Well, here we are – it’s February 14th. Yet, for some reason, we don’t find ourselves day dreaming about running in slow motion towards our loved ones in a sunny, breezy field. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t hate love. But Egypt isn’t exactly a hotbed of romance and amour. Or is it?
The fact that Valentine’s Day has fallen on a Thursday this year seems to have Cairo’s restaurants and bars in a state unflinching lovey-dovey-ness. Prime suspect number one is ‘Buddha Be Mine’ at (yes you’ve guessed it) Buddha Bar. Obviously taking inspiration from Buddha’s omniscient love, Cairenes can enjoy music from the always soulful Sarah El Gohary, as well as DJs Ahmed Atef and Madio, with a special set menu on which to feast.
Elsewhere, Amici Heliopolis invites DJ Fiko for a special open bar night to celebrate the day of love, while Cavallini has flown in Ukrainian tech-house DJ, Miss FTV, for a special Valentine’s night. Elsewhere, Alchemy celebrates with ‘Heart of Gold’ and Tamarai hosts a special loved-up edition of ‘4 the Love of House’, while Paranoia welcomes Christina Novelli for what is set to be a pretty epic live performance.
Meanwhile, Fairmont Nile City’s O Bar is being transformed into a Parisian paradise, as Ashiba and Mayounah take turns in the booth at ‘This is Paris with Love’. These are just a few of Cairo’s Valentine’s Day options; find more here.
Some of you may want to skip the whole Valentine’s thing all together, be it cynicism, aloofness or crippling loneliness. Fear not, as Cairo Jazz Club is leading the anti-Valentine’s movement with DJ Ramy and VJ Momo (great name) playing some distinctly unromantic house. Elsewhere, smooth-voice Hassan Ramzy performs at Grizzly Diner in Zamalek and local band, Baheya, are live at Photopia, while the Adam Miller Band return to the limelight with a gig at Jazz Mate.
Friday’s Valentine’s hangover is easily remedied via the National Equestrian Championship. The smell of horse dung will soon snap you out of your love bubble.
2013 marks the 140th birthday of Heineken; always game for any kind of celebration, Roof Bar obliges with 'Heineken: 140 Years Young'; a kind-of landmark party of promised epic proportions. Cairo Jazz Club, in the meanwhile, invite debutant-DJ, Ahmed Shawky, and the always dependable, DJ Carlos, for a night deep house.
As one of Cairo’s most promising talents, Mado returns to After Eight, while Shanti Yoga Cairo continues its ever-popular Thai Yoga Massage Workshops. One of the highlight events of the weekend takes place at the Maadi branch of Bikya, where BITCH-Central host One Billion Rising; an anti-violence initiative that is seeking to raise awareness of violence against women, via an open mic night that invites men and women of all ages to share their thoughts and experiences.
Saturday sees the National Equestrian Championship and Shanti Yoga Cairo’s Thai Yoga Massage Workshop continue, while Nūn Center hosts another Farmers Market. There’s live local music in the evening at Cairo Jazz Club, as City Band and Ashara Gharby return, while After Eight welcomes the peculiar shaabi stylings of No Comment.
Over in Heliopolis, gourmet burger company, Buns, are setting up shop at French restaurant, Salt, for a beer-fuelled public tasting session, while after-hours club, Bamboo, whisk you away to Beirut with Lebanese Love.
The notorious AUC graduate parties are upon us once more, with Le Cabaret; a 1920’s cabaret-themed night at the Dusit Thani Lakeview hotel in New Cairo. Rival AUC party, ‘Akheeran’ (which means ‘finally’, as in ‘finally, my parents are vetoing my curfew’) takes place at Tamarai.
Cairo’s art scene is growing by the week and there’s plenty to admire and debate in the city’s galleries. One such example can be found at Safar Khan, where ‘Chaotic Order’ communicates Ahmed Kassim’s distinctive artistic voice in relation to Egypt’s sociopolitical issues. But even the region’s best artists are flocking to Cairo, as Agouza-based gallery and cultural centre, Beirut, hosts the work of Azin Feizabadi and Joe Namy.
This is just a small selection of the gigs, parties and exhibition in Cairo this weekend – check the Cairo 360 events calendar for more. Have a great weekend!