyptian capital. We are working with great partners, Gulf-Egypt for Hotels & Tourism (S.A.E), and we look forward to great success with these two hotels which give our customers a new and convenient option just four kilometers away from the Cairo Airport and close to New Cairo.” With world-class facilities, the dual branded complex features two ballrooms totaling 3000 sqm, an amphitheatre with built-in conference technologies, 12 meeting rooms varying from 50 to 120 sqm, prefunction areas and a business center. This is in addition to two swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, a fitness center, a Health Club and retail space. Extending across both hotels, guests can enjoy 17 stylish and diverse choices of dining and entertainment. Leonardo offers classic Italian cuisine with subtle modern influence, while Rainbow Bar is the Lobby bar and lounge. Lan Tania specializes in Far Eastern and Asian cuisine with an open show kitchen. Al Dabke offers Lebanese favorites cooked on a charcoal grill using authentic ingredients and traditional cooking methods. The hotel also offers a wide variety of additional restaurants serving Egyptian, Chinese and Indian food, in addition to a pool bar and a traditional English pub. p

BATIMAT Exhibition New Cairo Exhibition Center 1 - 4 March BATIMAT is the number one leading show in the building industry in Europe and West Africa. All the decision makers meet the contractors to choose their partners and find products and services for the buildings of today and tomorrow.


n 2018, BATIMAT and Egypt Project Summit will offer the complete range of products and solutions suited to the construction market in Egypt and the Middle East.

Exhibitors include Turkey, UAE, France, Jordan, Germany, Portugal, Lebanon, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Slovania, Oman, India, China, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, Korea, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Denmark, Russia, Finland, Cyprus, Australia, UK, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Bahrain, Vietnam, Taiwan, Morocco, Belgium and Greece.

the new products being introduced at the exhibition: New Brand INSUGUARD INSUTECH is a specialized waterproofing and thermal insulation solutions company that will be promoting INSUGUARD, a brand new line of premium priming and protective coatings. It is the most powerful and permanent protective shield coat in the Egyptian market that has the ability to damp-proof vapor barriers, acting as the ultimate protective shield for various waterproofing applications and surfaces subjected to aggressive soils, and can also be used as a primer for bituminous membranes.

New Recycled Building Materials COSTAXIL is a concept that seeks to integrate green living and sustainability into the real estate sector, offering brand new products like WPC Decking, WPC Lighting Fixtures and WPC Cladding for the first time.

Knauf 9.5mm gypsum boards now available Knauf is a synonym for gypsum among construction experts and enthusiasts. This proverbial association of a building material with a manufacturer’s name is not just a coincidence; it is the result of decades of hard work and consistent high quality.

Thermoclick Walls - brought to you by Lexan ESO is here as an official representative of (SABIC Innovative Plastics) for Lexan Polycarbonate Film and sheets manufactured in the Netherlands. They will launch a Thermoclick wall, Cliniwall and Sign grade sheets for the first time at BATIMAT Egypt.

New Innovation in Building Systems Plena introduces the key to an environmentally friendly construction world in Egypt: Delta Building Systems is a company that produces and promotes Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) products and services. They will display a new innovation through the new launching of Delta Plaster, Delta Stucco and Delta Fix. p

Some of

MAR 2018 | Ct


Real eState


Sabbour Partners with Award Winning Hill International, Gensler and JLL to Develop The City of Odyssia in Mostakbal City During a joint press conference held at the Four Seasons, Al Ahly For Real Estate Development - Sabbour and El Mostakbal for Urban Development, the master developer of Mostakbal City, along with their partners Hill International, Sabbour Consulting, Gensler Architects and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) announced the details of the new mixed use urban community compound in Mostakbal City on an area of 578 acres. The development named the “The City of Odyssia” will be built at an estimated cost of 32 billion EGP. "The final concept of the City of Odyssia has far exceeded our expectations,” says Essam Nassef, Chairman and Managing Director of El Mostakbal for Urban Development. "Among our primary worries when working with a diverse range of developers is the overriding concern that there may be a large disparity in vision and implementation. It is therefore critical to integrate between the different visions of the developers to create one sense of a seamless community.” The issue is not building for the sake of building, as Nassef explains further, but developing a complete ecosystem that meets the needs of the larger community as whole that will live in Mostakbal City accordingly. Sabbour explains his vision for the City of Odyssia as a mixed residential compound in an important and highly-


Ct | MAR 2018

visible location, which will house around 12,000 families. Al Ahly For Real Estate Development - Sabbour aspires for the new development to capitalize on the existing greenery and new strong public transport connections that are an integral part of Al Mostakbal City’s masterplan. “The City of Odyssia represents a marriage between the traditional Sabbour offering and a new modern vision for the future. Accordingly, City of Odyssia is structured as a number of diverse micro-communities tied together by pedestrian-friendly connections, marking it as a standardsetter in healthy, livable place-making,” says Sabbour. Gensler, an award winning global leader in architectural design, was tasked with providing innovative master planning and urban design services for the new city. Ian Mulcahey, Managing Principal at Gensler and Project Principal for the project, adds: “City of Odyssia will focus on putting people at the heart of the conversation, exploring how communities form around shared spaces, how people interact with them, what choices they have and how our approach to placemaking enables community ownership and a sense of belonging.” Hill International will be managing the design and construction of the project. "Hill International has the expertise of a world-class project

management team in addition to the local knowledge that ensures that this project will be completed successfully," says Sabbour. Other elements key to the City of Odyssia’s masterplan include the development of a Central Business District (CBD) that spans 100 ha. Recently recognized for innovation, people management and global competitiveness in 2018’s Fortune 500 list, JLL has been tasked with providing consultancy services on the development and lease of the CBD. “The complex is located at the crossroads connecting New Cairo and surrounding areas to the New Administrative Capital,” says Ayman Samy, Head of JLL Egypt Office, on the advantages of the CBD. He adds that the facilities and concepts integrated within the design will allow for different requirements and prove attractive for potential clients to move their business there. A central feature of the CBD is the multipurpose hub, built to emulate London’s Millennium Dome. This multipurpose entertainment venue will be built with a large audience in mind, boasting clear sight lines from every angle and state of the art acoustics. The overall purpose is to create a vibrant community that promotes cultural pursuits in Egypt. p

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Tales of Motherhood

Women & Youth

By Noha Kandil

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible Marion C.


t is hard to summarize a mother's role in a quote, but this one comes very close to doing so. A mother is the key to unraveling one's full potential, and the amount of love and nurture she provides at those early years dictate a large part of her child's future.

