Beirut, Apr 14 (AP/UNB) — They are a common sight around Beirut, but their presence barely registers with Lebanese citizens anymore.
Nearly 30 years after civil war guns fell silent, dozens of bullet-scarred, shell-pocked buildings are still standing — testimony to a brutal conflict that raged for 15 years and took the lives of 150,000 people.
Some are Beirut landmarks, like the iconic Holiday Inn, a hulking, bullet-riddled blue and white building that towers over the capital.
The hotel, which opened for business just two years before the war broke out on April 13, 1975, was destroyed early on during battles between rival factions and used as a sniper's nest. It has stood deserted and untouched since then, its shareholders locked in a dispute over its future.
There's the modernist movie theater that never was, nicknamed locally "The Egg." Its moldy skeleton stands as a ruin, its future unclear. Like the Holiday Inn, it is a curious attraction for visiting foreigners.
There are also a few remaining residential buildings located along the former Green Line, which separated the mainly Muslim part of West Beirut from the predominantly Christian part, their ravaged facades a testimony to the horrors witnessed many years ago. They still stand, either because their owners have no money to fix them, or because of disputes over ownership.
"Seeing these buildings is like being slapped in the face," said Sahar Mandour, a Lebanese journalist and a writer. "You're walking around going about your daily business when suddenly you come face to face with a scene that takes you back to the old days."
Unlike others who dislike the sight of these buildings and think they should be demolished, Mandour, 42, says it's important that they stay for the nation's collective memory, to never forget a war that pitted Palestinians against Lebanese, Christians against Muslims, Christians against Christians and every other combination possible. Israel also stepped in, adding to the destruction.
"For a foreigner, it is a destroyed building. For us, it is a painful reminder of the bullets that pierced our bodies, streets and walls," Mandour says. "I don't want these buildings to disappear, their mission is not over yet."
Not everyone feels the same. A woman who rents an apartment in a bullet-scarred building on the former Green Line between the mainly Muslim Shiyah and Christian Ayn el Rummaneh districts, said she worries about her two sons and society judging them for where they live.
She keeps plants on the veranda and on the stairs to compensate for the building's grim facade.
"If I had somewhere else to go, I would," she said, identifying herself by her nickname, Imm Lebnen, or mother of Lebanon.
Egypt, April 6 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities announced on Friday the discovery of a tomb, dating back to the Ptolemaic era which spans from 305 BC to 30 BC, in Sohag province south of the capital Cairo.
"The perfectly well-decorated tomb belongs to a nobleman called Toutou and his wife, a musician who played castanets," Khaled al-Anany said in a press conference.
The tomb, which was discovered at Al-Dayabat archaeological site, consists of two tiny rooms containing two limestone sarcophagi, the minister said.
Egyptian archeologists found a very-well preserved mummy for the wife and more than 300 objects and fragments including 50 mummified falcons, eagles, cats, dogs and rats in the tomb, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri told Xinhua, describing the tomb as "one of the most exciting discoveries ever in the area."
"A large number of mummified shrews, which look like very small mice but with longer nose, were found in perfect conditions of preservation inside the more than 2,000-year-old tomb," Waziri added.
He pointed out that ancient Egyptians believed small rats which run very fast and see very well at night resemble Horus, a god of the sky who could work efficiently in the dark.
Egyptians at that time worshiped those kind of rats because they believed these small creatures can cure blindness, he added.
The hall in front of the sarcophagi is divided into two parts, containing paints for Toutou as presenting gifts to gods and goddesses while his wife recites some verses of the book of resurrection, he explained.
The tomb was accidentally discovered in 2018 when the Tourism and Antiquities Police arrested a gang who were carrying out illegal excavations in an area near the archeological site.
Dhaka, Mar 30 (UNB) – Prominent artist and former chairman of Bangladesh Shishu Academy Mustafa Monwar on Saturday said an artist needs to find joy in creativity, not in making money.
“It doesn’t matter how much you earn with artworks. You’ll have to put in your efforts in arts for your own happiness,” he told the third edition of Art-Echo, a monthly talk-show of Cosmos-Atelier 71.
The event titled ‘Akajer Manush’ was held at its studio at Cosmos Centre in the city.
Mustafa Monwar attended the session as the key speaker where he shared his views on traditional art and culture of Bangladesh with the studio members.
During the discussion, he shed lights on different forms of traditional arts that reflect rural Bangladesh.
Mustafa Monwar, an Ekushe Padak winner, said, “The fact is that I respect my devotion to art and see it as my biggest achievement.”
Artists, poets, photographers, architects and filmmakers, among others, attended the session.
Dhaka, Mar 29 (UNB) – The 21st national council of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi and 10th Satyen Sen Ganosnageet Utsob will come to an end on Saturday.
The organisational session of the council was held on the first and second day while the new committee for the next two years will be announced on the final day.
Prominent educationist Professor Ajay Roy inaugurated the programme at Dhaka Mohanagar Nattymancha premises.
Dhaka University Professor Emeritus Dr Serajul Islam Choudhury, labour leader Shahidullah Chowdhury and DU Professor Kaberi Gayen attended as special guests.
A competition of Ganosangeet was held as part of the Satyen Sen Chorus Song Festival.
On the inaugural day, ‘Ranesh Das Gupta Jatiya Granthapath Pratijagita’ awards were handed over.
Ranesh was one of the key founders of Udichi.
A book reading competition was also held on January 12 across the country marking his birth anniversary.
A total of 502 representatives and 102 observers took part in the national council.
Dhaka, Mar 25 (UNB) – A group art exhibition titled 'Life 2019' featuring 39 women artists will begin at Gallery Cosmos in the city’s Mohakhali New DOHS area on Tuesday.
The exhibition, dedicated to all the women of the world, will showcase 39 artworks of the 39 women artists.
Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett will inaugurate the show at Villa de Anjuman, House 115, Lane 6 of New DOHS, Mohakhali as the chief guest at 6pm while Cornelia Gautschi Holenstein will be present as a special guest.
The participating artists are Afrozaa Jamil Konka, Antara Mehrukh Azad, Asma Akber, Atia Islam Anne, Bipasha Hayat, Dilara Begum Jolly, Dilruba Latif, Elham Huq (Khuku), Fahmida Enam Kakoli, Fahmida Khatun, Fareha Zeba, Farida Zaman, Farzana Rahman Bobby, Ferdowsi Priobhashini, Halide Salam, Hazvineyi Bridget Mutasa, Ivy Zaman, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Kuhu Plamandan, Maksuda Iqbal Nipa, Mini Karim, Nargis Poly, Nasima Haque Quenee, Nasreen Begum, Preema Nazia Andaleeb, Rahima Afroz, Rebeka Sultana, Rokeya Sultana, Rubina Akhter, Samina Nafies, Shantwana Shahrin, Shameem Subrana, Sharbari Roy Choudhury, Shulekha Chaudhury, Sohana Shahreen, Soma Surovi Jannat, Shruti Gupta Kasana, Surovi Akhter and Vinita Karim.
The exhibition will remain open from 12 noon to 8 pm every day till April 9.