Events

Thu 30
  • Shady Ahmed & the Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Shady Ahmed & the Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Jul 30 10:30 pm to Jul 31 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Shady Ahmed kicks off the weekend at Cairo Jazz Club with his indie-pop stylings, before the Cadillacs take over the stage with some rougher rock...
  • Euro Nights at the Garden
    Euro Nights at the Garden
    Jul 30 10:00 pm to Jul 31 2:00 am - The Garden
    Korba bar, the Garden, welcomes DJ Blind for a night of house music with European flavour. For more info, click here.
  • Teddy Adel at the Tap
    Teddy Adel at the Tap
    Jul 30 10:00 pm to Jul 31 3:00 am - The Tap
    Hurghada-based DJ, Teddy Adel, takes to the decks at Maadi bar the Tap. For reservations, call 01016000558 or  01016000559.
  • Thursday Obsession at O Bar
    Thursday Obsession at O Bar
    Jul 30 10:00 pm to Jul 31 3:00 am - O Bar
    Fairmont Nile City's O Bar welcomes DJs Mash and IRMA for a big start to the weekend. For reservations, call 01286188880.
  • Riham Mostafa at Onyx Lounge
    Riham Mostafa at Onyx Lounge
    Jul 30 10:30 pm to Jul 31 2:00 am - Onyx Lounge
    Catch glamourous and soulful singer, Riham Mostafa, at Fairmount Nile City's Onyx Lounge. For reservations, call 01220277686 or 01148107467.
Fri 31
  • Man-O + Zalat at Cairo Jazz Club
    Man-O + Zalat at Cairo Jazz Club
    Jul 31 10:00 pm to Aug 01 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Up-and-coming DJ, Man-O, makes his Cairo Jazz Club debut and opens with some deep and groovy house, before Zalat headlines the night with his...
  • The Cadillacs at the Tap
    The Cadillacs at the Tap
    Jul 31 10:00 pm to Aug 01 2:00 am - The Tap
    Local four-man rock band, the Cadillacs, take to the stage at Maadi bar, the Tap. For reservations, call 0101 600 0558.
  • Good Vibes at O Bar
    Good Vibes at O Bar
    Jul 31 10:00 pm to Aug 01 3:00 am - O Bar
    The good vibes are aplenty at Fairmont Nile City's O Bar this weekend, with DJ T and DJ IRMA taking to the decks for a big Friday night. For...
  • Riham Mostafa at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Riham Mostafa at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Jul 31 10:30 pm to Aug 01 2:00 am - Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Catch glamourous and soulful singer, Riham Mostafa, at Fairmount Nile City's Saigon Lounge. For reservations, call 01220277686 or 01148107467.
  • Soraya at Bab El Nil
    Soraya at Bab El Nil
    Jul 26 10:00 pm to Aug 02 2:00 am - Bab El Nil
    Catch belly dancing queen, Soraya, every night this week at Fairmont Nile City's Bab El Nil. For more information and reservations, call 02...
Sat 01
  • Basata Band at Cairo Jazz Club
    Basata Band at Cairo Jazz Club
    Aug 01 10:00 pm to Aug 02 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Join the hugely popular Basata Band for their debut at Cairo Jazz Club - a night of Egyptian music awaits! Reservations at CJC are...
  • Tamer the Guvna at The Tap
    Tamer the Guvna at The Tap
    Aug 01 10:00 pm to Aug 02 3:00 am - The Tap
    Brass Knuckles front-man, Tamer 'the Guvna' Emad, performs a range of rock and acoustic numbers at Maadi bar, the Tap. For more...
  • Soraya at Bab El Nil
    Soraya at Bab El Nil
    Jul 26 10:00 pm to Aug 02 2:00 am - Bab El Nil
    Catch belly dancing queen, Soraya, every night this week at Fairmont Nile City's Bab El Nil. For more information and reservations, call 02...
  • Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Aug 01 10:00 pm to Aug 02 5:00 am - Bamboo
    Every Saturday, DJ Aly and DJ Kiko bring a little slice of Beirut to Bamboo as they play the hottest Lebanese and Oriental tunes aboard the...
  • Karaoke Night at Peking Lodge
    Karaoke Night at Peking Lodge
    Aug 01 10:00 pm to Aug 02 3:00 am - Peking Lodge
    Zamalek's Peking Lodge welcomes one and all for a night of karaoke, where prizes will be given out for the best three participants. For...
Sun 02
  • Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Jul 15 2:00 pm to Sep 15 9:00 pm - Grant Gallery
    Gallery Grant welcomes visitors and art-enthusiasts to its annual summer collection, featuring a selection of traditional and...
  • Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Jul 26 11:00 am to Aug 06 3:00 am - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts an exhibition bringing together some of the past year's best work. For mroe information, call 0122 276...
  • 23 Artists at Art Lounge
    23 Artists at Art Lounge
    Jun 03 11:00 am to Sep 15 8:00 pm - Art Lounge Cairo