Mothers are different, but one thing that they all have in common is sacrifice. In celebration of Mother's Day, we wanted to provide a platform for young women to share their stories, giving the readers an idea about how it is to be a young mom in 2018.

Basma Mehany I am 28 years old and have been married for two years. I have a baby boy named Ali, who is 1.3 years old. Overall, I would not say that my pregnancy was worse than I expected. It was just different. What I struggled with most was my mood swings, and I suffered psychologically a lot more than physically. Putting the feeling I had when I first held Ali into words is really difficult. Nothing in the whole world can beat the feeling. I was overwhelmed by the relief that the roller coaster journey had ended and he arrived safely, as well as a feeling of pride that I was strong enough to bring my baby into the world safe and sound. After giving birth, I got the baby blues, which is quite common and a part of the new chapter that comes with the sleepless nights, the different body and the very limited social life. I sought support from my husband and family when I needed to, which helped me a lot. I had to let go of focusing so much on myself and my needs as I had to sacrifice flexibility and mobility. Now, if I think about going out to run an errand I have to check the weather forecast for the next six hours and the traffic, among many things. The hardest thing I had to let go of was sleep. As a mother, I believe I am a little bit of every type. I am affectionate most of the time, over-protective when he gets sick and tough when he is about to harm himself. My appreciation for my mother increased throughout the process. Not only do I appreciate everything that she has been through for me and my siblings, but I also understand why she got angry at times, emotional at times and so loving at others. A message to my mom: I pray to God that you live a long and healthy life with a joyful heart and peace of mind. We are nothing without you! A message to my son: I wish that with the help of God, I am able to raise you to be a decent, successful, kind hearted, passionate, ambitious and responsible gentleman.


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Nada Habib I am a 29-year-old mother of Mourad, who is almost two years old now. I work as a full time technical consultant and have started my own business on the side. At 26, I got married and gave birth a year and a half later. When I found out I was pregnant, I felt so psyched, yet scared and worried. The whole pregnancy was such a beautiful phase for me, up until the last month, which was extremely painful and I just wanted him out of me! The moment I saw him I kept crying because he would not make a sound the first few minutes, but then I was smiling and thanking God for a healthy baby. However, I suffered from postpartum depression for six months, where I would cry for days not wanting to hold him and not knowing why. I hated myself and everyone. Kickboxing was what saved me as it got all the negative feelings out and it was addictive! It was my space where I felt free to do whatever whenever. The hardest thing I had to let go of was my freedom to sleep or go out with my husband whenever I wanted to. I think pre-birth courses would have made the transition into being a mom easier. Also, the fact that my husband's work did not allow him to be with us in the same country made it harder for me. Being a mom made me much more patient and much less dramatic. I care for more important things than those I used to care for in the past. I am an over protective, tough loving mom, which is what I expected myself to be, as my mom and I have the same relationship. A message to my mom: I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for me. A message to my son: I wish that you have a happy life, travel a lot, learn a lot, fall in love and never be a follower.

Naureen Youssef I am a 29-year-old single mom to a beautiful 4.5-year-old daughter named Talia, and I work in an Auto company as a Marketing Section Head. I had Talia at the age of 24 . Even though it was a planned pregnancy, I was shocked and over the moon when I found out. My pregnancy was a very easy one compared to other moms. When I first saw Talia, I was terrified, thinking that she was so fragile I could break her. I did not want the nurse to take her away, and when she did, I kept worrying whether we would be able to tell if she got mixed up with another baby. When you have a child, your calculations change: I became more responsible, peaceful and loving. Playing both parents turned me into a tough-love type of mom. Thanks to my mother, I am able to maintain a social and professional life. I also had the support of family and friends, which made raising Talia on my own a lot easier. A message to my mom: I know we do not agree all the time, but I love you to my core and I wish I could be half the mother to Talia as you were to me. A message to my daughter: There is nothing I would change about you. I hope you remain to be the sociable butterfly that you are and keep that smile that melts my heart. Stay confident, intelligent, independent and strong. My best friend, you taught me the meaning of true love.

MAR 2018 | Ct



Womaen Women &&Youth Youth

I am a 34-year-old married mom of two. I worked for eight years in an international gas company as a lead commercial advisor until I resigned in 2014. I got married at 24, gave birth to my first child at 25 and to my second at 31. My eldest is an eight-year-old girl and my youngest is three years old. Being pregnant for the first time was a bit of a struggle emotionally, especially with the weight gain. My second time was smoother and I only gained 13 kilograms throughout the nine months. I remember people thinking I was pregnant with twins during both pregnancies! Looking back, I wish I had taken good care of myself and controlled my eating habits. I am a person who can take serious things lightly. I remember laughing too loud and telling jokes when I was going to the operation room during birth, to the extent that my husband was seriously concerned about my state of mind. Things have changed since I gave birth. Financially, I consider them a priority now. Also, I no longer have any privacy; there are little creatures clinging to me even

Manar Shawish I am a 30-year-old mom. I got married when I was 23, got pregnant by 27 and now I have an adorable 2.3-year-old boy. Before finding out for sure that I was pregnant, I had this instinct that I was, and I could not sleep the night before. When I saw those two lines on the stick, my heart was beating so fast and I woke my husband up to tell him. My in-laws were so excited that they kept jumping, and my mother cried her heart out with happiness. My pregnancy was perfectly fine, even though I struggled towards the end. I was very heavy and was under huge stress at work. Waking up every morning was very difficult, especially with the lack of sleep.


Ct | MAR 2018

During the delivery, I was anxious. I saw my baby and he was so beautiful that my husband and I were in tears. Then after moving to my room, I was overwhelmed and did not understand my feelings, and I stayed that way for the first ten days. Then I was hit by motherhood, with all the unconditional love and sacrifice. A message to my mom: I hope I can do great with my kids like you did with me. A message to my son: Take care of yourself and never depend on anyone in all of life’s aspects. Count your blessings and appreciate what you have. Respect the needy, always provide help, be kind to everyone and be a gentleman to your wife.

while going to the bathroom. I operate on their schedule, and I organize my day based on their needs. I am definitely sleepdeprived; they can wake me up two or three times at night for various reasons ranging from being thirsty to having nightmares. I never expected myself to be a tough-loving mom, where my daughter calls me "evil" for saying no to her requests. I was raised as an only child by an affectionate family, and so some considered me spoiled. When I got married, I found out that life is not that easy, which came as a shock as my family made me live in my own bubble up until marriage. A message to my mom: I want to say that I am truly worthless without you. I love you so much; bless you and dad. A message to my children: You are the reason life finally made sense to me. I may act harsh sometimes, but it is for your own sake, because life will do the same thing. I want you to grow up to really strive for your success and independence. I hope to see you grow and support each other and be each other’s backbones.


