With ‘Togetherless,’ a master of abstract art arrives in Istanbul

Bernard Frize, “Melia-sept,” acrylic and resin on canvas, 2017.23/03/2018 (Sabah – Turkey): Bernard Frize lives in Paris and Berlin, and his first show in Istanbul is a cause for celebration. Born in 1949, Frize is one of the most original artists of our time. His colors and compositions challenge orthodoxies and there is much delight in spending an afternoon in a gallery filled with the master’s paintings. Curators at Dirimart have titled Frize’s Istanbul exhibition “Togetherless,” and during an exceptionally warm March day last week it felt the exhibition had arrived in the city just at the right time. Frize studied at the School of Fine Arts in Montpellier and began his artistic career in the 1970s. Defined largely by his interest in geometric shapes and acrylic colors, his works remained constantly radical in the world of abstract art…



Egypt aims at 5.8% GDP growth in 2018/19 budget

23/03/2018 (Egypt Indipendent  – Egypt): Egypt’s cabinet approved this week the state’s budget for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, which aims to reach a GDP growth target of 5.8 percent, a slight increase compared to 5.2 percent set in the 2017/2018 budget, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said in a statement. The new budget cites investments worth LE100 billion, up from LE70 billion this year, the statement said, adding that the funds will be spent on national projects and public services. The new budget is valued at LE1.412 trillion and aims to decrease the state’s budget deficit to 8.4 percent of GDP, as well as achieving a primary surplus…



We’re still paying the price for the mayhem of 2011

23/03/2018 (Arab News – KSA by Hafed Al-Ghwell*): An Egyptian friend of mine from college was doing exceptionally well in 2010 with his property investments and developments in Egypt and Libya. Things were also looking better the following year — and then revolts took place in both countries within a month of each other. Suddenly, through no fault of his own, he was faced with ruin and failing businesses in both countries. He decided to close his shops, take all his savings and move to the US to start over. His story is not as tragic as those of the estimated 87 million other Arabs whose lives have been deeply affected by what was ironically called the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, it represents the many types of lawlessness of the period stretching from December 2010 to the end of spring 2011, when many countries in the Arab world were shaken to their core by revolts, violence and bloodshed…


*Hafed Al-Ghwell is a former adviser to the board of directors at the World Bank Group. 


Jeddah revels at Kingdom’s largest jazz festival

23/03/2018 (Arab News – KSA): JEDDAH: World-renowned and Grammy-winning musicians took to the stage on March 22 as the largest jazz festival yet held in Saudi Arabia got underway. The location for the two-day event, featuring 10 acts, was Juman Park in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which echoed to the sound of soulful and rhythmic tunes deep into the night. One of the largest privately run economic projects in the world, KAEC is a residential and business location in Northern Jeddah. It has quickly established itself as a leading venue for concerts organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), a government organization set up to develop and expand entertainment in Saudi Arabia through high-quality events…




No one can design region’s future without Turkey: PM

No one can design region’s future without Turkey: PM  24/03/2018 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday said no one can design the region’s future without Turkey. “Stop at the west of Euphrates, don’t cross to its east. There is no such thing. There is no east or west for terror, it’s our main target until we completely get rid of it. We will do whatever is necessary. No one can design the region’s future without Turkey,” Yildirim said while addressing at the Hasan Kalyoncu University in the southern Gaziantep province. He said Turkish military have been conducting “successfully” the land and the air operations and that it will eliminate threats to its border security, territorial integrity, and security of life and property. “Wherever there is a terror threat, it is a target for us,” the prime minister added. Later, Yildirim also spoke at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Youth Branch provincial congress of Gaziantep and said the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq is “essential” for Turkey…



Bomb blast misses Egypt’s Alexandria security director; one policeman killed

Sisi24/03/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt’s Alexandria security director survived an assassination attempt on Saturday that killed one policeman and injured four others in a bombing in central Alexandria that targeted the security director’s convoy, state TV reported. The interior ministry said in a statement that an improvised explosive device placed under a car detonated as the security director’s convoy was passing in El-Moaskar El-Romany Street. Egypt’s prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek has ordered that the High State Security and Sidi Gaber prosecution inspect the scene and take statements from the injured…



Iran rejects any change to nuclear deal

17/03/2018 (Daily Star – Lebanon): TEHRAN: Iran will not accept any changes to the nuclear deal, a senior official insisted Saturday, after the United States said it was seeking a “supplemental” accord with European powers. “We will not accept any changes, any interpretation or new measure aimed at limiting” the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, said Ali Shamkhani in remarks carried by ISNA news agency. Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, also warned European countries “against the temptation of playing at the same game as the Americans”. “The ballistic programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has a defensive nature, will steadfastly continue,” said Shamkhani, who is a close ally of supreme leader Ali Khamenei…



Iran, Kazakhstan Opt for Broadening of Economic Ties

Iran, Kazakhstan Opt for Broadening of Economic Ties17/03/2018 (FarsNews – Iran): TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Abdrakhmanov in a meeting in Astana on Friday underlined the need for expanding all-out cooperation, specially in economic and trade fields. During the meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital today, Zarif  and Abdrakhmanov explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral relations, specially in the field of economy. Two sides voiced determination to pave the way for stronger economic ties. The foreign ministers of Iran and Kazakhstan emphasized the implementation of bilateral agreements between the two countries, particularly in the fields of energy, transit, joint ventures and trade exchanges. Other issues discussed at the meeting were facilitating the issuance of visas for economic activists of the two countries, removing barriers to banking cooperation, and paving the way for Kazakh companies willing to invest in transportation sectors in Iran…

Photos: ‘Life after Death’ exhibition to be held at Egyptian Museum

17/03/2018 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anany, accompanied by Belgian Ambassador to Cairo Sibille de Cartier d’Yves and German Ambassador to Cairo Julius Georg Luy, witnessed on Thursday the opening of the exhibition “Life After Death: the Middle Country in Deir Al-Barsha” in the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir square, according to the Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page. The exhibition comes as part of the collaboration between the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Flemish Institute in Cairo, the Belgian Catholic University of Louvain and German Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the archaeological discoveries in the area of Deir Al-Barsha…