    Art Lounge have put together a massive exhibition encompassing 23 different artists and crossing the drawing, painting and sculpture mediums. The...
  • 'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Jun 24 10:30 am to Sep 30 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting 'Masterpieces XIV', a summer collection exhibition featuring a versatile selection of paintings...
  • Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Jun 21 11:00 am to Aug 30 6:00 pm - Duroub Gallery
    Garden City's Duroub Gallery hosts a huge group exhibition, bringning together the works of fifty artists. For more information, click here.
Mon 03
  • Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Jul 15 2:00 pm to Sep 15 9:00 pm - Grant Gallery
    Gallery Grant welcomes visitors and art-enthusiasts to its annual summer collection, featuring a selection of traditional and...
  • Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Jul 26 11:00 am to Aug 06 3:00 am - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts an exhibition bringing together some of the past year's best work. For mroe information, call 0122 276...
  • 23 Artists at Art Lounge
    23 Artists at Art Lounge
    Jun 03 11:00 am to Sep 15 8:00 pm - Art Lounge Cairo
    Art Lounge have put together a massive exhibition encompassing 23 different artists and crossing the drawing, painting and sculpture mediums. The...
  • 'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Jun 24 10:30 am to Sep 30 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting 'Masterpieces XIV', a summer collection exhibition featuring a versatile selection of paintings...
  • Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Jun 21 11:00 am to Aug 30 6:00 pm - Duroub Gallery
    Garden City's Duroub Gallery hosts a huge group exhibition, bringning together the works of fifty artists. For more information, click here.
Tue 04
  • Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Jul 15 2:00 pm to Sep 15 9:00 pm - Grant Gallery
    Gallery Grant welcomes visitors and art-enthusiasts to its annual summer collection, featuring a selection of traditional and...
  • Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Jul 26 11:00 am to Aug 06 3:00 am - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts an exhibition bringing together some of the past year's best work. For mroe information, call 0122 276...
  • 23 Artists at Art Lounge
    23 Artists at Art Lounge
    Jun 03 11:00 am to Sep 15 8:00 pm - Art Lounge Cairo
    Art Lounge have put together a massive exhibition encompassing 23 different artists and crossing the drawing, painting and sculpture mediums. The...
  • 'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Jun 24 10:30 am to Sep 30 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting 'Masterpieces XIV', a summer collection exhibition featuring a versatile selection of paintings...
  • Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Group Exhibition at Duroub Gallery
    Jun 21 11:00 am to Aug 30 6:00 pm - Duroub Gallery
    Garden City's Duroub Gallery hosts a huge group exhibition, bringning together the works of fifty artists. For more information, click here.
Wed 05
  • Dina El Wedidi at The Music Tent
    Dina El Wedidi at The Music Tent
    Aug 05 8:30 pm to Aug 05 10:30 pm - The Music Tent
    Watch the phenomenal Dina El Wedidi at the Music Tent on August 5th, as she takes to the stage her avant-gardist folkloric and oriental...
  • Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Summer Collection at Gallery Grant
    Jul 15 2:00 pm to Sep 15 9:00 pm - Grant Gallery
    Gallery Grant welcomes visitors and art-enthusiasts to its annual summer collection, featuring a selection of traditional and...
  • Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Summer Collection at Art Corner
    Jul 26 11:00 am to Aug 06 3:00 am - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts an exhibition bringing together some of the past year's best work. For mroe information, call 0122 276...
  • 23 Artists at Art Lounge
    23 Artists at Art Lounge
    Jun 03 11:00 am to Sep 15 8:00 pm - Art Lounge Cairo
    Art Lounge have put together a massive exhibition encompassing 23 different artists and crossing the drawing, painting and sculpture mediums. The...
  • 'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    'Masterpieces XIV' Summer Collection at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Jun 24 10:30 am to Sep 30 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting 'Masterpieces XIV', a summer collection exhibition featuring a versatile selection of paintings...