Womaen Women &&Youth Youth

I had to let go of focusing so much on myself and my needs as I had to sacrifice flexibility and mobility


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Dina Selim I am 29-years old, and I work as a full-time mom. I got married when I was 25 and I gave birth at 28 to my baby boy Zein Eldeen, who is 1.7 years old. My pregnancy came as a shock, as it was not planned at all. I had a big trip planned and was super excited to travel. I had an appointment with my gynecologist right before, and out of nowhere I heard her saying that I was pregnant, which is when I started crying hysterically. Little did I know, I would be banned from travelling during the first trimester. My pregnancy was tough, and I had to take pills and injections to maintain it, even though it was better than I expected. With time, the fact that I was pregnant resonated with me; the kicks were definitely memorable as well as the first time I saw my baby smiling in my tummy through the 4D imaging. I kept screaming and crying the moment I saw Zein, not because of the pain, but because I could not believe that this little baby was inside me. Then, motherhood started! My life was completely altered, especially since I was not trying to get pregnant, so the change was overwhelming and sudden for me. No work, no going out like before; my life adapted to my baby's needs. I struggled with postpartum depression, and baby blues still hit me every once in awhile. I believe the people surrounding you make all the difference; the support makes everything easier. A message to my mom: I did not realize the extent of effort you exerted on raising me. It hit me once I got pregnant. I am so thankful for everything you have done. A message to my son: May you turn out to be the best version of yourself and make me and your dad proud. p

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Successful Egyptian Women Across Special Needs Fields

Women & Youth

By Rehab Saad

Empowering women has become one of the main targets of the public and private sector alike. Special attention is given to small enterprises that were funded by the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the National Council for Women (NCW), which provided women entrepreneurs with means of support through cooperation protocols with the Ministry of Solidarity, specifically vulnerable women and the special needs population.


imilarly, the government is working on a collaborative plan to ensure a 5% employment rate for special needs people in factories and public and private companies. The Parliament has completed the amendment of articles that focus on the rights of the disabled and will work on designing new facilities to cater to them, besides the designs of roads, lanes and waiting areas. Egypt has almost bridged the gap between males and females in many significant activities like education, jobs, elections and sports, among others. We have highlighted a few of these significant figures who have changed the game.


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There are countless examples of female athletes who blessed Egypt with their great achievements while destroying all social barriers. Those with disabilities defied their health conditions and decided to show the world their potential.

Sahar el Mawardi El Mawardi faced problems with mobility due to poliomyelitis, yet she was able to overcome her condition and decided to help others to face their own.

In the World Para Powerlifting Championship that was held in Mexico in 2017, 17-year-old Fatima Mahrous secured 113 kilograms, making her the youngest champion. She has won the gold medal four years in a row.

She obtained her diploma in 2002 and started her career as a speech therapist in El Demerdash Hospital. In 2004, she established a center based on the Montessori method to help children with special needs.

In an interview with Mahrous, she says, “Our main goal is to focus on achieving the dream and deliver a message to others with disabilities.” Though she felt honored after meeting the President and receiving awards, she felt that more support is still expected. “People should highlight our achievements. We want the Paralympic Championships to be seen on TV just like football matches.”

The Montessori method is a scientific approach developed by Maria Montessori in the early 20th Century, where she studied children’s nature and was able to address their needs. It helps the child adapt and practice self-control as well as allowing them to acquire a platform of developmental and exploration skills.

Mahrous was not the only Egyptian female weightlifter winner in the Paralympic games of 2017. Others included 45-year-old Gihan Galal and 43-year-old Gehan Abdel Aziz. Rahma Khaled also became a Special Olympics swimming champion, where her persistence led her to overcome Down Syndrome and to receive several regional and international awards, including the gold medal at the Special Olympics twice.

“The target age is up to ten years. The association also holds three-month training courses for children in KG1 and KG2 who need support. The school organizes trips and teaches music, painting, etiquette and Quran,” explains El Mawardi. The school also regulates relationships between adults and children with special needs, and explains how they should treat them in situations where the child shows inappropriate behavior.

“Applying the method is not easy as it requires the modification of behavior and the acquisition of abilities and skills, plus spiritual training and high self-readiness,” she says. The association also helps the child develop verbal expressions and writing skills, in addition to teaching them mathematics and the ability to recognize time and place. “We are still facing many difficulties in our society, like people’s wrong conceptions and misjudgment of others, however, Montessori taught me how to overcome such hardships and adapt with them,” she concludes.

Applying the Montessori Method

Fatima Mahrous and Team

Dr. Mona Safwat Another notable figure in the world of disability support is Dr. Mona Safwat, Founder and Chairman of Meshwar of Challenge Association, a social, environmental, medical, educational and cultural NGO established in 2016 to educate and develop the skills of the special needs population. They tackle speech and physiotherapy, learning difficulties and behavior modification and also supports orphans, youth, family, motherhood and childhood.

Gihan Galal and Team

Moreover, the association encourages artistic activities like singing, writing poems and performances, forming a team called “Mobsiri Group” or (Visual Hearts) under the supervision of Dr. Mona, Sameh Fahmy (Deputy of the Board), Ayman Abdel Latif (Chief Executive Officer) and Hussein Saeed (Technical Director). The team participated in “The Egyptian Dream”, a competition sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and they won the titles of “Best Performers”, “Best Theatre Show” and “Best Text” for “El Thanaweya el 3ameya”, a play written by Sara Mohammed. “Support their Dreams and Elevate their SelfEsteem” is a slogan developed by Dr. Safwat, which is implemented using sign language and Braille.

