Cairo 360 Guide to Cairo, Egypt

Events

Mon 27
  • Mai Farouk at Manasterly Palace
    Mai Farouk at Manasterly Palace
    Jun 27 9:30 pm to Jun 27 11:00 pm - Manasterly Palace
    Enjoy a memorable night with Mai Farouk and her band as they perform at the Manasterly Palace this Ramadan. Tickets are 50 LE. For more...
  • Tanoura Dance Troupe at Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Tanoura Dance Troupe at Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Jun 27 9:30 pm to Jun 27 11:00 pm - Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Head to Wekalet El-Ghoury for a night of whirling dervishes as they perform the traditional Sufi meditative dance. 
  • Talaat Harb Choir at the Talaat Harb Culture center
    Talaat Harb Choir at the Talaat Harb Culture center
    Jun 27 9:30 pm to Jun 27 11:00 pm - Talaat Harb Culture Center
    As part of a special Ramadan program, Talaat Harb Culture Center presents its very own Talaat Harb Choir. For more information call 02...
  • Shaaban Abdel Rehim at Riverside Kheima
    Shaaban Abdel Rehim at Riverside Kheima
    Jun 27 9:00 pm to Jun 28 2:00 am - Riverside Restaurant & Lounge
    Celebrate Ramadan at the Riverside Kheima 'Sha3bolla style' with a performance featuring Shaaban Abdel Rehim. For more...
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
Tue 28
  • Arabic Oud Nights at Beit El Harawi
    Arabic Oud Nights at Beit El Harawi
    Jun 28 9:30 pm to Jun 28 11:00 pm - Beit El Harawi
    Beit El Harawi welcomes Islam Taha and Somer Al Naser for a night of live oud music. For more information call 0225104174.
  • Halakit Zikr at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Halakit Zikr at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Jun 28 10:00 pm to Jun 29 12:00 am - El Sawy Culturewheel
    The modern sufi singing band, Halakit Zikr will be performing this Tuesday at El Sawy Culturewheel's Wisdom hall. Tickets are 15LE for...
  • 'Na3na3 El Genina' Play at Amir Taz palace
    'Na3na3 El Genina' Play at Amir Taz palace
    Jun 28 9:30 pm to Jun 28 11:00 pm - Amir Taz Palace
    The historic Amir Taz Palace hosts an original production, 'Na3na3 El Genina'. For more information click here.
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
  • Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Jun 08 9:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
    As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, Si Omar manages to come back bigger and brighter every year and 2016 is shaping up to be a busy time...
Wed 29
  • Hagin at 3elbt Alwan
    Hagin at 3elbt Alwan
    Jun 29 9:00 pm to Jun 29 11:00 pm - 3elbt Alwan
    Have a blast with some raggae music performed at 3elbt Alwan by Hagin. For more information call 01018560510.
  • Ali El Haggar at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Ali El Haggar at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Jun 29 10:00 pm to Jun 30 12:00 am - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Renowned Egyptian singer, Ali El Haggar, once again takes the stage of El Sawy Culturewheel's Wisdom Hall. Tickets are 55-105LE for...
  • Tanoura Dance Troupe at Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Tanoura Dance Troupe at Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Jun 29 9:30 pm to Jun 29 11:00 pm - Wekalet El-Ghoury
    Head to Wekalet El-Ghoury for a night of whirling dervishes as they perform the traditional Sufi meditative dance. 
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
  • Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Jun 08 9:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
    As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, Si Omar manages to come back bigger and brighter every year and 2016 is shaping up to be a busy time...
Thu 30
  • Om Kalthoum Returns at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Om Kalthoum Returns at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Jun 30 9:00 pm to Jun 30 11:00 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Celebrating Om Kolthoum's life and love, El Sawy Culturewheel are reliving the best of the legendary singer's work, through the magic of...
  • Angham El Sharq Band at Amir Beshtak Palace
    Angham El Sharq Band at Amir Beshtak Palace
    Jun 30 9:30 pm to Jun 30 11:00 pm - Beshtak Palace
    Angham El Sharq band performs Traditional Arabic music at Amir Bashtak Palace. For more information call 0227357001.
  • Al Mawlaweya Al Masreya at El Gomhouria Theatre
    Al Mawlaweya Al Masreya at El Gomhouria Theatre
