Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en Bushra prepares new album <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egyptian actor and singer Bushra said she misses singing and is now working on a new album.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bushra promises her fans the new album will be different, adding she now plans to focus on singing and theatrical performances, especially for children.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bushra pointed out she knows nothing about singer Amr Diab&#39;s TV series &ldquo;Al-Shohra&rdquo; (Fame).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bushra, who is a goodwill ambassador for children, plans to attend the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on 25 November at Al-Sawy Culture Wheel, along with other actors.</div> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:24:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440225 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/20/484151/snapshot20101228185135.jpg Iraqi poet facing literature burning call gains campaign backing <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><span style="font-size: 14px;">Supporters of</span>&nbsp;Iraqi poet Saady Youssef have launched a<a href="">&nbsp;campaign</a> to defend him after fellow Iraqi intellectuals called to burn his works over his alleged insults of Iraq&#39;s southern population.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The controversy, stirred by some authors by calling for burning the works of Mr. Saady Youssef, is an attempt to suppress opposing opinions under the pretext of defending Iraq and its political regime, serves, either intentionally or unintentionally, a despotic, backwards and violent mentality,&rdquo; said the statement by the campaign posted on</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Signatories to the petition, currently approaching 500, include researchers, authors, activists journalists as well as other professions. They declared solidarity with Youssef and their support for free speech in Iraq and Kurdistan.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A number of Iraqi intellectuals had reportedly called for burning Youssef&rsquo;s works at a street in downtown Baghdad after one of his recent poems suggested a lack of the sense of Arabism in the country&rsquo;s south.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;What does it mean to let the country be controlled by Kurds or Persians&hellip;.What does it mean to summon armies from the farthest spots in the planet to kill Iraqi Arabs?... What does it mean to ban Arabic language in the emirate of Kurdistan.., We, are, therefore in a foreigners&rsquo; Iraq,&rdquo; read a section of his controversial poem.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On Wednesday, London-based periodic Banipal, which focuses on translations of Arabic literature, celebrated Youssef&rsquo;s poetry works on his 80th birthday, saying it was proud to put his portray on the cover of its 51th edition.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Born in 1934 and exiled twice from Iraq before settling in the UK, Youssef, one of the most productive Arab poets, has more than 40 poetry collections in his literary stock. Selections of his poems had been distributed at several Arab countries.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Mohamed Mostafa 2440240 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/20/94/campaign_backing_iraqi_poet_saadi_youssef.jpg New 'Hunger Games' thrills fans, divides critics <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>&nbsp;Movie-goers worldwide will flock to see the new &quot;Hunger Games&quot; film this week, likely making it another blockbuster mega-hit -- even if critics are divided on Katniss Everdeen&#39;s latest adventure.</p><p>&quot;Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1&quot; is the third installment of the franchise based on Suzanne Collins&#39; best-selling young adult books, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the survivor of a bloody reality TV contest among children and teens in a dystopian future.</p><p dir="LTR">In this episode, she moves beyond fighting just for her own life in the annual titular games, as she takes on the Capitol from the rebel base of District 13, becoming the &quot;Mockingjay&quot; symbol of an entire revolution.</p><p dir="LTR">The film is dedicated &quot;in loving memory&quot; to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor who died of an accidental drug overdose during back-to-back filming of the movie and the &quot;Mockingjay - Part 2&quot; finale, due out next year.</p><p dir="LTR">With much of the original cast back and music by superstar New Zealand teen Lorde, the movie presses all the buttons of its predecessors, 2012&#39;s &quot;The Hunger Games&quot; and last year&#39;s sequel, &quot;Hunger Games: Catching Fire.&quot;</p><p dir="LTR">Adding to the hype, a mobile game has been launched, and a stage show is in the works in Britain.</p><p dir="LTR">Box Office Mojo predicts it will score the biggest domestic box office of the year of $350-400 million -- slightly less than its two predecessors but still a highly creditable performance.</p><p dir="LTR"><strong>One film too many?</strong></p><p dir="LTR">Part of the reason for lower box office expectations is the fact that, as with the &quot;Twilight&quot; and &quot;Harry Potter&quot; franchises, the final book in the series has been turned into two movies.