Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cairo International Book Fair 2009 - UK guest of honour

It's such a good feeling to be swamped with tons of books from all around the world in the Cairo International Book Fair, being surrounded by all these great publishers, book writers, and famous people is a dream come true for anybody who values a good book.

Certainly with the United Kingdom as the guest of honour this year as The British Council in Cairo has accepted an invitation from the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) for the UK to be guest of honour at the 2009 Cairo International Book Fair. They are working with the London Book Fair, The Publishers Association, Independent Publishers Guild and other organisations on a wide range of activities to take place during the two-week event. These will fall into three categories: Reader Development, Professional Development for Publishers and Writers and their work. The British Council has also invited 10 authors from the UK to deliver a program of lectures, book signings and so forth at the fair and other venues around Egypt.

Cairo's Book Fair is like an annual meeting point for cultures from all around the world, from the oriental far east, passing by the African Jungle, the European Glamour, the North American style finally reaching the imaginative Latin literature. Which makes the Cairo International Book Fair a great chance to get acquainted with the cultures from around the globe.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Queen Cleopatra

Queen Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, very popular for her beauty and for her love story with the Roman Caesar. After Caesar's murder, Rome was in turmoil . Several armies competed for control. The two greatest generals were Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian was the adopted son of Julius Caesar, but Mark Antony led a larger army.

When Antony asked Cleopatra to meet with him, Cleopatra decided that she had another opportunity to return to power both in Egypt, and in Rome. She had made one ruler of Rome fall in love with her. Could she conquer another Roman leader's heart? She agreed to meet with Mark Anthony in 42 B.C. and her royal ship was prepared to take her to him.

The legend says that when Cleopatra went to meet him she was dressed as Venus the Roman love goddess, and had her maid dressed as fairies and filled her ship with flowers as it is said that Rome could smell her fragrance before her ship was seen from shore.

On first sight Antony was love struck and forgetting his duties followed her to Alexandria and spent the winter with her.

The story goes on until they get married and takes Alexandria as his final home, deserting his country and his wife for the sake of the beautiful Cleopatra, which angered his people back in rome, and they decided to declare war on Egypt, Antony was killed in the war, and Cleopatra killed herself in grief over Anthony.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holidays To Cairo

Cairo is a city of Imagination, when you visit the Citadel you could imagine yourself riding a horse in Salah El Din's army, or you could imagine that you are a messenger to the Pharaoh if you are visiting the great pyramids. Just by living in Cairo I'm experiencing a never ending fantastic holiday. Each weekend I choose a place in the historic city, grab my sketchbook and camera and I spend all day there sketching and taking photos, I have visited many places and touristic sites in Cairo which I find inspiring.

When visiting a place in Cairo for the first time you always get this rich historic feeling, and smell that magical ancient scent that lingers in the air, one thing that distinguishes Cairo from any other city in the world is that it holds in its folds monuments from lots of differant eras, and that's what made me call my graduation project "Differant Eras, But One Cairo", I was advertising Cairo as a City that is not just the pyramids and sphinx.

I consider my life in Cairo now as a holiday that regenerates as soon as I pick a new destination each weekend, some of these places are relaxing and calm like the Azhar Gardens and el Fayoom Gardens, other places are lively like the Cairo Tower, the Citadel, and the Egyptian Museum, but I really spend the most time near the religious areas like the famous Coptic area "Mar Girgis" which is full of beautiful Churches or the Islamic Mosques near old Cairo, like El Sultan Hassan Mosque, or Amr Bin El As Mosque.

If you have some great sites near your city, please share them with us here in a comment.