Highlights

Restaurants

Café Du Jardin: Kitschy Restaurant Falls Short at Dandy Mega Mall

Café Du Jardin: Kitschy Restaurant Falls Short at Dandy Mega Mall

As one of the first of its kind in Cairo, Dandy Mega Mall might not be the coolest spot in town, but continues to attract shoppers in the area. Smaller than its peers, Dandy isn't exactly a place that suggests decent dining experiences await, but Café Du Jardin certainly has a charm about it. A small bistro with soothing décor, Café Du Jardin is a nice alternative for those who like to step away from the fast food outlets offered at the mall's food court, with its versatile selection of French and European cuisine.      The restaurant boasts has a kitschy aesthetic, painted in mint and white, decorated with artificial plants and white chairs, with small flower pots on the windows in pastel colours – it doesn't quite seem real at first. Among the dishes offered in the restaurant's small menu, tuna and salmon tartar, beef stroganoff and fish fillet with lemon butter sauce stood out. Strangely, the menu didn't feature any soups, but after inquiring with the friendly staff, we found out that seafood soup (22LE) and a mushroom cream (22LE) soup are available – we opted for the latter and had little complaint despite it being unremarkable. Looking for a quick, light bite, we picked Cashew Chicken (60LE), which comprised of stir-fried chicken slices spiked with coloured peppers, coriander and ginger and served with angel hair pasta. We also went for a chicken Caesar salad (40LE). The salad was, in short, disappointing; the chicken was cooked well, the lettuce was fresh and the croutons crunchy, but the dressing was way off - it was far too over-slated and the use of black pepper was rather heavy-handed, too. Hoping for better results with our main course, the cashew chicken was quite tasty; seasoned and cooked well, the only thing it was missing was, well, anything else. It was all a bit one-note and just needed an extra dimension – maybe a side that can break the monotony of what was, overall, a solid if uncreative and flat dish. There was little room left for drinks and dessert, that's when we opted for some refreshing lemon mint juice and orange juice (16LE each), which were refreshing, moderately sweetened and all-round excellent. Of the dessert items, meanwhile, we tried the caramel-banana crepe (32LE). Again, there were few complaints with the dessert – it was cooked well and subsequently tasted as you'd expect – but, like the rest of our meal, there was nothing that stood out and elevated it and it desperately needed it. In this particular case, the caramel was dying out for something sharp, maybe acidic, to cut through it. With all this in mind, one can't help but think Café Du Jardin has focused more on creating a cute, quaint aesthetic than putting together a menu that will keep you wanting to come back for more. Having seen and sampled their menu, we left with very little reason to return.

