While many Cairenes may still be at large, sunburnt bodies strewn across Egypt’s beaches like cattle on a warm English morning, Cairo 360 is back in the office and raring to go. Well we were until we realised that Cairo is ghost-town right now – and not the cool Tim Burton type. Granted, morning traffic has been a breeze and rush-hour has turned into hush-hour (word-play), but the most 24-hour city in the world is rather flat.
So many of the venues whose names are plastered across the Cairo 360 events calendar all year round have felt obligated, almost forced, to take the whole week off. A heinous act to say the least, but there are a few troopers where one can seek solace from the Ramadan hangover.
Take Cimatheque in Downtown Cairo for example. Those who frequent Mosireen, neighbours of Cimatheque, have come to set their biological clocks to weekly Tuesday night film-screening, but will have to readjust to a Thursday screening instead. Tonight, the politically and culturally conscious troupe will host a triple-bill of contemporary short film masterpieces by Italian visual anthropologist, Alexandra D'Onofrio. Love in the Time of Frontier, Luck Will Save Me, and Daddy's Not Coming Home explore themes of identity and expulsion; topics that have been a turbulent part of Egyptian society for centuries.
Of course, airheads across the city may find that a little too intense and stimulating for a Thursday night. Said airheaded Cairenes will surely find comfort at Cairo Jazz Club, where Bluenotes are set to deliver an evening of blues music before DJ Amr Mohey winds down the night with house music that is being described as fresh and groovy; sounds awesome. Alternatively, Salalem play their first gig of the weekend at After Eight.
Elsewhere, El Sawy Culturewheel continues whole-heartedly to bring us the best, worst and weirdest of local music, as rock band, Redeemers, perform their unique brand of symphonic-metal-rock, lyrically weave the fabrics of reality and fantasy as they do so – trippy.
Middle-aged women and young girls across the city have been left heartbroken by Egyptian superstar Amr Diab’s decision to cancel tonight’s performance at Cairo International Stadium, but move over Amr; there’s a new generation looking to take the reins and they all have ambition, jealousy and lust in their eyes. One such go-getter is Mohamed Killany, who will perform at Sun City Mall in Heliopolis as part of a series of special gigs at the airport adjacent shopping centre.
Don’t be disheartened by the shenanigans up north in Sahel on Friday. Yes, DJ Mayounah and designer-come-actress-come-singer Amina Khalil are teaming up for the biggest girl-power collaboration since Missy Elliot and Mel B at El Villa in Sidi Abdel Rahman, but we trump that with what we know will be riveting performance by Basata Band, in the latest of the special Sun City Mall shows.
Elsewhere, Cairo Jazz Club offers a night of techno and house via DJs Aroussi and Shady Nour, whose young DJing careers have been on the rise since this year’s Red Beats DJ competition.
At the other end Cairo’s painfully slender musical spectrum, Saturday sees Cairo Jazz Club hosting local favourites, Salalem. Meanwhile, El Sawy Culturewheel welcomes contemporary Arabic band, Warshet Watan.
Well Cairo, try and have fun. Throw positive energy out there and you’ll get it right back.