As the second week of Ramadan comes to a close, the number of arts and cultural events popping up around Cairo has increased dramatically. From government-sponsored festivals to a taste of Ramadan from around the world, Cairo is chock-full of things to do after fetar. Concerts dominate the scene with a number of musical genres performed throughout the weekend, and the majority for free.
This Thursday, be sure to catch the concerts of the Upper Egypt Choir at Amir Taz Palace, or Grammy-award-winning jazz musician Fathy Salama at Beit El Harawi. Accomplished harpist Manal Mohiel Din will entertain audiences at Wikalet El Ghouri, but if you’re in the mood for something more traditional you can stop by Beit El Suheimi to catch Baraweez Band performing Oriental/Nubian music, or a night of Poetry and Oud at Wekalet El Ghouri.
More and more puppet shows seem to be making appearances lately, and if you haven’t seen one yet; head over to the Talaat Harb Culture Centre to see the play Abou Ali. Local musician Hend Zaki will be playing at the Open Air Theatre of the Cairo Opera House and the very charismatic NubaNoor will return to El Tanboura Hall for an evening of traditional Nubian music. You can enjoy a concert of contemporary Egyptian music courtesy of Basata Band at El Sawy Culturewheel, or catch Spanish singer Ara Musa Honra at El Genaina Theatre as part of the Ramadan Hayy program schedule.
If you thought Thursday was busy, the schedule doesn’t get any less packed on Friday. Beit El Oud El Araby will perform classic Oriental music at Wikalet El Ghouri while a slightly different variety of classical Arab music will be performed by Qithara at Amir Taz Palace.
Two new puppet-related events join the play Abou Ali, which will show all weekend long. Renowned artist Dr. Nabil Bahgat’s puppet theatre production El Aragoz we Khayal El Zel will be shown at Beit El Suheimi and the Talaat Harb Culture Centre will show a unique photography exhibition entitled One Shot Puppets. El Genaina has the privilege of hosting singer-songwriter and actress Maryem Saleh at 10LE per ticket. As part of a collaborative series between embassies and the Cairo Opera House, the Uzbekistani Embassy will be celebrating Ramadan with a number of cultural performances in the Open Air Theatre. Fresh from the release of their new album Matloub Za'eem, Cairokee will perform at El Sawy Culturewheel.
Saturday evening is probably the calmest this weekend, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. Nubian musician Khaled Mounib will perform at Beit El Harawi and the Fawanees Festival continues with performances by the El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at Wikalet El Ghouri, and a performance of Oriental Takht at El Sawy Culturewheel. Salalem will also play live in El Sawy's Wisdom Hall, while the Algerian Embassy will host their Arab-Islamic night in the Open Air Theatre.
A reading of Abdel Moneim El Sawy’s ‘Departure', will take place at El Sawy Culturewheel. If you feel like checking out an art exhibition, try The Egyptian Snapshot, an exhibition of various Egyptian artists at Amir Taz Palace.
Perhaps the highlights of the evening though are two PS3 tournaments taking place in Maadi and Designopolis. Winners of the PES2011 challenge will be pitted against the winner of the Dubai tournament in an online final.
We don’t expect anyone to have a spare moment between fetar and sohour this weekend, not with all these amazing events taking place. Go out, have fun, and bask in the cultural richness that is Cairo!