As depicted in popular culture, ancient Egypt is awash with the color beige. A trip to the
Temple of Dendur’s Lost Colors Brought to Life at the Met
Metropolitan Museum of Art would seem to reflect that notion: The Temple of Dendur, with its weatherworn sandstone, could fit in naturally with the earth tones of “Aida” or “The Mummy.”
But Egyptologists know that this temple, like many others of the ancient world, was painted with vivid colors and patterns. In “Color the Temple,” a marriage of research and projection-mapping technology, visitors to the Met can now glimpse what the Temple of Dendur may have looked like in its original, polychromatic form more than 2,000 years ago.
The Met’s MediaLab has installed a projector that fills in the temple’s carvings with color. Through March 19, one section of the structure’s south side is on view: a scene of the Roman emperor Augustus, dressed as a pharaoh and making an offering to the deities Hathor and Horus. Because the sun would wash out the projector’s light (the gallery has floor-to-ceiling windows), the scene is illuminated on Friday and Saturday evenings, when the Met offers extended hours.
Temple of Dendur’s Lost Colors Brought to Life at the Met
Ron Jenkins, 63, a theater professor at Wesleyan University, visited the Temple of Dendur on Friday with his 4-year-old son, Nicander. Mr. Jenkins said that he might have heard before that Egyptian temples were painted, but he was surprised by how rich and fresh the colors appeared in person. “You feel closer to the creators,” he said. “It’s not just dead stone.”
The stone has long appeared lifeless to the naked eye. Threatened by its location on the banks of the Nile, the temple was subjected to centuries of annual flooding that stripped away the painted exterior. Still, in a 1906 survey Aylward Blackman, the British Egyptologist, wrote about painted scenes on the temple’s interior walls; he even drew diagrams that later proved handy for the Met. By the 1920s, Dendur was flooded nine months of the year, which contributed to further erosion.
In the mid-1960s, Unesco led a salvage campaign that eventually moved the temple to the United States, and President Lyndon B. Johnson gave it to the Met in 1967. By then, no visible color remained. “We tried to find paint,” said Marsha Hill, a curator in the Met’s Egyptian art department, “but so far, nothing.” Even using imaging technology, the Met has been unable to detect any color.
But bringing this temple’s colors to life became increasingly possible with the advent of the MediaLab and the arrival in 2013 of Erin Peters, then a fellow in the Met’s Egyptian art department and a doctoral candidate whose research included ancient polychromy.
Ms. Peters helped provide information on how the Temple of Dendur could have looked when it was constructed around 15 B.C. Guiding her were Mr. Blackman’s survey, as well as illustrated, colored temples in the Napoleon-era publications “Description de l’Égypte.” The publications depicted brilliant paint inside the Temple of Hathor, from the same period as the Temple of Dendur.
Eventually, Ms. Hill said, the Met arrived at a safe, confident idea of how the scene currently on view may have looked: Augustus in a white kilt, Horus colored a rich blue and Hathor with white skin and wearing purple. “But,” she said, “in the Roman period, they started doing pretty wonderful things with paint.” Kilts could have been colored with patterns, for example, or depictions of battle scenes. And the paint may have been finished with a wax or varnish to look bejeweled, she added.
The MediaLab created alternate projections for those other possibilities, including one in which the entire temple is painted with a white background. Marco Castro Cosio, manager of the MediaLab, said the different patterns would be on view. His team can change the display to show the various options and to highlight objects in the scene — a useful tool for talks and tours.
Mr. Castro said that visitors could expect projection mapping to appear elsewhere at the Met. He would even like to color the north side of the Temple of Dendur so people in Central Park could see it through the windows. “We’d love to do all of the scenes,” he said. But, he added, creating this first one took two years, and “it’s a big temple.”
Just days before candidates begin primary season with
US declares 22 Clinton emails 'top secret'
caucuses in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Obama administration confirmed for the first time that Hillary Clinton’s emails did contain sensitive information.
What’s not clear, however, is whether any of the information was classified at the time of transmission. If the documents were indeed classified, that would prove to be a nail in the coffin of Clinton’s primary defense that her unsecured home email server didn’t pose a threat to national security.
The Associated Press reports that seven of these email chains, are being withheld from the press because they contain information deemed to be “top secret” and that 37 pages included messages described by intelligence officials as “special access programs” — meaning, highly restricted and closely guarded government secrets.
There are also 22 emails that have been heavily redacted due to the inclusion of state secrets marked “top secret.”
None of the emails, so far, had been marked “CLASSIFIED” or “TOP SECRET,” of the more than 1,000 currently released, by today’s will mark the first that contain such classification.