Shopping

Mango: New Mohandiseen Branch Launches with Edgy But Expensive Summer Collection

Mango: New Mohandiseen Branch Launches with Edgy But Expensive Summer Collection

With a newly launched branch in Lebanon Street – not too far from the existing one in Geziret El Arab Street – popular Spanish high-street fashion brand, Mango, has revived its presence on Cairo's increasingly eclectic shopping scene with a colorful fiesta and a new summer collection for all the fashion gurus out there. We entered the new spacious two-story venue, completely drawn by how neat and perfectly soothing the summer collection looks; with unified colours in each department skimming and browsing through the items is a breeze. The first collection we laid eyes on was comprised of red, blue and white colours. A red-patterned jumpsuit with hints of blue (699LE), a cool white shirt with neat blue stripes (499LE) and bestseller jeggings (399LE) available in different shades of blue, were among the items that stood out. The second collection, comprising of white, beige and black colours, had a sleeveless, dressy blue jumpsuit with a V-cut (699LE); one of the many items that wowed us.    Mango is known to also offer a versatile collection of evening gowns for shoppers, which can only be found in limited branches; a large collection of simple evening gowns – varying between 1,299LE and 1,599LE – can be found in abundance found in the Lebanon Street branch. The outlet's second floor is where all the discounted items are, with over 50% and 70% reductions. Cocktail dresses – including a short strapless one we loved – can reach 345LE. The shop also offers a large collection of trousers reaching 145LE each, in addition to shirts and blouses between 199LE to 245LE – prices that will only be available in Mango during discount season. Overall, Mango's summer collection boasts a colourful and vibrant look with an edgy, modern twist; it's a treat for the eyes, but sadly not a treat for the pocket with its prices not affordable for the average shopper. 

Cafés

Eid 2015: Where to Buy Kahk & Other Eid Treats in Cairo

Eid 2015: Where to Buy Kahk & Other Eid Treats in Cairo

With Eid all but here, Cairo's obsessive gaze will turn away from konafa, basbousa and the other traditional Ramadan turns, to that simple little thing called kahk. The biscuit-cake hybrid doesn't leave as much room for bakeries in Cairo to be as creative and experimental as is the case with the konafas and basbousas of the world, but that doesn't mean Cairo's confectioners aren't going all out – here's where to get your kahk from this Eid El Abd With an unprecedented crowd vigorously awaiting its kahk at this time every year, making scrumptious kahk is surely one of El Abd's specialties. Whether it's plain sugar-coated Kahk or the ones infused with nuts, El Abd is a leader in kahk-making. The shop is also known for its refreshing ice cream and for offering a wide range of oriental desserts. Abdel Rahim Koueider Abdel Rahim Koueider is known for being the go-to shop if your sweet tooth is craving oriental desserts. During this Eid, Abdel Rahim Koueider offers a wide range of kahk fillings including plain butter kahk, pistachio kahk, walnuts kahk as well as kahk infused with Turkish delight. Tseppas Another go-to shop if you would like to try out a delicious selection of oriental desserts, Tseppas has a selection of tasty as well as affordable kahk, petit four and ghorayeba for you to try out this Eid. Tortina Widely popular for fashioning oriental deserts with creative western twists, whether with their konafa infused with Nutella or their best-selling Panna Cotta this Ramadan, Tortina are leaders in making the best creative desserts out there. Treat yourself with their selection of creative specialties this Eid including their Nutella kahk, red velvet kahk, their mouth-watering pistachio ghorayeba and their petit four collection. La Poire When it comes to perfecting desserts, La Poire knows what they're doing. La Poire is one of Egypt's leading pastry shops known for producing desserts inspired by French pastry and combining it with our own oriental baking. This year, La Poire offers a delectable assortment of their kahk best-sellers, including walnut kahk, Turkish delight kahk, pistachio kahk and many more.  Salé Sucré Another leading pastry shop offering a wide variety of goodies from trifles, fruit cakes, cheese cakes, and many others, Salé Sucré celebrates Eid this year with a wide selection of kahk, cookies and petit four wrapped in fancy boxes to complement the festive mood.  Bisco Masr A leader in the field of kahk-making, Bisco Masr takes pride in producing 100% Egyptian cookies and for being one of the local brands best established for making quality and affordable kahk, as well as a appetizing selection of other types of cookies including ghorayeba and cinnamon cookies.    Dukes Best known for their crowd-pleasing delicious dirt cakes, Dukes is exciting its fans this Eid by bringing colours to their kahk. Dukes Kahk and biscuits are now available upon order with different colours and flavours, promising a tasty treat.  Lamandine Widely popular for its insanely tasty chocolate mousse croquant cake and for a costly yet delectable medley of desserts, Lamadine offers you this Eid a selection of kahk goodies that we can hardly wait to try out.   Le Carnval Whether with their tiny Maltesers cream konafa or with their delightful Mont Blanc Konafa which was a treat for the eyes and the taste buds, Le Carnaval never disappoints. This Eid, Le Carnaval offers a delicious selection of kahk and petit four wrapped in fancy rectangular boxes promising to satisfy all your senses. Happy Eid!