    Jun 30 8:00 pm to Jun 30 10:00 pm - El Gomhouria Theatre
    Al Mawlaweya Al Masreya will perform their traditional Egyptian and Sufi music at El Gomhouria Theatre. Tickets are available at the...
  • Hossam Hosny at Riverside Kheima
    Hossam Hosny at Riverside Kheima
    Jun 30 9:00 pm to Jul 01 2:00 am - Riverside Restaurant & Lounge
    Have a memorable night with the Ramadan celebrations at the Riverside Kheima with a performance featuring Hossam Hosny. For more...
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
Fri 01
  • 'El Aragoz We Khayal El Zel' at Beit El Seheimi
    'El Aragoz We Khayal El Zel' at Beit El Seheimi
    Jul 01 9:30 pm to Jul 01 11:00 pm - Beit El Suheimi
    Catch renowned playwright and director Dr. Nabil Bahgat's puppet theatre production, El Aragoz we Khayal El Zel (The Clown and the Shadow), at...
  • Sorour Project at ROOM Art Space
    Sorour Project at ROOM Art Space
    Jul 01 9:00 pm to Jul 01 11:00 pm - ROOM Art Space
    Catch the Alexandrian band that is Sorour Project Live at ROOM Art Space for a night of Oriental music along with Jazz and more....
  • Riverside Kheima's Grand Closing at Riverside
    Riverside Kheima's Grand Closing at Riverside
    Jul 01 9:00 pm to Jul 02 2:00 am - Riverside Restaurant & Lounge
    The Riverside Kheima goes out with a bang with its final Ramadan celebrations with a performance featuring the...
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
  • Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Jun 08 9:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
    As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, Si Omar manages to come back bigger and brighter every year and 2016 is shaping up to be a busy time...
Sat 02
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
  • Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Jun 08 9:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
    As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, Si Omar manages to come back bigger and brighter every year and 2016 is shaping up to be a busy time...
  • 'Bread II' Art Exhibition at Darb1718
    'Bread II' Art Exhibition at Darb1718
    Jun 14 6:00 pm to Aug 31 11:00 pm - Darb 1718
    As part of this year's Mawaweel Festival, Darb1718 hosts collective art exhibition, Bread II. The exhibition sheds a light on the symbolic...
  • Som3a Basha Ramadan Tent at Cairo Marriott Hotel
    Som3a Basha Ramadan Tent at Cairo Marriott Hotel
    Jun 06 8:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
    Cairo Marriott Hotel are taking a trip down memory lane with a quirky approach to the traditional Ramadan tent. Som3a Basha has a little bit of...
  • Fel Terrace at Nineteen Twenty Five
    Fel Terrace at Nineteen Twenty Five
    Jun 10 6:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Nineteen Twenty Five, Nile City Towers
    As one of the most unique venues in Cairo, Nineteen Twenty Five at Nile City Towers is one of the city's best keep secrets. This Ramadan, the...
Sun 03
  • Ali Al Helbawi at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Ali Al Helbawi at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Jul 03 10:00 pm to Jul 04 12:00 am - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Egyptian singer, Ali El Helbawy, brings his unique brand of spiritual music to the Wisdom hall of El Sawy Culturewheel. Tickets are 35LE for...
  • Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Arab Short Films at Zawya
    Jun 20 9:30 pm to Jul 04 11:30 pm - Zawya
    Throughout Ramadan, Zawya will be screening a series of four Arab short films every Monday and Tuesday after fetar. For...
  • Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Si Omar at Fairmont Heliopolis
    Jun 08 9:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
    As one of the most popular tents in Cairo, Si Omar manages to come back bigger and brighter every year and 2016 is shaping up to be a busy time...
  • 'Bread II' Art Exhibition at Darb1718
    'Bread II' Art Exhibition at Darb1718
    Jun 14 6:00 pm to Aug 31 11:00 pm - Darb 1718
    As part of this year's Mawaweel Festival, Darb1718 hosts collective art exhibition, Bread II. The exhibition sheds a light on the symbolic...
  • Som3a Basha Ramadan Tent at Cairo Marriott Hotel
    Som3a Basha Ramadan Tent at Cairo Marriott Hotel
    Jun 06 8:00 pm to Jul 06 3:00 am - Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
    Cairo Marriott Hotel are taking a trip down memory lane with a quirky approach to the traditional Ramadan tent. Som3a Basha has a little bit of...