According to Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon in a statement today:
We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails. Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today.
The State Department will continue to review the remainder of the emails in accordance with its Freedom of Information Act review of Clinton’s home email server, but this much is sure, this information couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hillary
Italy covers nudes for Iran president Rouhani
Italian hospitality for the visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stretched to covering up nude statues.
Mr Rouhani and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi spoke at Rome's Capitoline Museum after Italian firms signed business deals with Iran.
But several nudes there were hidden to avoid offending the Iranian president.
Italy also chose not to serve wine at official meals, a gesture France, where Mr Rouhani travels next, has refused to copy.
An Islamic republic, Iran has strict laws governing the consumption of alcohol.
Mr Rouhani is in Europe on a five-day tour seeking to boost economic ties after the implementation of a deal on rolling back Iran's nuclear activity saw sanctions lifted.
"Iran is the safest and most stable country of the entire region," the Iranian president told Italian business leaders.
He also stressed growth would be key to combating extremism, saying "unemployment creates soldiers for terrorists".
Monday saw contracts worth around €17bn ($18.4bn; £12bn) signed between Iran and Italian companies.
On Tuesday, Mr Rouhani also met Pope Francis, who urged Iran to work with other Middle Eastern countries against terrorism and arms trafficking, the Vatican said.
Iran has been accused of funding militant groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Mr Rouhani asked the pontiff to pray for him, and gave him the gift of a hand-made carpet.
He travels to Paris on Wednesday where more deals are expected to be announced. An agreement with Airbus for the purchase of more than 100 aircraft is due to be finalised.
  Flamboyant Egyptian Politician Craves Public Eye

Mortada Mansour, a pugnacious Egyptian politician, likes to boast that he beats his rivals with his shoe — so much, in fact, that he has lost count of the number of disputes he has settled in that manner. “I ran out of shoes,” said Mr. Mansour, who once spent time in jail for insulting a judge.
That provocative style has made Mr. Mansour a darling of Egypt’s gossipy television talk shows. But it led to an uproar in the new Parliament on Jan. 10 when Mr. Mansour refused to take the prescribed constitutional oath, saying he disliked the wording, drawing shouted rebukes from other lawmakers that plunged the session into chaos.
The turmoil abated when Mr. Mansour reluctantly mumbled the correct words. But to many Egyptians who watched with a mix of fascination and dismay on television, it only confirmed their low expectations of the new Parliament, which is fragmented, weak and heavily tilted in favor of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Newspapers lampooned the proceedings, in which lawmakers were seen taking selfies and waving to the cameras, and which one normally pro-Sisi television host derided as a “circus.” One veteran lawmaker tendered his resignation in protest; others voted to cut the live transmission of proceedings.
In contrast, outside Parliament’s gates, Egyptian security forces were rounding up opposition activists in advance of an anniversary on Jan. 25 that, to some at least, represents the bitter failings of Egypt’s turbulent political trajectory.
That date marks the start of the 2011 revolution that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and, two years later, the arrival of Mr. Sisi after a military takeover that ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood from power. This year, however, Mr. Sisi has repeatedly warned that no public protest will be tolerated.
Among those detained in recent days were three activists who were taken from an apartment in downtown Cairo and later accused of printing material calling for the overthrow of the government, the newspaper Mada Masr reported on Friday. A poet and a website editor were also detained but later released. Weeks earlier, the authorities shuttered an arts center in Cairo, apparently as part of the same crackdown.
On the ground, though, there is little sign of major demonstrations in the works. The news media is largely supportive of Mr. Sisi, and since 2013 tens of thousands of people have been imprisoned — supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood but also civil society activists and journalists.
Instead the political space is dominated by the new Parliament, whose first task is to review 340 laws passed since January 2014, and which is filled with staunch pro-Sisi figures like Mr. Mansour.
A jurist by training, Mr. Mansour has long relished his role in the public eye. Over the decades, he has clashed with public figures as diverse as judges, soccer fans and belly dancers. His favored platform is in the courts, where he has filed and been the subject of numerous lawsuits, and television, where he makes forceful if often lurid pronouncements against his rivals.
Some are accused of being C.I.A. agents, others are subject to insults based on their appearance. (In an interview, he described former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as having “the legs of a goat.”) Last year another lawyer successfully prosecuted him for libel.
His public reputation soared two years ago when he was elected chairman of the Zamalek Sports Club, a cherished century-old institution in Cairo that hosts one of the country’s most popular soccer teams. Mr. Mansour oversaw a major renovation of the club’s facilities but became embroiled in a bitter confrontation with the soccer team’s hard-core fan base, known as ultras, who at one point threw urine in his face. (He claimed it was acid.)