Nightlife

Som3a Basha: Sohour at Cairo Marriott's Charming Ramadan Tent

Som3a Basha: Sohour at Cairo Marriott's Charming Ramadan Tent

Jewel of the Zamalek crown, the Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino never ceases to dazzle, offering rich oriental vibes with a refined twist, especially this year with the hotel's fancy Ramadan kheima, Som3a Basha.   A play on Khedive Ismail Pasha, who built the castle for a French Empress, the theme of the kheima is that of a castle setting with all its luxury coupled with the authentic feel of Egyptian street food served from carts and vendors. As we walked past the Marriott Promenade Garden leading to the tent, we were struck by a surprisingly beautiful cool weather in dry July – a promising start to the night. As we stepped inside, we were immediately taken by the elegant ambiance, stylish lanterns, beautiful castle inspired décor and smiling waiters. We picked a table with a good view of the stage, and waited patiently for the Sohour buffet to begin (10.30PM). As we waited, we were offered the drinks Karkade (Hibiscus)  and Tamr Hindy (Dates).   The Karkade was bold in flavour, and tartness, and despite being slightly warm, it was refreshing. The Tamr Hindy was easy on the sugar and had a pleasing hint of bitterness that complimented it. The live Takht show began soon after and we were transported – there was just something about the atmosphere, the spirit, the music and the night that made us forget how hungry we were. When we did remember how hungry we were, and the buffet opened, we headed on over to check it out. All the food, except for the salads and desserts, was served in authentic street-carts with a kitschy, yet classic Egyptian feel to them. We took a stroll down the aisle where the carts were, and had a good look at everything before we decided what to dive into. The buffet ranged from falafel and eggs, to grilled kofta and chicken. The salad selection consisted of assorted vegetables, dressings and yoghurt and though the selection provided no surprises, the food was quite flavoursome and we went back for seconds – of course. No Ramadan sohour would be complete without shisha and we opted for Grape and Peach (30LE each).  In terms of quality, both were bold and distinct, though the grape was a bit too harsh for our taste. In terms of coal maintenance, however, you'll need to be patient – on the busier nights, the shisha attendants, are somewhat overwhelmed. Then, as we started to feel a bit peckish, we went back for dessert and were met with a large selection of fruits and sweet Ramadan delights, our favourite of which was the Zalabya cart. You might have to time your dessert excursions, though, with the desserts quickly getting cold in the breezy weather. Overall, the aura and the entertainment at Som3a Basha were delightful and, although not faultless, the Marriott has made good use of its space.