Highlights

Restaurants

The Tap East: Set-Menu Fetar at New Cairo's Most Popular New Venue

The Tap East: Set-Menu Fetar at New Cairo's Most Popular New Venue

Ramadan often sees many nightlife spots to go on hiatus; but some venues offer their own rendition of the Ramadan spirit, one of which is the Tap East, which offers sohour on every night as well as fetar during the weekends. Located in New Cairo's inside Stella di Mare Compound, the Tap East's vibrant and casual atmosphere is intact, with only subtle touches of traditional Ramadan aesthetic, though outdoor area, with its wooden benches, dim lit red parasols and its own dedicated bar, is much more suited to ht Ramadan evenings. For fetar, the Tap East offers a set menu (220LE per person) with a variety drinks, soups, salads to main dishes and desserts. We started things off with tamr hendy and sobia which were sweet and immediately quenched our thirst as we broke our fast, before diving into the Creamy Chicken Mushroom soup and Moroccan Harira soups. The creamy chicken mushroom soup was much thicker than one would expect, but was equally as smooth and well-seasoned and made all the better thanks to generous small cubes of chicken. Essentially a stew, comprised of meat, lentils, chickpeas, carrot cubes and noodles, the Harira had an over powering acidic taste, which overshadowed everything else, while the pieces of meat were overcooked and uncomfortably chewy. There were no such problems with the fattoush and taboula, though. Topped with pineapple pieces and pomegranate, the taboula boasted a well-rounded, taste with the pineapple giving a sweet kick to the slight sourness of the pomegranate, while the fattoush was fresh, with a pomegranate dip also giving it a kick. All in all, we loved how everything was fresh and colourful. Moving onto the hot appetisers, the mozzarella-stuffed kobeibah was delicious; with a crunchy outer shell, a soft tender meat inside and a gooey cheese core, it was the highlight of the whole meal. The cheese sambousak was just as satisfying, it too boasting a pleasing crunch and a great balance of flavours with the perfect mix between cheese and pastrami inside which we couldn't get enough of. Coming in large white plates, the Almond Chicken main came as two pieces of grilled chicken breasts alongside basmati rice and servings of mushroom sauce and sundried tomatoes mixed with cream sauce. Unfortunately, the chicken was a little bland in flavour and was a little undercooked – it had pinkish hue inside. In addition, there were no almonds or almond-infused elements to speak of, not even in the generic sauce. Our second main fared better, meanwhile. Coming as three beef cutlets served with basmati rice, the Fillet Trio came with two sauces; mushroom sauce and a mustard and brown sauce mix. Cooked medium well, the three cutlets had a great aroma and were quite tender and juicy. After finishing our meal, we were ready for our desserts which came in the form of Mango Mehalabeya and Om Ali with dried berries. Topped with mangos, the mehalabeya was absolutely delicious with a smooth and sweet texture which worked really well with the mangos. With a great baked top and a smooth texture, meanwhile, the Om Ali had a sweet taste only we felt it could've used a little more milk. On its opening, it was said that the Tap East was putting more of a focus on the dining aspect than its sister venue in Maadi – and it's proved to be true. Unfortunately, with the restaurant-come-bar's fetar foods, it was all a bit hit-and-miss. The appetisers and salads were outstanding, but the main dishes didn't quite satisfy as much, suggesting that, with live entertainment thrown in the mix, sohour is a better option.