Critics have painted Mr. Mansour as a booster for Mr. Mubarak, and accused him of organizing an infamous camel charge against anti-Mubarak protesters massed in Tahrir Square. (The case against him collapsed in court.)
In an interview at Zamalek Sports Club, seated before a giant portrait of himself, Mr. Mansour insisted that he was no Mubarak supporter, yet also made it clear that he detested the events that led to his ouster five years ago — a commonly held position among Mr. Sisi’s supporters.
He refused the constitutional oath this past week, he said, because it described the 2011 protests as a “revolution.”
“A revolution has to have a leader,” he said. “This was simply the biggest chaos in history.” Egypt’s real revolution, he added, was the military takeover that brought Mr. Sisi to power in 2013.
He is also a vocal proponent of unlikely if common theories in Egypt that President Obama and the United States, despite $1.3 billion in annual aid to Mr. Sisi’s government, are secretly conspiring to bring the Muslim Brotherhood into power.
“We hate Obama because he’s a liar and hypocrite,” he said. “He’s the one who sponsored Al Qaeda until it turned against him. Now the United States wants the Muslim Brotherhood to rule Egypt.”
He spoke in an office overlooking a complex of newly built swimming pools and cafes filled with families. Around him sat supporters, some clad in track suits, who cheered or laughed at his more provocative opinions.
Mr. Mansour’s brash manner and absurdist statements have paid rich electoral dividends: Both he and his son, Ahmed, have been elected to Parliament. Last week he became head of a committee responsible for reviewing human rights laws introduced under Mr. Sisi. The committee approved all eight laws in just one session, Mr. Mansour said.
Analysts say they do not expect Parliament to oppose any of the tough laws on terrorism, political protest or freedom of expression. But laws on Civil Service reform and investment, which touch on the political or financial interests of leading lawmakers, may receive sharper scrutiny, and even risk being rejected.
If Mr. Mansour continues on the human rights committee, he is likely to play a prominent role in shaping a proposed law to regulate, and likely curtail, the activities of foreign aid organizations in Egypt. But his immediate concern is countering the young Egyptians, many openly disillusioned with politics, who mock him on Facebook, a medium he describes as a “gutter of filth.”
“This is the youth that are wearing tight pants and taking money from their fathers and taking 15 years to graduate from college,” he said. “They smoke pot. They insult their girlfriends on Facebook. They have no value in this country.”
Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 47 people convicted of "terrorism", including a prominent Shiite cleric known for his sermons criticizing the kingdom’s government and for his support of political anti-government protests, Middle East Online Reports - See more at: 
The Top Shia cleric, Martyr Nimr al-Nimr, was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in the Sunni-ruled kingdom's Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority complains of marginalization and Corruption.
But the list does not include Nimr's nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was arrested following the protests.
The killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr may spark new unrest among Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom's east, and in Bahrain, which has seen revolutionary protest since 2011 protests by its Shiite majority demanding having rights from its Sunni brutal monarchy which cracking down protesters.
""If injustice stops against Shiites in the east, then (at that point) I can have a different opinion," the cleric responded, according to his brother Mohammed, who attended court sessions."
Al-Nimr has been a vocal critic of the government of the tiny island nation of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia invade Bahrain to suppress the uprising, fearing it would spread inside.
Before his arrest in 2012, al-Nimr had said the people do not want rulers who kill and carry out injustices against protesters. He was asked at his trial if he disapproves of the Al Saud ruling family.
Martyr Sheikh Al-Nimr did not deny the political charges against him, but said he never carried weapons or called for violence.
Saudi Arabia carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, with beheadings reaching their highest level in the kingdom in two decades, according to several advocacy groups that monitor the death penalty worldwide.
- See more at:
Zamalek quit Egyptian league over refereeing
Egyptian champions Zamalek have quit the current Premier League
season, the club has announced on its website.
Zamalek's board met after a 3-2 loss to El-Gaish on Sunday evening and decided not to complete the competition.
The board are due to meet again on Monday to discuss the matter further.
The Egypt Football Association says it is yet to receive any official communication from Zamalek and has defended the standard of officiating in the league.
Zamalek's request for Mahmoud Al Banna to be replaced as the referee for the match against El-Gaish was rejected in the build up to the game.
Al Banna sent off Zamalek defender Ali Gabr after just four minutes and awarded El-Gaish the first of two penalties, the second came 10 minutes into the second half.
Under the league's regulations Zamalek risk being relegated to the fourth tier of Egyptian league if they do not reverse their decision to withdraw.



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