Honoring Athletes at the Presidential HQ

“Hiding any negative feelings of pity and sympathy is very important. Specialist trainers and staff should provide everything voluntarily to help the children face any obstacles,” she mentions. In conclusion, we still expect a greater role to be played by the government and the private sector to further empower the special needs population and develop their skills. We need to establish special facilities in order to make life easier and more accessible, and continuously highlight their accomplishments, not only in sports, but in all walks of life. p

Sahar El Mawardi

Rahma Khaled

Applying the method is not easy as it requires the modification of behavior and the acquisition of abilities and skills, plus spiritual training and high self-readiness MAR 2018 | Ct



Women & Youth

Amal Mowafy:

A Female Role Model for Development By Selma Köhn

Ordinary people who do extraordinary things become the new role models of our times. An example is Mrs. Amal Mowafy, an Egyptian who made her way from an “Ariel Girl” to a “Development Expert” at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Cairo, supporting the Egyptian government to reduce unemployment rates. As the Chief Technical Advisor of “Decent Jobs for Young Egyptian People”, a project of the ILO that is funded by the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Mowafy changes the lives of thousands of people.


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Community Times spoke with her about role models, womanhood and the career world. Given that you have an MPA with a specialization in International Organizations and a B.A. in Economics from the American University in Cairo, what made you choose a career in the development sector, and when did you make this decision? My turning point was when I was standing in front of a a small supermarket owner in Shubra trying to sell him newly launched diapers to display to his customers. He looked at me while pointing to a little boy and asked me if I think that a diaper is the only thing that kid would need. At that time, I had just joined P&G as a section manager. After my graduation and after absolving an internship, they had given me the nickname “Ariel Girl” because I was the one responsible for selling the company’s products in the governorates of Dakahlia, Damietta and

Tanta. This was a very interesting time for me as I directly dealt with people in different governorates and communities, which made me aware of the levels of poverty. I then realized that I needed to focus on making the lives of people better so that they could afford their basic needs, and that was my wake up call to move to a career where I could see myself making a difference.

You then joined the Ministry of International Cooperation as a researcher and desk officer in cooperation with the USA. Who would you say inspired you the most there? Ambassador Fayza Aboulnaga was the Minister of International Cooperation at that time and she became my role model as I was amazed by her ability to work efficiently on different topics with different donors as well as by her capacity to retain the information and bring it out at the right moment. That, to me, was a huge inspiration, along with the fact that I got to deal directly with a woman Minister.

If you were a role model to a girl who wanted to follow in your footsteps, what would you like her to admire about you? I think being open to people in the professional and personal sphere, whether at higher or lower levels or are older or younger, is an important trait because there is always a learning opportunity when you look at things from different perspectives. Being accessible is essential because it always serves both parties. Even if you are not at the same position as someone, you could still inspire them with a thought or an idea. A little could change a lot. Openness to partnerships, working with others and not being clingy will help you grow as groups and communities work better than individuals. This is how societies are built.

This drive has led you to move beyond external limitations, which can occur due to the fact that you are a woman, a wife and a mother. How do you balance your career with your personal life? When I am asked how I manage my professional and private life with my two kids, I always respond by saying that had it been a gentleman doing the interview, the question would not have been raised. If I had not seen myself capable of the job, I would not have applied for it in the first place. Having kids is a blessing, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Allowing time for them is a part of the dual role of being a professional, careeroriented woman and at the same time having a very healthy personal life. It all feeds into each other.

Also, when your kids are exposed to different people, it opens them up to a variety of things and provides them with the nourishment they need to cope with their lives independently later on. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who contributes to our family morally and financially so that everybody could achieve their potential.

What were the main challenges you have faced since becoming the Chief Technical Advisor of the joint ILO/Canada Project on Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People in 2011? The project started on the eve of the 2011 revolution, and witnessed another in 2013. Working with the government was like sitting in front of a revolving door: whenever you would sit with a Minister or a decision maker, that person was out the door the next day, which was an iterative process. However, the key lesson learned was that you need to ensure ownership at lower levels and not only at the leadership level so that if your key decision maker is no longer there, you have advocates within governments to support your cause and idea and keep on hammering on the same message. This was the key to our success in institutionalising and bringing to the forefront some of the ILO toolkits that we managed to integrate into the fields of entrepreneurship and employability. For example, we got one of the key ILO toolkits for entrepreneurship, which is “Start and Improve Your Business” that is used in a number of countries, and translated and adapted it to the Egyptian context. We then created a pool of trainers, rolled it out to beneficiaries and found a national custodian who would

own the toolkit. Once the project is finished, the national custodian could do the work alone. We managed to train around 120 people who trained 8,000 young Egyptians, 36% of whom started their businesses, which is a very good success rate.

What is one tip you would provide young women? I think to follow her dreams, to not be put down by anybody and to not allow anyone to down talk her. When I first came to the ILO, I was told that I reached the most senior national position I could get, no matter how hard I worked. But I was not going to wait for my retirement in my thirties. I then started to look into the office situation, and at that point in time, we grew the office’s technical cooperation projects by at least ten times. I was able to play a bigger role by becoming a project manager for one of the largest projects on an international hire. So sometimes you do not have to see the situation as limited or let someone allocate your space or growth potential. Sometimes you need to grow the space yourself. p

The key lesson learned was that you need to ensure ownership at lower levels and not only at the leadership level MAR 2018 | Ct


Women & Youth



t’s p y Eg s t a e r s e p m m i m l i G w A S : d m i e z Sw roni r o h Sync g Sync Youn By Ya

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g in min hen a m i 2, w d Sw ie nize d in 195 d Soph o r h e e t r m o ync t start a e sp g p an n Egy g wom uced th comin e d n b o u r r d t o e e y at at in oniz ry, l Sarw count synchr e e r th to th oluntee ach at lub. In o v C c e g r of g th min Sportin he chai he m i t w s ft s e li irs o cam e. iopo Hel she be nal affa mitte m , o 1 o i t 0 C own na 20 ic is kn ian nter Olymp t i a e th pt rw n ptia day, Sa r of Egy y g E . e is il th dmoth mming i Unt o w G s e d h as t ronize ch n y s


In order to get a glimpse of the future of the Egyptian synchronized swimming team, we interviewed the Under-10 Heliopolis coach Hend Abu Dahab.

How do you maintain a safe environment during training?

When did you start synchronized swimming?

What is usually their daily training regimen?

I started swimming at the age of three. For twelve years, I practiced synchronized swimming, where I was a part of the national team.