Shopping

Ramadan in Cairo 2016: 10 Shops Selling Awesome Ramadan Decorations

Ramadan in Cairo 2016: 10 Shops Selling Awesome Ramadan Decorations

There are few more festive times in Egypt than Ramadan; it's a time that sees friends and family come together over fetar and sohour – whether you like it or not. Bubbling feelings of frustration towards extended family aside, though, you're quite likely to be expecting guests over the next few days for a typical Ramadan feast – followed by small-talk and typical Ramadan antakha. Some like to keep things simple when hosting guests, while others like to really put on a show. Whether you like to keep dinner parties and gatherings casual, or completely and utterly over-the-top, these ten shops across Cairo can provide you with everything you need to build your own Ramadan fortress… American Balloons With one of the biggest collection of Ramadan decorations in Cairo this year, American Balloons in Maadi will definitely transform any room, thanks to a huge variety ranging from lanterns of all shapes and sizes, to basic boxes and eve cute, festive canon-models Bingo Gifts and Toys Established since 1996, Bingo Gifts & Toys has been the game for some time and stocks have a wide array of Ramadan decorations such as lantern lampshades, Kedert Fool (the large pot of beans), coloured cushions inspired by the Islamic motifs and lots more. Blueberry Gift Shop Located in Heliopolis, as well as Manial, Bluberry Gift Shop is packed with more unique items, including beautifully coloured stainless steel lanterns, to colourful mus'haf and their custom made Ramadan bouquets. Candle Connection Candle Connection is offering something unique this year with its Ramadan candles and candle holders, which comee in round and square shapes with Islamic motifs on them. They seem simple, but when lit, look great – perfect for late-night, chilled hangouts. Dokan Dapicture Besides the traditional Ramadan decorations such as lanterns, poufs and cushions, Dokan Dapicture – which delivers – create small sculptures for El Mesaharaty (the guy who wakes up people at sohour time) and Tannoura dancers as well as other sculptures that can add quirky touches. The Gift Box Taking Ramadan decorations to a completely new level, the gift box provides bespoke Ramadan themed home accessories such as Ramadan hand towels, sheets and tablecloth. The place also provides home delivery service. La Baleine Nasr City's La Baleine has it all; from Boogie and Tamtam pillows and lanterns, to foul and Hummus Al Sham cart. With La Baleine, you can order your decorations through their Facebook page and they will deliver it to your doorstep within two days. Pink for Gifts & Toys Offering a beautiful collection of vintage lanterns, Pink in Heliopolis also provides hanging Ramadan decoration for the famous characters such Bakkar and Fatoota as well as other more demure ornaments. Sugar Gift Shop With thirteen branches across Egypt, Sugar offers a number of versatile and varied decorative items. Their Ramadan collection includes everything from Ramadan candles and lanterns, to handicraft canons, plus their creative Ramadan wrapping adds a nice touch. Tatto Tatti One of the most unique shops in Nasr City, Tatto Tatti, is home to some quirky handmade Ramadan decorations that often bring together the kitsch and the cool – think Ramadan meets bohemia. Happy Ramadan!

Cafés

Tortina: Dessert Specialist's Rawani Cake is Unexpected (And Delicious) Ramadan Hit

Tortina: Dessert Specialist's Rawani Cake is Unexpected (And Delicious) Ramadan Hit

Revani, Ravani or Rawani – we're still not 100% sure whether this deliciously moist cake made with semolina flour is originally Turkish, Greek or Egyptian. But what we do know is this; it is one of the most underrated desserts around. And while Ramadan is a season where konafa takes all the attention, this year, Tortina has given Rawani cake the spotlight this Ramadan. One of our absolute favourite venues when it comes to desserts, we headed to Tortina's small Heliopolis branch located at El Merghany Street and our eyes were instantly fixated on the luscious desserts; from the great collection of Oriental classics to the mouth-watering fridge display showcasing Tortina's signature and one-of-a-kind Ramadan desserts. Similar to last year, Tortina's take on konafa has been very interesting; from Konafa Mars Tart (175LE) and Konafa Panna Cotta (210LE), to Konafa Tiramisu (185LE) and Kunafa Mont Blanc (190LE); but we came for another reason –that intriguing pot filled with glossy Rawani cake topped with mangos (190LE). Smothered with syrup, filled with fresh whipped cream and mango cubes, the spongy texture of the cake perfectly absorbed the syrup and the whipped cream cut the sweetness, while, surprisingly, the mango tasted amazing, even though it's not mango season yet. Overall, though we wouldn't necessarily consider Tortina's Rawani cake a Ramadan-dessert, there's no doubt that it has proven to be one of the best of this year's best seasonal offerings – partly because it breaks the usual trend of fusing together seemingly incompatible ingredients from East and West. It's definitely one of the great additions on Tortina's dessert list this year. Well, that and the exquisite Konafa Panna Cotta, of course.

