Mohamed Fahmy speaks
On Dec. 29, 2013 Egyptian born, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, a reputable correspondent that had covered extensive conflicts in the Middle East for CNN, BBC and The New York Times, expected to spend a normal day working at his Egyptian-based office.
He was Al Jazeera’s English bureau chief in Cairo. However, Fahmy’s day spun out of control when he was arrested along with several colleagues and detained.
Authorities falsely accused him of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a political group designated as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government.
Six months later while still incarcerated, he was sentenced to seven years at the Scorpion Prison, a super-maximum security facility that housed jihadists.
His story reverberated around the world and a massive outcry was heard. Despite the protests he remained in Scorpion, at times in solitary, for 400 days before receiving a pardon and returning to Canada.
Since his release, Fahmy and his wife Marwan Omara have founded the Fahmy Foundation, a non-government organization based in Vancouver that advocates and financially supports journalists, photographers and prisoners of conscience imprisoned worldwide.
Fahmy will speak about the media’s role in an age of terror at the Arden Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42. Call 780-459-1542 or online at ticketmaster.ca.
Memphis sings the blues
When Johnny Cash sang Going to Memphis, he unknowingly became a spokesman for every blues competition in North America.
Edmonton’s fifth Memphis Bound blues competition is in the last legs of the race as finals will be Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Old Timer’s Cabin on 9430 Scona Rd.
The solo-duo acts that have so far qualified include Glenn Gray, Jenie Thai, Kevin John Cook and Bleached Rag.
Winners receive a berth at the 33rd International Blues Festival in Memphis from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 2017.
Admission is $15 advance tickets at Blackbyrd Myoozik, Acoustic Music and Myhre’s Music on Whyte Ave.