Excerpts: Famous Egyptian Jewish actors,artists. Putin,Erdgan support
Turkish Stream gas project. Russia permanent naval base in Syria. US actions
threaten Russian security October 10, 2016
+++SOURCE:Al Arabiya 10 Oct.’16:”Egyptian Jews Down memory lane with famous
artists,actors”,by Ashraf Abdulhamid, Cairo”
SUBJECT: Famous Egyptian Jewish actors, artists
FULL TEXT:In 1948, when the state of Israel was established, Jews in Egypt
numbered around 90,000.
Half a century later, going by the 2003 population figures, the number of
Jews in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Faiyum had come down to 5,680.
By 2009 their number dwindled drastically to 30, mainly elders. Currently,
there are less than 10 Egyptian Jews, who continue to live in the Jewish
neighborhood in central Cairo.
There were many Jewish families in Egypt with a colorful history and were
involved in the banking, agriculture and transportation sectors. They also
contributed actively in the cultural and arts fields of that era.
The most famous, of course, were Qatawi, Mousiri, Mansha, Soaras, Rollo,
Adas, Samouha and Nadler.
Boutros Ghali, Egypt’s top diplomat who served as the United Nations
Secretary General in the 1990s, was married to a woman from the Nadler
While looking back at that colorful and historic era, below are some of the
big names among Egyptian Jews who left their mark in the fields of art,
theater, cinema and journalism:
1- Yaqub Sanu established first theater
Yaqub Sanu, known as Abou Naddara, established the first theater in Egypt in
1870 and presented around 26 plays. He issued the magazine ‘Abou Naddara’.
However, Sanu’s activity angered the former royal family of Egypt, who
ordered the closure of his magazine and theater and exiled him to Paris.
2- Togo Mizrahi influential cinema man
Togo Mizrahi was born in Egypt to a Jewish family of Italian descent in
1901. He’s viewed as one of the most important Jewish figures in the history
of the Egyptian cinema and as one of the most influential. Togo acted under
the pseudonym Ahmed al-Meshriqi. He worked with director Ahmad Badrkhan on
establishing the first filmmakers’ syndicate in Egypt. He then revealed his
true Jewish identity by making a series of movies where the main character
is a Jewish Egyptian. The authorities accused him of cooperating with
Zionist organizations in Palestine and he was exiled to Italy as he refused
to travel to Israel.
3- Nijma Ibrahim the famous Rayya
Nijma Ibrahim was born on Feb. 25, 1914 as Pollini Odeon. She was famous for
playing negative roles. She played the role of Rayya in the famous movie
‘Rayya and Sakina’. She acted in more than 40 movies, and the most
significant ones were ‘The Lady of the Camellias’ and ‘I am the Past’. She
passed away on June 4, 1976, and was buried in Cairo.
4- Leila Mourad — the famed singer
Leila Mourad was born on February 17, 1918, in Alexandria to a family of
Jewish descent. Her name was Liliane, and her father was Ibrahim Zaki
Mordechai, a respected singer and musician, and her mother was Gamilah
Salmon, a Jew of Polish origin. Mourad announced her conversion to Islam in
1946. In 1952, there were rumors that she was donating money to Israel.
However, she denied those allegations and collected donations for the
Egyptian army. She refused to submit to pressures to be sent away to
Palestine and preferred to stay in Egypt until she died on Nov. 21, 1995.
5- Najwa Salem
Najwa Salem was born on Nov. 17, 1925 and she died on March 12, 1988. Her
real name was Nazira Mousa Shehata. She was born in Cairo to a father of
Lebanese descent and to a Spanish mother of Jewish descent. In the last few
years prior to her death, she suffered from a psychological illness, and
started thinking that someone was working to assassinate her because of her
6- Actress Rakia Ibrahim and spying accusations
Rakia Ibrahim, whose real name is Rachel Abraham Levy, was born on June 22,
1919, to an Egyptian-Jewish family. She acted in several movies. She
immigrated to the United States where she married an American citizen and
attained the title of Goodwill Ambassador of Israel. There have been
accusations that she was involved with the Israeli Mossad in assassinating
Egyptian nuclear physicist Sameera Moussa.
7- Kitty Fotstaty — dancer
Kitty Fotsaty was a Jewish dancer who starred alongside Ismail Yassine in
many of his movies. She disappeared in the 1960s. There has been a rumor
that she was involved with an espionage network and another rumor linked her
to Raafat al-Haggan, an Egyptian spy in Israel. The latter had written in
his memoirs about a relationship between him and a dancer named Kitty.
8- Dawood Hosni, composed more than 500 songs
Dawood Hosni was a composer and a musician born on Feb. 26, 1870, to an
Egyptian family. His real name was David Haim Levy. He was Leila Mourad’s
teacher. Famous Egyptian artists such as Umm Koulthoum, Abdu al-Hamuli,
Ashman and Leila Mourad sang some of the songs composed by him. His oeuvre
comprised more than 500 songs and around 30 operas and operettas. His works
include some of the most famous folk songs which are now part of Egyptian
+++SOURCE: Al Arabiya News 10 Oct.’16:”Putin,Erdogan,support Turkish Stream
gas project”,Agencies with AP,Reuters
SUBJECT:Putin,Erdogan support Turkish Stream gas project
FULL TEXTThe leaders of Russia and Turkey on Monday[10 Oct] voiced support
for the construction of a gas pipeline, a plan that was suspended amid
tensions between the two countries.