Nightlife

The Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards 2016: Nightlife Award Winners

The Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards 2016: Nightlife Award Winners

While nightlife in Cairo is as varied and eclectic as it has ever been, bars and clubs still don't have it easy. Licensing hurdles aside, there's been a worryingly high turnover in the scene over the last few days, with some bars disappearing very soon after opening. With the winners of the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards 2016 in the Nightlife category, however, we have the bars, clubs and lounges that have been influential in developing the nightlife scene in Cairo, while maintaining a quality and unique traits to stand out from the rest. Aperitivo Having remained relatively unscathed after the dramatic closure of sister-bar, La Bodega, Aperitivo is one of the few bars in Zamalek that you might consider high-end, offering a sophisticated and demure nightlife experience. Cairo Jazz Club One of the most popular and enduring bars, Cairo Jazz Club is a nightlife institution in itself. Boasting a recent minor revamp of sorts, no venue in Cairo hosts as much and as varied live entertainment, and continues to be the standard bearer of contemporary nightlife in Cairo. L'Aubergine A favourite in Zamalek for what seems like forever, L'Aubergine's bustling atmosphere, prompt service and under-rated food have found it on the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards winners list for the third year in a row. LIV Lounge With a recent boom in more regular events, Heliopolis' LIV Lounge is one of the more unique bars in Cairo, boasting the sleekest of interiors and a very contemporary feel that bars and clubs have historically found hard to nail down. O.Liv.O While it's pizza is among the most popular in Zamalek, it's the bar-based package that elevates O.Liv.O amongst both pizza specialists and bars, offering a casual, relaxed and pleasingly lived-in atmosphere. Pub 28 Enduring Zamalek watering-hole, Pub 28, has nobly remained unchanged over the years and continues to enjoy a fiercely loyal clientele that ranges in age thanks to its traditional pub atmosphere. Riverside Jack-off-all-trades, Riverside, has become a whole new beast recently, but in terms of nightlife, the Zamalek venue has stepped its game up and has become a regular gigging-spot for some of the ebst bands and DJs in the city. The Garden Though its sister venue, the Garden Nile Front, has been stealing a bit of its limelight this year, the off-shoot bar hasn't quite captured what made Korba bar, the Garden, great. Expect it to be busy this summer. The Tap Everyone's favourite Maadi bar, the Tap, continues to be a leader in its field, thanks to its unique set-up and atmosphere, its regular entertainment schedule and that x-factor that you just can't seem to put your finger on. The Tap East From Maadi to New Cairo, the Tap East took some of the best elements of the original branch and turned into a concept that shifts more focus on the food, while maintaining a packed-entertainment schedule and a unique and well-used space. Villa 55 Decent prices, alcohol, food and shisha aren't a combination you can find just anywhere in Cairo; not only can you find at modest Maadi favourite, Villa 55/Pub 55, but you'll find it wrapped up in a casual, no-frills and welcoming atmosphere. For more on the 2016 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards, click here, where you can find all of this year's winners.

Arts & Culture

Five Reasons Mawaweel is the Best Thing About Ramadan

Five Reasons Mawaweel is the Best Thing About Ramadan

While many bemoan the lack of things to do outside of the usual sohour-and-tent show during Ramadan, a closer look will reveal that, actually, cultural events boom during the holy month. Granted, there's not quite as much live music, exhibitions and other events, but one particular intiative continues to set the standard for a contemporary Ramadan entertainment – Mawaweel. This year, Cairo Jazz Club Agency has teamed up with Darb 1718 once more for the 'Alternative Ramadan Experience', and its shaping up to be even bigger and better, cementing itself as the best event-come-festival-come-carnival-of-all-things-fun – and here's why. It always has an eclectic music line-up…. The words 'eclectic' and 'variety' are thrown around all too easily, but few have as assorted a musical line-up as Mawaweel. This year, the first night will see Nass Makan open proceedings. Made up of the regular performers at unique Downtown cultural venue, Makan, the group brings together gypsy, zar and Arabic music styles for one of the unique sounds around. After an intermission of sorts that will feature a dizzying and colourful tannoura performance, things take a turn musically, as the increasingly popular Sharmoofers then take to the stage – it doesn't get more 'eclectic' than that, especially when you consider the performers set to take to the stage on night two (June 23) – Mazaher and Massar Egabri. You can shop for some unique items… When it comes to Mawaweel, Cairenes come for the music and stay for the bazaar – one that, over the years, has featured some of the best local brands, designers and craftsman in Egypt. This year, the bazaar is set to be even bigger, with everything from accessories and handicrafts, to food and drink at the Mawaweel pop-up food-court. Mawaweel X El Sat7… Despite an already impressive music line-up, Cairo Jazz Club Agency and Darb 1718 have found a way to host even more live music, bu fusing Mawaweel and the cultural centre's recently launched rooftop live music series, Mazzika X El Sat7. Having already kicked off last weekend with Ahmed Omar and AfriCairo, this new element of the festival is set to welcome quirky brass band, El Nafikha (June 18), and enduring Oriental-pop group, Eftekasat (June 25). Art, Art, Art… This year's resident Mawaweel exhibition, Bread II, brings together the work of a whole host of local artists – you can apply the word 'eclectic' here, too – alongside several interactive art instillations. As one of the more under-appreciated elements of Mawaweel, the annual exhibitions that are held pays testament to the 'variety' – there's that word again – to the event. It gives you an excuse to go to Darb 1718… As one of the most unique cultural centres of its kind in Cairo, nay Egypt, Darb 1718 is also one of the most important. While Cairo's arts and culture scene continues to ride a wave of recently sparked prosperity, Darb 1718's contributions have been invaluable in both developing and supporting the local arts sector and bringing some truly unique one-of-a-kind events to Cairenes. On a more superficial level, it's just a very cool place to be. Mawaweel is set to open its doors at 8.30PM on Thursday 16 June. Tickets are 80LE; children under 12 enter for free. For more information, click here.

