arts 04.7.08

Egyptian Dossier

MOVIE
The Band's Visit, Israeli writer and director Eran Kolirin's movie, is by turns very funny and delicately moving. It's the story of an Egyptian police orchestra that gets stranded in a small town en route to Israel, where they're scheduled to perform at the opening of an Arab cultural center. Playing at Village East and the Brooklyn Heights Cinema.



ART
Through September, the Brooklyn Museum's look at "Magic in Ancient Egypt: Image, Word and Reality."

At the Met on April 12th, 7pm, a gallery talk about the ways in which foreigners were represented in Egyptian arts that the Met says "provides us with rich information regarding the appearance and cultural characteristics of the diverse peoples with whom the Egyptians had contact."



FOOD
In Astoria's Little Cairo section along Steinway, there's no one quite like Ali El Sayed, the beloved chief, cook, and bottle washer at Kabab Cafe, 25-12 Steinway [25th Ave.] 718.728.9858, except maybe his brother, Moustafa, who runs Mombar, 25-22 Steinway [25th Ave.] 718.726.2356. Ali cooks northern, Alexandria-style Egyptian; at Mombar, it's southern Egyptian.



BOOK
If you're at all partial to memoirs, you'll love André Aciman's Out of Egypt from 1994 about a Jewish family that settles in Alexandria and which, many years later, must leave. Michiko Kakutani called it "A mesmerizing portrait of a now-vanished world." Mr. Aciman will talk with novelist Bernhard Schlink on Sunday, May 4th at the NY Public Library. Tickets are $15.



LINENS
Linen maker Sferra has just introduced a new line of sheets called Giza 45. Until now, the yields of cotton grown in a small area along the Nile has been used only for high quality men's shirts. Sferra worked with Italian shirt makers to use some of the cotton for linens, which are now available. Sferra's modest claim is that they're "finest sheets ever made." Priced accordingly.



GAME
Senet is one of the world's oldest games, though the rules are lost to history. Nevertheless, several versions of play have been proposed. You can buy the board here or play the computer version, available for Windows and Mac. Senet boards were found in the tombs of Ramses III and Tut.




EXHIBIT
Speaking of Tut, he's on the road again in the U.S., though no dates are scheduled in New York.



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