Egypt Independent: Arts-Main news en Acclaimed Palestinian theater in Jerusalem risks closure <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Palestinian National Theater, for three decades the leading performing arts and cultural center for Arabs in Jerusalem, is facing potential closure after running up large municipal debts, its director said on Friday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Known as &quot;Al Hakawati&quot; (The Storyteller), the theater has amassed unpaid bills of US$150,000 over the past five years, with money owed to city hall, to the national insurance fund and to the local Israeli electricity company.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Opened in 1984 in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, Al Hakawati has received international acclaim for its performances and its training of young actors. It often puts on productions with groups from the United States, Britain and France.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We are the only professional theater in East Jerusalem,&quot; director Amer Khalil told Reuters. &quot;I hope we can manage to get at least half the money we owe by Sunday or Monday, otherwise we will be closed down.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Adnan Al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority governor of Jerusalem told Reuters he expected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would step in and prevent the theater&#39;s closure. &quot;The President has given orders and the money needed will be given. On Monday the issue will be resolved and over,&quot; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The theater operates as an NGO and has received donations from Europe, the United States and others in the past. Khalil said donors and friends had been calling and he hoped they would pledge enough to pay off the debts.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There has been friction between Al Hakawati and Israel in the past. In 2008, Israeli police deployed at the theater to stop it holding a festival entitled &quot;Jerusalem, the Arab Cultural Capital for 2009&quot;.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Israel refers to Jerusalem as its &quot;eternal and indivisible&quot; capital and regards the city as a leading center of Jewish culture and tradition. Palestinians want East Jerusalem - captured and occupied by Israel in 1967 - as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some Palestinian commentators described the squeeze on Al Hakawati as part of a wider push by Israel to marginalize Arabic cultural and arts institutions. But Khalil said he didn&#39;t think that was the case in this instance.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;In this case, we are just facing the problem of debts,&quot; he said. &quot;In general, there has been a problem with us using this building in the past and having a Palestinian cultural center in Jerusalem, but now it is just about the money.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In June this year, Israel&#39;s culture minister froze funding to an Arab theater after it performed a play about Palestinians jailed by Israel. She also threatened to cut funding to an Arab-Israeli theater that refused to perform in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Israeli artists have even protested against the culture minister, Miri Regev, a former army spokeswoman from the right-wing Likud party, saying she has no understanding or appreciation for the arts.</div> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 11:49:00 +0000 Reuters 2462381 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/29/501184/palestinian_national_theatre.jpg Opera House to sell tickets online starting 2016 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Cairo Opera House has signed an agreement with the Planning, Follow-up and Administrative Reform Ministry to apply online bookings for its tickets.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Opera House chief Einas Abdel Dayem said the new mechanism will enable the electronic booking of, and payment for, tickets through credit cards and cell phone e-payments while preserving the secrecy of the bookers&rsquo; data.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Dayem said an experimental activation of the new service will begin in early 2016, covering the opera theaters in Cairo, Alexandria and Beheira.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 29 Nov 2015 09:34:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2462368 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/22/39/opera.jpg Samira Saeed’s new clip on TV soon <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Songstar Samira Saeed&rsquo;s latest song &quot;Ayza Aeesh&quot; (Wanna Live) has received at least 624,000 views on Youtube, apparently encouraging the Moroccan-Egyptian diva to film a video clip for her new hit.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saeed said reactions have been &ldquo;varied&rdquo; about her latest song, labelling its online playing rates as &ldquo;good&rdquo;.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Ayza Aeesh&quot; has become the second most popular Egyptian song on Youtube after Mohamed Hamaqi&rsquo;s &quot;Omro Myghib&quot; (She Is Never Away), which garnered four million views.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:58:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2462347 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/04/12/16030/image_1.jpg Live Shakespeare tops British cinema box office - for a day <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>A live broadcast of Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh starring in Shakespeare&#39;s &quot;The Winter&#39;s Tale&quot; was the biggest cinema box office draw in Britain on the night of the screening, the show&#39;s publicists said on Friday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The three-hour-long play, broadcast from London to 520 cinemas across Britain on Thursday night, took in 1.1 million pounds (US$1.65 million), which put it ahead of the blockbuster &quot;The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2&quot; and other more mainstream fare, they said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>US audiences will get their chance on Monday</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;To be able to celebrate our production of &#39;The Winter&rsquo;s Tale&#39; with cinema audiences is a true privilege,&quot; Branagh, who directed the production, said in the statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The play, one of the Bard&#39;s later and less well-known works, tells the tale of King Leontes (Branagh) who manages to destroy his family as a result of insane jealousy only to be treated to perhaps undeserved redemption at the end.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Among those sharing the stage in the Kenneth Branagh Theater Company performance, is Dench, one of Britain&#39;s most beloved actors. She plays Paulina, Leontes&#39; sharpest critic but at the same time a vehicle for his redemption.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The broadcast also was beamed to more than 100 cinemas across Europe and in Canada, but the box office from those locations was not immediately known.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The play, which is sold out for the duration of its run in London&#39;s theater district, will be broadcast in a delayed transmission to the United States on Monday, and also will be shown in Australia and northern Europe.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:26:00 +0000 Reuters 2462315 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/28/501184/live_shakespeare.jpg