Health & Fitness

Osana: Maadi’s Wellness Haven Offers a Refuge for Mind, Body & Soul

Osana: Maadi’s Wellness Haven Offers a Refuge for Mind, Body & Soul

Over the last few years, a new definition of what it means to live healthy has slowly crept into Cairo's collective consciousness; treadmills have been replaced with yoga mats and workout gear equates to comfy, and often colourful, leggings. In short, Cairo has come to understand that there is more to healthy living than dieting and jogging – we've come to accept a more holistic approach to something that is notoriously hard to achieve in Egypt. This culture has been perpetuated by the increasing number of wellness centres, the latest of which has been causing quite a storm in Maadi. Under the direction of Steve Double, Neena Serag and Sumaya Holdijk, Osana Wellness Centre has quickly emerged as a haven that is doing more than latching onto a fad and proving that wellbeing practices are not instant 'feel good' magic potions, but rather about one's willingness and commitment to improving his/her lifestyle. Tucked away in an almost picturesque Sarayat Al Maadi area, the minute you step foot through Osana's purple door, you can't help but be captivated by the serenity of the space and the welcoming green atmosphere. Boasting a variety of mind and body practices, classes and workshops for all the family, Osana offers a large variety of wellbeing practices and barefoot classes including yoga classes –hatha flow, acroyoga, vinyasa, prenatal- pilates, tai chi, rhythm and dance and many others. It all started when celebrated photographer, Steve Double, his wife Neena Serag and Sumaya Holdjik dreamed of creating a wellness hub for all the family. "Osana is an oasis in the middle of the crazy Cairo that we choose to live in," Double told us. "Somewhere where you can feel calm and grounded, meet some friends and chill out; a place where you can be with family and take time for yourself and time for those that matter to you where you can find everything from food, treatments, yoga and pilates." The centre is surrounded by a beautiful garden equipped with a large playground for kids, a seating area and an exquisite flower pond. Perhaps what we loved the most about Osana's outdoors area is the wood-built Earth Studio, where yoga classes are held. Osana's three-storey villa is separated into different departments where classes and holistic therapies take place. Right by the reception, there's a large kids' room equipped with books and a smaller playground serving as a day-care area and a space for kids' workshops as well. "As a yogi, coming out of class, there's nowhere where you can sit and socialise. There is also a lack of places where kids can just go and play in Cairo, whereas in Europe, there are parks everywhere," Double says of his ambitions for Osana. Osana's wholefood café is located at the ground floor; it's where we were treated to a tasty macchiato and the café lunch specialties of the day, which were lentil salad with roasted pepper and feta cheese, vegetables soup and sprouting broccoli with sweet tehina sauce during the time of our visit. "Our café concept is very simple," Double explained. "It's what you find in any small town in Europe – what I would call a hippy wholefood café using minimum oil, minimum processed food, seasonal and organic cooking. It's a healthier way of eating and part of a holistic wellbeing. You look after your mind, your soul and what you put in your body," Double continued. Complementary to their 'Mind, Body and Play' motto, Osana offers a wide array of holistic therapies from bodywork practices like craniosacral therapy, reflexology, osteopathy, acupuncture, to energy healing including crystal healing, numerology, reiki and different types of body massages including aromatherapy, shiatsu and chi nei tsang while pre and post natal services are also available, which is where Holdjik's expertise comes into play. "We're trying to create a wellness community where you can have families and people of all ages; a community where we can have support groups, like cancer support groups, infertility support groups and more," Holdjik told us. Once a month, Osana offers concession clinics as well as free sessions and treatments for people who might not otherwise be able to afford sessions. The team's long term integrate these people into a more consistent approach to their health. "What we found in the wellness world is that wellness is considered a luxury when it's actually a necessity. It's a way of living and a way of being healthy," Holdjik explained. Osana's standard barefoot classes, including tai chi and chi kong, cost 100LE whereas yoga and pilates cost 120LE. For the 100LE classes, the centre offers a package of 10 for 850LE (valid for 6 months) or one month of unlimited classes for 1,100LE, where people can come and try out different barefoot sessions and figure out what's best for them. "We ask our participants what they're looking for in the classes or if they have physical or health issues so we can address them. If you have back issues, for example, we recommend acupuncture, osteopathy, craniosacral or physiotherapy, while yoga is actually amazing for digestive issues. At the end of the day, it's really about holistic health," Holdjik said. When asked about the health craze trending, Double said that while it's great that more and more people want to get fit, these people only build strength rather than flexibility and need a lot more than physical strength to sustain their health and wellbeing. Holdjik, on the other hand, believes that for an issue like obesity for instance, it's not about the food; there's an emotional issue which must be dealt with first and that once those who suffer from obesity start facing their emotional problems and following a healthier lifestyle, they're naturally going to lose the weight. "I think a lot of people don't understand that the process takes time, especially if you have a chronic issue that you had for years. It's not a magic pill," argued Holdjik. "It takes time, maybe even years. It's about committing to wanting to be better and understanding that true health is an inclusive process bringing different aspects of wellbeing together." Aiming to spread the culture of positivity and wellbeing all over Cairo, Osana wants to collaborate with local wellness centers for a Cairo Yoga Day, where all yoga studios provide one day of yoga for free. Throughout the month of Ramadan, Osana offers a multitude of activities including forgiveness meditation sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday and a special Yoga and Iftar series that includes pre-iftar Vinyasa Flow, followed by a wholesome fetar and an hour of restorative yoga. But there's still more to come from Osana; the team plan to create a serene zen garden surrounding the Earth Studio, an organic vegetables garden, establish weekly community events including movie nights in the garden, camping and picnic trips, not to mention integrate more classes including parkour and more dance classes. "From a parent's perspective, Osana has been very well received. The idea literally started when we didn't have a safe place for our children to play in. I've had mums coming to me to say thank you," Serag concluded. For more information on Osana, check out their website, Facebook page and Instagram.