Why did you decide to become a coach? I love sports, especially this one. Once I started, I was happy to be a part of the little girls’ journey. They are always ecstatic, and a lot even have the potential to be really good swimmers, and this further motivated me to continue.

At what age do you start accepting girls? We start accepting from the ages of five to nine, but the girls should be able to swim, meaning that they can float without panicking in a 25-meter pool. The younger the girl, the easier it is to teach for flexibility, ballet and synchronization.

Are there certain criteria for who can enroll? How do you test their capabilities? The girls are too young to fall under specific criteria, but we do get an idea of who is more flexible. However, the priority goes to the girl who is naturally lean with good leg and arm posture. Testing their capabilities is simple. First, I check if they can control their breathing in the water, how stable they are when they float, their body extensions and if they can control their legs on demand. Almost all the girls who join must first pass through the Synchro academy in which they learn how to do the basic “sculling”, a propulsive move a swimmer makes with her hands and forearms to keep afloat. There are about ten different types of sculls for different positions. The academy has its own coach, and before every season the club coaches pick the best performers to add to the team that will participate in national competitions.

Usually the parents are involved when dealing with difficult situations, whether physical or mental. When a girl suffers from health issues such as diabetes or overweight problems, we implement a strict diet under the parents’ supervision.

There are three phases in training, the first of which is during their off-season when we have just finished the national competition. They start training at five in the evening with their fitness coach, working on their cardio, strength and endurance for an hour and a half. The second phase includes working on flexibility, splits and back stretches, where we sometimes include techniques that are done as floor work. During the third phase, they start swimming for up to one kilometer, and we teach them the different swimming techniques such as butterfly and backstroke. Then, we start working on the Synchro part of the training that includes sculling drills and the ballet leg position, where the swimmer is “laying” on the water surface with one leg out of the water, perpendicular to the body.

How do you make sure they sustain their health while training for four hours everyday?

come with running or on ground sports, but of course extra exertion on shoulders and knees might occur. Therefore, we limit the use of weights, which is an extra kilogram of the girl’s weight for the under10 team that we tie around their waists. For flexibility exercises, we make sure they use a certain technique, especially during the splits.

How do you keep the team spirit among the girls? What we do to avoid that is to host a mini celebration once a month where we acknowledge each girl for a specific technique or drill, and that allows the girls to understand that we all complete the team. We also refuse to tell the girls their results, and so they all leave the competition with medals.

How do the girls juggle schoolwork with these long training hours? Sometimes parents come to me and ask me to help keep their daughter motivated to do her schoolwork. We introduce them to possible role models like Shaza Yehia, an Egyptian Olympic athlete who always had a high rank in school, and we keep telling them if you do not excel in school, then you will not succeed in sports. We also try to implement the understanding of certain subjects like physics to their training exercises. p

We are usually very aware of how the girls look before training. If I see someone who shows signs of sickness or fatigue, I talk to her or to the parents. Some pretend that they are tired to avoid swimming, but I know how to make the distinction. The under-18 swimmers train at the same time, and so they can help if God forbid something happens. We also teach them a certain protocol to follow in case of an emergency.

Do they follow a certain diet? The younger girls do not. We consider them too young to follow a strict diet, but they are aware that there are certain foods that are unhealthy and not recommended like chocolates and fast food. We just give them advice but do not enforce anything.

How do you avoid injuries? Usually in synchronized swimming, the water prevents heavy injuries that may MAR NOV 2017 2018 | Ct



Youth in the Community: The Doodle Factory

Women & Youth

By Yasmine Mabrouk

The Doodle Factory’s main challenge is to combine different artistic elements to form pretty patterns suitable for the products they sell 42

Ct | MAR 2018


he Doodle Factory started as an initiative under Mashroo3 Kheir, a startup communitybased NGO at the American University in Cairo. Yasmeen Khamis, a 27-yearold Business major, was the CEO at the time, and had worked with one of the projects called “Make a Wish”, in which students granted the wishes for terminally ill children. “Make A Wish” was one of the most successful projects, and during her work, Khamis realized that there are almost seven million children who suffer from diseases that require immediate surgeries yet are under the poverty line in Egypt. That is when she came up with the idea of selling products made by these children to be able to fund their surgeries.

Soaad’s Story The first case was Soaad, who was diagnosed with a cocker ear implant, and had to go through an operation immediately or else she would stay deaf. Khamis called her friend Farah, after which they collected papers and coloring pens and went to visit Soaad at the hospital. When they first met Soaad, she was frightened, and as they did not know sign language, it was very hard for them to communicate, until Soaad’s brother helped them. After their visit, her paintings were used to create a line of five products that were sold on the spot, which then allowed Soaad to go through with the operation.

The Team The Doodle Factory is made of a small team of only three members. Khamis is the CEO, Farah El Masry is a 24-yearold graduate of philosophy who is the creative director and 23-yearold Dina Hassan is the marketing and communication director and a graduate of Integrated Marketing Communications, with a minor in psychology and business. The team entails part-time designers and interns. The dynamics of working in a startup is far different from corporations, as they have to learn and apply at the same time.

The Process The Doodle Factory’s scope includes work in education and health. They partner up with NGOs and select cases of children who require medical operations and school tuition, among others. First, they visit a hospital or school where they hold an art session in which they provide children with coloring pens and paper. The children then draw whatever they set their minds to, and The Doodle Factory then takes these drawings and pass it through a design process. They select designs, patterns and elements that they combine from different drawings, then select the products that they will print on. They usually aim to create summer, spring, fall and winter collections just like in fashion, where the products vary depending on the supply and on the season. For instance, the “Back to School” collection includes stationary such as backpacks and pencil cases, and for the summer and spring collection, there are makeup pouches, beach bags and towels.

The Challenging Role of Art In each collection, they select the theme they want to work with, so it is very unpredictable what the children’s drawing might turn into. In their first collection, “Blooming Rupture”, they had to work with Syrian refugees who used darker colors that were inspired from black and red houses from Syria to the Nile River. The second collection was called “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and consisted of lighter colors inspired by palm trees and the sun. The Doodle Factory’s main challenge is to combine the different artistic elements to form pretty patterns suitable for the products they sell.

Today The Doodle Factory is currently working on their spring/summer collection, which will be their sixth. They have almost funded 27 medical operations. You can find their products at Diwan bookstore, Virgin and Racks. They also have started their first e-commerce website. p

Facebook: thedoodlefactoryegypt Instagram: @thedoodlefactoryegypt MAR 2018 | Ct



Al Noor Mosque:

An Architectural Gem in Sharjah Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah was established in 2005 and is a model of architectural as well as cultural distinction.