Arts & Culture

Art Corner: Summer Collection 2015

Art Corner: Summer Collection 2015

Zamalek's Art Corner Gallery has garnered a reputation for exhibiting more versatile art for established as well as young aspiring Egyptian artists – something that can be seen in the gallery's two-week summer exhibition featuring a multitude of artworks mostly exhibited over the past year.  Art Corner's summer collection offers a delightful mix of styles in different in shapes and sizes; from gigantic abstract pieces, to smaller, more intricate paintings.   Perhaps the most prolific artist within this summer exhibition is Omar El Nagdi, with his delicately painted pieces mixed with bold lines and his signature gold frames. One of El Nagdi's most remarkable pieces is an oil painting featuring Egyptians engaged in manual labour and wearing garments from different eras including the Pharonic era – a beautiful piece manifesting the working class in Egypt.       Another particularly remarkable piece – and quite large in size – is one by Taher Abdel Azeem, in which he composes a beautiful portrait of Old Cairo during nighttime when the place seems to have a magical glow. Abdel Azeem is a special artist known to capture scenes at their best, emphasising them in all their glory and splendour using an expressive style of painting as well as a limited colour palette. Laila Allam also has several pieces displayed in the summer collection, one of which boasts a unique and modern style of portraiture. Born in 1932, Allam is a noted sculptor and an art professor whose refined work has earned significant recognition. Allam paints women with special features ; big eyes, plump lips, fiery red hair; in fact it seems the features have the essence of caricatures, where the artist focuses on a particular human feature and then magnifies it in some way. The most interesting aspect of Allam's paintings is that all the drawn faces appear to be of the same woman, which  stirs curiosity and a great deal of admiration to her style. . Art Corner's summer exhibition proves to be another successful and enjoyable celebration of some of Egypt's most esteemed artists and it definitely offers a further insight into contemporary art.

Health & Fitness

Ramadan in Cairo 2015: Staying Healthy During the Holy Month

Ramadan in Cairo 2015: Staying Healthy During the Holy Month

Ramadan is upon us and the revelry of it all has started to seep into Cairo, as households and venues alike add the final touches to preparations for the Holy Month. Charity, piousness, late nights and, of course, food are some of the main elements that will have begun to swirl inside the minds of Cairenes, but there  still seems to be a lack of caution when it comes to staying healthy while fasting. It's an issue that has been made all the more crucial this year thanks to a particularly unpredictable spattering of soaring temperatures, but it's also an issue that is easily remedied. Dehydrated? The most common issue fasters come across in a city like Cairo is dehydration. It's crucial to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water between fetar and sunrise and try to avoid coffees, teas and soft drinks – caffeine will speed up the dehydration process, as will cigarettes. Lack of energy? With your body not getting its usual nutrients, it's normal to feel tired and drained. What you need here is high fibre, slow-release carbohydrates, especially for sohour. Eating whole grains, fruits, yoghurt and nuts will help keep you fresh and energized the next morning. Weight gain? Another common side-effect of approaching Ramadan wrongly is weight gain. First of all, don't try to eat as much as you would in a normal day in the hours between sunset and sunrise – that's simply not how it works. The lure of pigging out is certainly tough and so if you do go all out with fetar, try spacing out the foods into courses, for example. This gives your body a chance to readjust to the shock that comes from breaking your fast and gives your dormant metabolism time to get going. Exercise? Exercise is a tricky thing to navigate during Ramadan as it will invariably dehydrate you, especially before sunset. First of all, try to avoid prolonged periods in the sun when exercising, working out or playing sports. Many athletes who fast will have a very light meal to break their fast, before undertaking some very light exercise for no more than half an hour – even just going for a walk. This will help regulate your metabolism and the release of energy if you want to go for a more intense workout later on. The biggest thing to remember is to strike the Golden Mean - nothing in excess, everything in proportion. All in all, though, when it comes down to it, it's all about being logical and sensible. Fasting has been proven to have health benefits, but only when done correctly and judiciously. In a busy, bustling, sweltering city like Cairo, it's absolutely essential that you take care of your body – because, if you don't, it will catch up to you. On that unintentionally grim note, Ramadan Kareem!