</p><p dir="LTR">In both cases, the penultimate film saw a slight decrease in its earnings. But the lowered forecasts could also reflect some underwhelming critical response to the movie.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;Like an overgrown and bloated trailer for a film yet to come, (the film) spreads perhaps 45 minutes of dramatic material across two far-too-leisurely hours,&quot; commented the Hollywood Reporter.</p><p dir="LTR">Industry journal Variety meanwhile opined that &quot;the series&#39; two-part finale gets under way in solid, absorbing if not exactly inspired fashion.&quot;</p><p dir="LTR">The film returns to the devastated autocratic future world of Panem, where Katniss has taken refuge in rebel-held District 13 after escaping from the Hunger Games at the end of the second movie.</p><p dir="LTR">She agrees to become the symbol of the rebellion to rally resistance forces from the 12 other districts against the Capitol -- but only if the rebels help to free her boyfriend, Peeta, held captive by the Panem leaders.</p><p dir="LTR">British actress Natalie Dormer -- known to many as Margaery Tyrell from &quot;Games of Thrones,&quot; and who plays propaganda video maker Cressida in this film -- paid tribute to Lawrence.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;Everything that people have come to understand about Jennifer Lawrence is true .. She has a very buoyant energy, and it filters on a set like that, with such a long intensive shoot -- it filters down from the top,&quot; she told AFP.</p><p dir="LTR">Not all industry analysts are downbeat about the film&#39;s prospects.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;There is no slowing down &#39;Mockingjay&#39; or &#39;Hunger Games&#39; for that matter,&quot; said Jeff Bock of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;This will undoubtedly be the biggest opener of the franchise, possibly reaching up to $170M in its debut,&quot; Bock told AFP.</p><p dir="LTR">Fans seem to agree: while the movie has a tepid 74 percent approval rating from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes review website, a scorching 99 percent of movie-goers said they want to go and see it.</p><p dir="LTR">While much of the world will be able to see &quot;Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1&quot; starting this week, fans in China will have to wait a little longer, according to the Hollywood Reporter.</p><p dir="LTR">The industry journal said its release in China had been delayed until January, because &quot;&quot;Transformers: Age of Extinction&quot; had done better than expected there, making the box office higher for foreign than domestic films.</p> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:47:00 +0000 AFP 2440212 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/20/499612/new_hunger_games_thrills_fans_divides_critics.jpg ‘Theatre Without Production’ Festival to kick off in Alexandria <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The General Authority for Cultural Palaces, headed by Sayyed Khattab, will organize the sixth session of the international &lsquo;Theatre Without Production&rsquo; Festival in collaboration with other venues&nbsp;on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Jesuits Cultural Center from 23 to 30 November.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Theatrical teams from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, France, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco will take part.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 23 November, &ldquo;Walk on the front-Egypt&rdquo; and &ldquo;Fire from Ghosts-Egypt&rdquo; will be played on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 24 November, &ldquo;Mara Mara-Tunisia&rdquo; will be played in Bibliotheca Alexandrina, &ldquo;Radicalia-Kuwait&rdquo; and &ldquo;She and He- Morocco&rdquo; will be played on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Plays of Hamlet and Get out of My Head from Saudi Arabia and &ldquo;Masks of the angels-Egypt&rdquo; will be played on Jesuits Cultural Center, &ldquo;The magnificent-Lebanon&rdquo; will be played on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 26 November, plays of &ldquo;Waiting- Saudi Arabia&rdquo; and &ldquo;Without draws-Egypt&rdquo; on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 27 November, play of &ldquo;Maya-Algeria&rdquo; will be played on Bibliotheca Alexandrina, &ldquo;Rouge Nescafe-Egypt&rdquo; and &ldquo;Hanalkom Wahed-Kuwait&rdquo; will be played on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 28 November, plays of &ldquo;Story in every heart-Egypt&rdquo; and &ldquo;Message to-Kuwait&rdquo;will be played on Jesuits Cultural Center.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On 29 November, plays of &ldquo;Ces jours qui dansent avec la nuit-France&rdquo; will be performed on Bibliotheca Alexandrina, &ldquo;Knockout-Kuwait&rdquo; and &ldquo;Teeba-Egypt&rdquo; will be played on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The closing ceremony will take place on 30 November on Bairam al-Tounsi theatre.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:28:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440190 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/19/484151/252034_0.jpg