Written and Photographed by Ahmed Kafafi


or architecture-lovers, visiting the Islamic world’s historical mosques and palaces is a must. However, some people are not content witih the fact that this heritage should remain as the only witness of a bygone time. Fortunately, people are nostalgic of a glorious past, so much so that they are out replicating the designs of historic monuments in a world that is hankering after modernity and Western development.

An example of this would be when Sheikh Mohamed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, the ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, UAE, established the majestic Al Noor Mosque. The residents of the UAE and the tourists, as well as cultural organizations regionwide, have all expressed their admiration for the sumptuous, multi-domed prayer house that is inspired by the worldfamous Blue Mosque in Istanbul. A multi-domed mosque is a rarity in old Islamic cities, and while the Blue Mosque has for ages remained unrivalled, Sharjah decided to contribute to using this rare architectural feature.

Location and Overview Located in Khaled Lagoon on Sharjah’s Buheira Cornish, the mosque is one of a total of 1,000 that are found in the city,


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and can house up to 2,200 worshippers including 400 in the ladies’ section. It is the only mosque open to nonMuslims for guided one-hour tours operated by the non-profit organization Sharjah Centre for Cultural Communication, which is concluded by a question-and-answer session. In 2014, the mosque set a Guinness World Record for the "World's Largest Wooden Charity Box" for their Ramadan donation campaign.

Exterior Architecture As you stroll along the Cornish, it is impossible to take your eyes off the colossal building. The exterior is in itself a subject for study and analysis even by the simplest of passersby, and the main entrance is flanked on both sides by two graceful, 52-meter high minarets. The

most fascinating feature would have to be the cascading domes that include a 34-meter high central dome, which is surrounded by 33 half domes with four small cupola domes on each corner.

Interior The interiors are another breathtaking aspect of the mosque, where the hall is filled with arches, pillars and columns that are elaborately ornamented. The complex, arabesque patterns on the walls and ceilings are made from gypsum and the color scheme rangnes from white and off-white with some elements of pale pink. The mihrab, which sets the direction of the qibla facing Mecca, is carved in marble with stalactite-sculptured designs and gold ornamentations,

above which are Quranic verses beautifully written in calligraphy, also found on nine panels throughout the mosque. All of the marble used was brought in from India and Italy. The interior of the domes are highly decorated with a combination of floral, geometric and other interlaced patterns.

Features and Offerings In spite of its majestic presence and mesmerizing designs, Al Noor Mosque is certainly meant to be more than just a tourist destination. The Sharjah Centre for Cultural Communication makes a point of familiarizing the non-Muslim visitors with the principles of Islam. The mosque is also a religious center, especially during the holy month of Ramadan when the place witnesses the (tarawih) prayers and the Iftar tables set for the less privileged. When Sharjah was selected in 2014 as the cultural capital of the Arab World, mosques were seen as a source of Islamic learning, laying emphasis on the Islamic identity and spreading moderate Islam while stressing Islamic architecture as a lifestyle. The minarets are raised to make the “azan� (calls for prayer) as audible as possible, whereas the domes echo the voice of the Imam in order to reach all the worshippers and reduce the effect of the hot sun on the building’s roof. In addition to being an architectural masterpiece, Al Noor mosque is meant to emphasize that mosques are more than just a place for worship. p

MAR 2018 | Ct




A Piece of Heaven Down Under Written by Katharina Froehlich Photographs by Katharina Froehlich, Richard Ward & Miriam Rystedt


ith its dazzling beaches, vibrant cities, multifaceted wildlife and aboriginal culture, Australia has something for every traveller. The country will give you your money's worth no matter what you are looking for.

The beaches help make the city an unforgettable place and give you the chance to combine sightseeing with serenity


Ct | MAR 2018

Before I travelled, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I got about where to go. I was not aware of the continent’s size at first, but after some research, I found out that Australia is eight times larger than Egypt! However, despite its size, the population is only 22.6 million. I narrowed my visit down to two of its most famous cities – Sydney and Melbourne – as well as making sure I had time for a short trip to the Outback.


Opposed to common belief, Canberra is the capital of Australia, not Sydney. The amount of sightseeing is endless, and so I would recommend you to stay for at least five or six days to fully experience its culture and to make sure you visit the following three places at least.

The Opera House This miraculous piece of contemporary architecture is the city’s symbol. The

Opera House, which is not only famous because of the movie "Finding Nemo", has opened in 1973 after being under construction for more than 14 years. Apart from its stunning architecture, it also offers a variety of over 40 different shows every week.

Harbour Bridge The Bridge is located next to the Opera House and connects the city center with the outer districts. It is a very popular sight for adventure seekers who are thrilled by the idea of visiting "Brideclimb Sydney", as it gives them the chance to climb the 150-meter high bridge while hanging on nothing but a rope. However, the day ticket for the climb is around EGP 2700. For those of you who do not want to spend your entire budget on just one climb, "Pylon Lookout" could be a better alternative. The lookout also offers a mesmerizing view of the Opera House, the ocean and the city and is very affordable with a price of only EGP 200.

One of my personal favorite things to do was taking a walk on the bridge to Northern Sydney where you can visit the Luna Park and take a ride on the observation wheel there.

Nature and Beaches Along with the great architecture, Sydney's landscape is another highlight of the city. Together with many large parks, such as the Royal National Park that has the size of 13200 hectares, the beaches help make the city an unforgettable place and give you the chance to combine sightseeing with serenity. The most famous is Bondi Beach, where you can unwind and watch the sunset in one of its famous bars. I also highly recommend Icebergs Dining Room and Bar which offers you a taste of Australian cuisine at its finest. If you are lucky enough and are visiting Bondi Beach at a certain time of the year, you might catch the art show ''Sculptures by the Sea" where well known local artists place their work next to the ocean to be admired and interpreted by everyone.