Film

Pixels: Cool Concept, Flawed Film

Pixels: Cool Concept, Flawed Film

Although the very idea of watching 80's video-game characters come to life on the big screen might hold a certain novelty, Pixels – starring iconic rom-com actor Adam Sandler – has transpired to be something of a disappointment. Inspired by a 2010 short film, Pixels' plot revolves around avid arcade-game geek, Sam Brenner (Sandler) and opens in 1982 with the lead losing the final of a video-games tournament in questionable fashion. At the same time, NASA launches a time capsule, of sorts, featuring a video transmission of the tournament showdown as well as other popular video-games, T.V shows and 80's pop icons into space. NASA's attempt is misinterpreted decades later as an act of aggression and Earth is soon invaded by extra-terrestrials taking the form of classic arcade characters. With no one else to turn to for help, President Cooper (played Sandler-soldier, Kevin James) reaches out to his best bud, Brenner – now an underachieving software-installation worker – to channel his gaming skills to fight off the invasion. Despite its slick visual effects, the general comic outlook of Pixels is likely to only be appreciated by hard-core Adam Sandler loyalists. Directed by Chris Columbus – see The Goonies or first two Harry Potter films – and written by Happy Madison Productions' very own Tim Herlihy, the film stars Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Jane Krakowski – but despite the comic chops of the cast, the film never really uses them well. Overall, Pixels seems  like a nauseating jumble of creative ideas; unfocused and overfed, with  very little innovation beyond the stunning visual effects – particularly those over London's Hyde Park – the film has received largely negative reviews and we can't help but agree. Granted, the sight of Pac-man ripping through a modern city is a spectacle unto itself; but there's nothing behind the gimmick and it becomes very hard to engage with what you are seeing very quickly. Despite this, there is no doubt that Pixels will still be a draw at the box-office.  The idea and the potential is there, however, with Hollywood's favourite man-child there to show us the way - yes, we're looking at you Mr. Sandler - you can't help but feel that this could have been something great, had it landed in someone else's lap. 

City Life

Liter of Light: PepsiCo Solar Power Initiative Brings Electricity to Egyptian Villages

Liter of Light: PepsiCo Solar Power Initiative Brings Electricity to Egyptian Villages

Ramadan is a time of giving; a time of modesty and goodwill – characteristics and sentiments that wash over Cairo and Egypt during the Holy Month. Many will do their part and dig deep into their pockets – be they individuals or institutions – but more and more decisive initiatives are popping up across the country; initiatives that don't equate success with monetary figures; initiatives that don't fund action – they are the action. One such initiative this year has come courtesy of global giant, PepsiCo. Having started in the Philippines, Liter of Light aims to address an issue that shouldn't be an issue in the 21st century – lack of consistent electricity in Egypt's rural areas. We could talk about the increasing gap between the demand and production of electricity in Egypt, but it's strange that, in 2015, there are large areas of Egypt that are living in such conditions – lack of electricity makes day-to-day living difficult for villages that are already fighting other adverse conditions. Working in corporation with Mir Al Kheir Foundation, SunUtions, PepsiCo's unique campaign made its Middle East debut in Om El Donya. Unbeknownst to many, the initiative actually kicked-off on these shores back in 2014 in Sohag and has been in action in the governorate of Assiut. But how exactly is PepsiCo bringing electricity to these places? Well, this is where the magic happens. The eco-friendly initiative uses solar panels connected to vessels carrying chlorine which will store solar rays and light up during the night – but wait, there's more. Said vessels are actually empty plastic Pepsi bottles, proving the sincerity and industriousness of Liter of Light – here, we have an institution uses its own resources in its execution of what is a simple but ingenious set-up. This is not an initiative whose transactions are based solely on money – this is an initiative that is in the thick of it; one that's tackling the issue rather than just providing a platform for it. PepsiCo is also keen to involve other communities' roles and you can help out, too; you can donate to 5LE to the Misr Al Kheir Foundation by texting "Nour" or "نور" to 9597 and be a part of one of the most effective CSR initiatives around.
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Win! All You Can Eat Sushi for Two at Conrad Cairo's Kamala
Win! All You Can Eat Sushi for Two at Conrad Cairo's Kamala