City Life

Ain Shams University Racing Team: Egypt’s First Student Automotive Team is Leading the Way in Experimental Education

Ain Shams University Racing Team: Egypt’s First Student Automotive Team is Leading the Way in Experimental Education

Experiential education is a fundamental asset to modern schooling; one that allows students to develop their skills, equip them for future careers and, in some cases, even contribute to their communities. Aspiring to integrate experiential education and learning active learning methods in education – one of the things which Egypt's educational system lacks especially in the public sector - Ain Sham University's Faculty of Engineering established the ASU racing team; a group of young Egyptian engineers who design and manufacture automotive and mobile robotics to compete in regional and global competitions for engineering students from all over the world. Founded in 2012, the ASU racing team began with only 11 students. Now it has over 250 students divided over four main teams; Formula Student, which is tasked with designing and building cutting-edge racing cars; Eco Gasoline, a team manufacturing a car to travel the farthest distance using one litre of petrol; Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), which works to create an underwater vehicle; and the Hybrid Electric team – a team manufacturing a car that runs on both gasoline and electricity. "My team includes students from almost all disciplines from electrical, mechanical, mechatronics, computer engineering to civil and architecture, Abdel Rahman Ibrahim, Captain of Hybrid Electric team told us. "Each student is responsible for parts in the car that matches his/her studies," According to Khaled Ghobashy, captain of the Formula team, participating in global engineering competitions is a rewarding and an exceptional learning opportunity which enables students to actually practice with their own hands what they've been taught, though, often times, students find it difficult to align between a global competition and their studies. "Many students had to quit the team because they were unable to balance between their studies and their work with the team especially that all competitions have deadlines which sometimes clashes with our finals," Ghobashy revealed. Perhaps the real challenge which sometimes stands in the way of the ASU racing team is money; which sometimes forces students to readjust their designs to fit their limited budget. "The university has a budget for each team, but it isn't enough to cover the entire process, which leaves us with two options; either applying changes in our original designs or coming up with a way to collect money," explained Ghobashy, adding that sometimes students and doctors pay from their own pockets to cover ASU's expenses or often times, a sponsor offers to provide for the teams' finances. Aside from the funding challenges, there are also technical challenges, which sometimes hinder the manufacturing process. Abdel Rahman Ibrahim recalls that his Hybrid Electric team worked months on designing a prototype, only to find out during the installation process that the car parts don't fit together, which made them re-design the prototype from scratch. Despite these challenges, the ASU racing teams have managed to achieve remarkable success. After being approached to take part in 2015 edition of the Shell Eco-Marathon in Philippines, Merna Abbas and her Eco-Gasoline team came 10th out of 33 teams from around the world. According to Dr. Mohamed Abd El Aziz, one of the Faculty professors, students gained a great deal of technical knowledge and experience from participating in the these competitions and have become more qualified to enter an already established organization or even start up their own engineering projects