MAR 2018 | Ct


Travel Melbourne Melbourne should also be on everyone's bucket list. Located 800 kilometers west of Sydney, it can easily be reached by plane or car. The two cities have very different vibes that once you have been around Australia, you get asked by the locals if you are a Sydney or Melbourne kind of person. Although the city doesn't have as many world famous sites as Sydney, it is definitely worth a visit for two reasons:

Art Galleries and Street Art The city is an art metropolis. Not only is there a variety of art galleries, but more importantly, Melbourne is known for its street art. I was there for three days, which I spent wandering through the many little back streets and lanes, finding astonishing pieces of art on every other corner. My favorite gallery there was the "Mailbox Art Space" where artists were invited to create site-specific work for a series of restored mailboxes.

Great Ocean Road Apart from its art and laid-back lifestyle, travellers visit the city because it is just a two-hour ride away from the Great Ocean Road. The Road is a 243-kilometer street on the coast between Torquay and Allansford. It is known to be the most important scenic route of the country that offers magnificent views along the ride. One of the famous spots is the twelve Apostels, a collection of lime stock stacks. If you are short on time, you can easily rent a car in Melbourne and make a day trip to the famous road.

The Outback Bruce Chatwin once said that ''being lost in Australia gives you a lovely sense of security." The words of the famous British writer perfectly described what I felt once I left the comfort of the cities and went to the Outback, a huge deserted area covered with red sand and sparsely occupied by farmers and local tribes.

ago and play a big part in the country's history and have a special connection to nature and art. Alice Springs, a small town in the Outback, is home to the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre where you can get heaps of information on the indigenous people and their traditions.

Ayers Rock Ayers Rock is said to have existed 550 million years ago. It is a fascinating 340 meters high, large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the northern territory of Australia that is special to the Aborigines and is named Uluru in their native language. For them, Uluru is sacred, which leads them to perform rituals in its caves and create rock paintings. Camping in the outdoors next to the rock while gazing at the stars is truly a mesmerizing experience. If you are lucky enough, you might even see a kangaroo jumping around your tent in the morning.

The Aborigines The first people in Australia were the Aborigines, who arrived 40,000 years

The beaches help make the city an unforgettable place and give you the chance to combine sightseeing with serenity


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General Information The People The “Aussies� are some of the most friendly and outgoing people I have met, a conclusion I made after visiting many countries worldwide. They always greet you with a smile and are willing to help in any situation. Several times, when I asked for a location, the locals would go out of their way to get me to my destination where we would have a friendly meal together. The only thing that I was not prepared for was their strong accent, but you will get used to it with time.

Cuisine and Outings The food Down Under is delicious, and ranges from Meat Pie and Crab Sticks to Sausage Rolls. During my entire trip, I never had any difficulties finding a cozy restaurant. Depending on what you would like to eat, the prices start from EGP 120 for a normal beef burger up to EGP 700 or more for a piece of kangaroo meat. If you are up for something really extraordinary, try the fresh crocodile meat at the Australian Heritage Hotel in Sydney.

My favorite restaurant in Sydney was the Glenmore Hotel on the Rocks, which is located on the roof terrace. You can choose between varieties of seafood, meat or vegan/vegetarian food while enjoying a perfect view of the city from up above. Apart from all the restaurants, there is a large number of bars and nightclubs if you want to enjoy a night out in the town in Sydney or Melbourne.

Transportation Since there are many travellers and backpackers all year round, getting around Australia is very easy. Depending on how much time you have, I recommend renting a car, but if you are tight on time, plane tickets are not too expensive, starting with EGP 800 for a one-hour flight from Sydney to Melbourne or Alice Springs. Other possibilities include taking long distance busses or the train.

Accommodation This is the only negative thing I experienced in Australia. Hotel rates, especially in Sydney, are very high. Luckily, I had friends living there who hosted me in their beautiful apartment during my stay, but I heard many other travellers complaining about the high prices in hotels and even hostels.

If you are on a low budget (EGP 800 per day), the only possibility you have is to stay in a dorm in one of the hundreds of hostels that the city provides. A night in a shared room with five to ten (or sometimes more) strangers will cost you around EGP 500. The nicest hostels are found in the areas Glebe, Newtown and Surry Hills. If you prefer a more private space in a comfortable four-star hotel, prices will start from EGP 2,500 for a single room per night. Well-known places for this category are the Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay and Russell Hotel in the Rocks, which are both within walking distance of the main sights.

In a Nutshell No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to describe the diversity that this country offers. Although Australia is a pricey experience that you might need to save up for, I would advise everyone to visit it at least once in their lifetime, as I promise that it will stay in your heart forever. p

The city is an art metropolis. Not only is there a variety of art galleries, but more importantly, Melbourne is known for its street art

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Mother’s Day Dessert Recipes Lemon Bars Ingredients Crust: • 225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature • ½ cup sugar • 2 cups flour • Pinch of salt Filling: • 6 eggs, at room temperature • 3 cups sugar • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest • 1 cup lemon juice • 1 cup flour • Powdered sugar, for dusting Directions • Preheat the oven to 175C. • For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light with an electric mixer. • Combine the flour and

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salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a wellfloured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a ½-inch edge on all sides. Chill. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into triangles and dust with powdered sugar.

Coconut Cream Pie Ingredients • ¾ cup sugar • 3 tablespoons flour • Pinch of salt • 3 cups whole milk • 3 eggs, beaten • 1½ cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted, divided • 1 tablespoon butter • 1½ teaspoons vanilla • 1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

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Directions • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. • Stir in milk; cook and stir over


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medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into beaten eggs. Return everything to the saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until nearly boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir about 2 minutes more (do not boil). Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup coconut, butter and vanilla. Pour into pie shell; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Chill for several hours before serving.

Double Chocolate Mocha Mousse Ingredients • 115 grams semisweet chocolate • 55 grams bittersweet chocolate • 2 egg yolks • 1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder • 5 tablespoons sugar • 1½ cups heavy cream Directions • Place the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates in a microwave-safe bowl. • Melt according to package directions. Let cool slightly. • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, espresso powder, 4 tablespoons sugar and ½ a cup of cream. • Cook over medium heat,

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stirring constantly, until the mixture lightly coats the back of a spatula (do not let the mixture simmer or boil), 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until cooled, about 25 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat together the remaining cream and sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. In two additions, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Divide among serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate before serving, if desired.

Red Velvet Nutella Cookies Ingredients • 1¾ cups flour • ¼ cup cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon baking soda • ½ teaspoon salt • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature • ¾ cups light brown sugar • ¼ cup sugar • 1 egg, at room temperature • 1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 1¾ tablespoons red food coloring • ¾ cup chocolate chips, plus extra for topping • 17 teaspoons Nutella Directions • Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. • Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. • Mix in the egg and beat well. • Beat in the milk, vanilla and the red food coloring.