In separate addresses to the Word Energy Congress, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan said their
countries wanted to press ahead with the Turkish Stream project. The
pipeline would carry Russian natural gas to Turkey and on to European Union
“We are providing energy for the EU for the past 50 years,” Putin said in
his speech. “We are now working on a second project. We are discussing the
Turkish Stream with Erdogan and our other partners and we want to bring this
Erdogan said: “We look positively at the Turkish Stream project. Our efforts
Turkey and Russia are working to normalize ties that were strained last year
by Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane near the border with Syria. Russia
had responded by deploying long-range air defense missiles at its air base
in Syria, and imposing an array of economic sanctions on Turkey.
Relations warmed after Erdogan apologized in June.
Differences remain on Syria. While Moscow has backed Syrian President Bashar
Assad throughout the nation’s civil war and further bolstered that support
by launching an air campaign last September, Turkey has pushed for Assad’s
removal and helped his foes.
In his speech, Putin voiced support to Erdogan over the country’s July 15
failed coup, saying he was happy that the country had “retained control”
after the failed attempt.
“We are very glad that Turkey is recovering and wish it success,” Putin
The two leaders are also expected to meet on the sidelines of the World
Energy Congress to discuss economic ties and Syria.
Putin had first suggested the Turkish Stream project to carry gas beneath
the Black Sea into Turkey in 2014, when a pipeline project to Bulgaria fell
through amid EU countries’ opposition. Russia is also building Turkey’s
first nuclear power station.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti on Sunday that the meeting
of the two leaders will focus on restoring Russian-Turkish relations “in all
Turkey, Russia joint investment fund
Meanwhile, Turkey and Russia will establish a joint investment fund with
capital of $1 billion, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was reported
as saying by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Relations between Russia and Turkey soured in November 2015, after the
downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish military.
They have since have made progress towards restoring ties, with Turkish
President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin holding talks.
The two leaders were due to meet again on Monday in Istanbul at World Energy
Zeybekci made the announcement at a ceremony to sign a joint declaration on
establishing the fund after meeting Russian Economic Development Minister
Alexei Ulyulkayev in Istanbul on Sunday, Anadolu said.
Zeybekci was reported as saying Turkish and Russian investment funds would
both provide $500 million each for the establishment of the fund and its
capital could be increased beyond $1 billion if needed.
With AP, Reuters)
+++SOURCE: Naharnet(Lebanon) 10 Oct.’16:”Russia to Upgrade Syria Naval
Facility to Permanent Base”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:Russia permanent naval base in Syria
FULL TEXT:Russia’s defense ministry said Monday[10 Oct] that the country was
poised to transform its naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus
into a permanent base.
“In Syria we will have a permanent naval base in Tartus,” Russian news
agencies quoted deputy defence minister Nikolai Pankov as saying.
The announcement represents the latest move by Moscow to bolster its forces
in Syria as tensions with the West have surged over Russia’s bombing
campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
The defence ministry said last week it had deployed its S-300 air defence
missile system to Tartus and warned Washington it would halt any attempted
US strikes in Syria.
Moscow also sent three missile ships to reinforce its naval forces off the
coast of the conflict-wracked nation.
Pankov did not provide a timeline for turning the Tartus naval facility –
which dates back to the Soviet era — into a permanent base.
He said the main purpose of the S-300s was to protect the Tartus naval
Russian lawmakers on Friday[7 Oct] ratified a deal with Syria on its
“indefinite” deployment of air forces to the country, a move seen as paving
the way for its jets to stay long-term.
The deal, signed between Moscow and Damascus in August 2015, allowed Russia
to establish its Hmeimim airbase to launch operations last year.
Tensions have soared since Washington pulled the plug on talks with Moscow
aimed at reviving a Syria truce deal, citing Russia’s brutal bombing
Russia on Saturday[8 Oct] vetoed a UN draft resolution on stopping Russian
and Syrian regime air strikes on the war-ravaged city of Aleppo, with the
United States calling for a war crimes probe into the carnage.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 10 Oct.’16:”Russia says US actions threaten its
national security”,by Reuters
SUBJECT: U S actions threaten Russian security
QUOTE:” ‘This is a very dangerous game’—Lavrov”
FULL TEXT:MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday[9
Oct] he had detected increasing US hostility towards Moscow and complained
about what he said was a series of aggressive US steps that threatened
Russia’s national security.
In an interview with Russian state TV likely to worsen already poor
relations with Washington, Lavrov made it clear he blamed the Obama
administration for what he described as a sharp deterioration in US-Russia
“We have witnessed a fundamental change of circumstances when it comes to
the aggressive Russophobia that now lies at the heart of US policy towards
Russia,” Lavrov told Russian state TV’s First Channel.
“It’s not just a rhetorical Russophobia, but aggressive steps that really
hurt our national interests and pose a threat to our security.”
With relations between Moscow and Washington strained over issues from Syria
to Ukraine, Lavrov reeled off a long list of Russian grievances against the
United States which he said helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust
that was in some ways more dangerous and unpredictable than the Cold War.
He complained that NATO had been steadily moving military infrastructure
closer to Russia’s borders and lashed out at Western sanctions imposed over
Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
He also said he had heard that some policy makers in Washington were
suggesting that President Barack Obama sanction the carpet bombing of the
Syrian government’s military air fields to ground its air force.
“This is a very dangerous game given that Russia, being in Syria at the
invitation of the legitimate government of this country and having two bases
there, has got air defence systems there to protect its assets,” said
Lavrov said he hoped Obama would not agree to such a scenario.
Russia suspended a treaty with Washington on cleaning up weapons grade
plutonium earlier this month in response to what it said were “unfriendly
acts” by the United States.
Lavrov said both countries had the right to pull out of the treaty in the
event of “a fundamental change in circumstances”.
“The treaty was concluded when relations were normal, civilized, when no
one… was trying to interfere in the [other’s] internal affairs. That’s the
fundamental change of circumstances,” said Lavrov.
Sue Lerner – Associate, IMRA