Tuesday, June 29, 2010

School's Out For Summer!

  Books and artwork have been sent home. Displays have been taken down and supplies have been packed away for the summer. Rooms that have been noisy for 10 months are now silent till August when it all starts again. Yep, the school year's over and done with for another year! Summer's here and it would be difficult to say who enjoys it more, students or teachers.

So, to all my fellow teachers I wish you a summer free of planning, grading, meetings and other people's children and plenty of lie-ins, we've earned them!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Korba Festival!

   The first Korba Festival was held to celebrate the centenary of Heliopolis in 2005. Heliopolis was established in 1905 by Belgium Baron Empain, Ă‰douard Louis Joseph an amateur Egyptologist. When building on the new suburb began it was a stretch of desert 10 km away from the centre of Cairo (now known as Old Cairo or Masr El- Kadima), nowadays it is slap-bang in the centre of the city. 

  Since 2005 one street (Baghdad St.) in the Korba area of Heliopolis has been closed to traffic on a Friday to become a place where people can enjoy a stroll around through the street with shops and coffee shops spreading out onto the pavement to display their wares and entice you to spend. There's the chance to leave your mark by drawing on the roads and pavements in chalk and for several days afterwards it makes driving down that street a little bit more colourful. 

   This year the theme of the festival was Music the Language of Peace and featured various artists from around the world (don't ask who, I arrived late and missed the line-up!) the star attraction of the evening though was Egyptian jazz musician Yehia Khalil. The atmosphere was loud (this is Egypt after all) and electric with plenty to see and do and other music styles available further down the street if the music at the main street wasn't to your taste. 

  So if you're ever in Cairo and the Korba festival is on, I highly recommend you hop in a taxi and go have fun at the Heliopolis street party.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Fever!

  It's that time again! Every four years 32 countries become very patriotic, flags are hung on anything that stays still long enough, national anthems and other patriotic songs are sung and for a few weeks club differences are put aside as the national team takes centre stage. I'm talking, obviously, about the FIFA World Cup.
  The first World Cup was hosted, and won, by Uruguay in 1930 and since then has been played every for years except in 1942 and 46 when it was stopped due to WWII (which was just as well really, can you imagine if England had lost to Germany on penalties then?!).
   This year the tournament is being hosted by South Africa, the first time an African country has ever hosted the event and they've done a stellar job so far. The opening ceremony was a tribute to the whole continent and was a colourful and varied as the land itself.
   Since Egypt (once again) didn't qualify, I will be supporting England and Spain. England out of patriotism and because they need all the help they can get and Spain because they stand a pretty good chance of winning (at least that's what the 'experts' say).

C'mon England!!!