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Add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for an hour. Meanwhile, drop teaspoon dollops of Nutella onto parchment paper and freeze. Preheat the oven to 175C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Take out 1 tablespoon of dough and place a frozen teaspoon of Nutella onto the dough. Add another half tablespoon of dough over the Nutella and cover the dollop. Roll the dough between your hands to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and Nutella. You may need to chill the dough again halfway through. Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes. Gently press down with a spatula and top with more chocolate chips if desired. MAR 2018 | Ct



Vanilla and Raspberry Shortbread Hearts Ingredients • 2 cups flour • ¼ teaspoon salt • 1 cup unsalted butter • ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting • 2 teaspoons vanilla • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam Directions • In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. • In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. • On a low speed, beat in flour mixture until just blended. • Shape dough into 2 disks; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. • Preheat oven to 150C. • Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. • Between 2 sheets of floured wax paper, roll 1 disk 1/8-inch thick. • With a floured 3-inch heart-shape cookie cutter, cut out cookies. • Cut out the centers of half the cookies with a floured 1½-inch heart-shape cookie cutter. • Slide cookies on wax paper to another large cookie sheet and refrigerate about 15 minutes, or until firm. • Place cookies on prepared sheets, 1 inch apart. • Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden. • Cool on parchment paper on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough, rerolling scraps. • Sift powdered sugar over cookies with cut-out centers. • Spread 1 teaspoon jam on each plain cookie; top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches.

Peanut Butter Brownies Ingredients • ½ cup melted butter • ½ cup brown sugar • ½ cup sugar • 2 eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla • ½ cup flour • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder • ¼ teaspoon baking powder • ¼ teaspoon salt • 4 - 6 teaspoons of creamy peanut butter Directions • Preheat oven to 175C. • In a bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugars. • Add eggs and vanilla, and stir well. • Mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. • Pour brownie batter into an 11 x 7 inch pan. • Drop teaspoons of peanut butter onto the batter. • Using a butter knife swirl in the peanut butter using a figure eight pattern. • Make sure to incorporate the peanut butter throughout the batter without over mixing. • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.


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Banana Soufflés Ingredients • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted • 5 tablespoons sugar • 2 firm, ripe bananas, mashed (1 ¼ cups) • 1 tablespoon lime juice • 1 egg yolk • 3 egg whites • Salt Directions • Preheat the oven to 200C. • Brush four 1-cup ramekins with melted butter. • Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to 1 of the ramekins and rotate it to coat with sugar. • Repeat with remaining ramekins. • In a food processor, puree the bananas with

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the lime juice, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until smooth. Scrape the banana mixture into a large bowl. In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm. Using a rubber spatula, beat one-fourth of the beaten whites into the banana mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and tap them lightly on a countertop. Transfer the soufflés to a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and have risen.

Strawberry Cream Puffs Ingredients Pastry: • ½ cup of milk • 4 eggs • 1 stick (115 grams) of butter • 1¼ cup flour • ½ tablespoon sugar • 250 grams of strawberry Filling: • 2 cups heavy cream • ¾ cup icing sugar Strawberry Coulis: • 250 grams strawberry • Half a lemon • 1 tablespoon honey • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar Directions • Preheat oven to 200C. • Melt the butter, milk and salt together in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. • Add the flour all at once, stir for two minutes with a wooden spoon until you get a dough smooth enough to form a ball. • Off the heat, add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly. Place the dough in the refrigerator.

Pour refrigerated heavy cream and icing sugar in a bowl and beat for about 5 minutes until you get a firm foam. Set aside in the refrigerator. With a pastry bag or a spoon, form 15 balls of batter over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to space them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 200C until the shells are an amber color and when split, it is dry inside. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more at 180C if necessary. Wash strawberries and remove the stems before placing them in a blender with sugar, honey and lemon juice. Pulse and then pour through a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds. Split the shells in half, stuff them with the whipped cream, and then add a few slices of strawberries. Place the top part of the shell on top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and halved strawberries. p

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Society NEO Lounge & Bar Opening at Hilton Alexandria Corniche Hilton Alexandria Corniche has kicked off the festive season with the opening of NEO Lounge & Bar. The celebration was honored by the attendance of Elite Alexandrian Society figures, corporate customers, longterm guests, social media influencers, press and public media figures. The guests were entertained by a famous Jazz band “Screwdriver” along with a Ukrainian DJ. All attendees enjoyed the ambience and the professional service provided by the hotel’s team who offered a wide selection of fine cocktails and a delicious sushi selection. NEO is introducing two new concepts of “sports bar” and “lounge” in Alexandria to suit all tastes. The sports bar is tailored to entertain sports lovers and the lounge features the fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines along with a variety of live entertainment programs with a mixture of fine music. p

Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars Celebrates Launching Windows Friday Live Cooking New Concept Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars has recently launched a new concept of live cooking at Windows. The hotel hosted a special event to introduce the new live cooking stations and food items to media figures and hotel guests. Windows featured an Asian live cooking station, which offered a variety of rice, noodle dishes and Thai dishes like sweet and sour chicken, a Mexican station with fajitas and nachos with lots of delicious toppings and an Italian station with a variety of gourmet pastas. There is also a salad and veggie bar and an Egyptian corner for liver sandwiches and sausages. The dessert station offers a wide variety of homemade desserts. Windows team welcomed guests with golden berries bouquets and warm smiles while talented chefs prepared tailor made dishes according to each guest’s preference. p


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New York Italian Themed Party at Sheraton Cairo The first New York Italian restaurant in Cairo “Giannini’s” held a themed party, hosting lifestyle influencers and local media. Guests were dressed up according to the vintage twenties New York Italian theme, wearing hats, headpieces and pearls to capture the glam of this era. They enjoyed the evening savoring the exquisite plates created by the famous Italian chef Antonio Carrano along with an angelic performance by Malak El Husseiny that took us back in time. p

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48, Abdel Moneim Hafez Street, off Nozha St., Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt Tel/Fax: (202) 2290 8127 - 2415 8762 Mobile: 010 005 2322 - 010 005 2323 Email: - DEC 2017 | Ct



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Community Times March 2018 Issue  
Community Times March 2018 Issue