after graduation. "We are injecting in the market actual engineers who can design," Abd El Aziz, said, adding that companies like General Motors and Toyota already recruited engineering graduates who participated in the ASU racing team. According to Ahmed El Yamani, captain of the ROV team, the exposure students get from global engineering competitions is extremely valuable because major companies in the field are always present during these events, watching competitors up-close and preparing to sponsor the promising teams. The companies who sponsored the ASU racing team include Bavaria Auto Group –which funded the ASU team – and Arab Organization for Industrialization, which provided the students with a manufacturing space in Kader Factory. The ASU team has a supervising committee, which consists of doctors, and teaching assistants whose role is to offer advice and make sure that students are following the right engineering standards in their designs as well as taking care of any legal paperwork requested whether for purchasing materials or travelling. "These competitions proved that students can work alone on developing and improving their problem-solving as well as expanding their existing knowledge and skills," Abd El Aziz concluded. For more information on the ASU racing team, click here. (Photos courtesy of ASU Racing Team)

Film

Go With Me: A Far From Thrilling Thriller

Go With Me: A Far From Thrilling Thriller

Swedish director Daniel Alfredson returns to the big screen after his interesting, but far from perfect, 2015 true-life crime caper, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, with another Anthony Hopkins-led thriller. Go With Me –released as Blackway in some countries – is a well-shot, but a notably flawed revenge-thriller, whose biggest downfall is its seemingly outdated and old-fashioned storytelling tactics. Returning home after her mother's death, Lilian (Stiles) inherits her childhood home and takes couple of jobs in order to try to make ends meet. Her relatively uneventful life, however, is soon disrupted by Blackway (Liotta); a menacing ex-cop criminal lord who, for a number of unknown reasons, has decided to stalk the young woman into a fearful existence. Alerting the authorities is not an option as, according to the local sheriff, Blackway is too powerful to be brought down. Trying her best to ignore his constant and menacing presence, Lilian's patience soon wears thin when she is attacked in her own home, leading her to turn to a local sawmill of all places, where old-timer named Lester (Hopkins) and his awkward young associate, Nate (Ludwig), volunteer to help her. Adapted from Castle Freeman Jr's highly-regarded novel of the same name, the story is devoid of any real tension or danger, with almost every scene – which include a few head-scratching flashbacks that never really offer any insight or logic - failing to have the necessary effect. The script, which boasts an otherwise interesting premise for exploration, translates into a mechanical plot that fails to take advantage of its dark and moody back-wood setting. The rather limp performances do nothing to help Alfredson's latest cinematic endeavour, with the piece's two most accomplished actors, Liotta and Hopkins, failing to ignite their characters with any interest or depth. Hopkins – boasting a lazy American accent that occasionally dips into a Welsh one – coasts along in auto-pilot mode, while Liotta falls back on the over-the-top psychopathic bully role he has played so often. As the protagonist of the piece, it all falls on the shoulders of Stiles, but there just isn't enough to keep you engaged or empathetic. All in all, a poor effort all-round.
Vote

Loading...

Win! Dinner for Two at Torii Japanese Restaurant!
Win! Dinner for Two at Torii Japanese Restaurant!