Ramadan in Cairo has been somewhat tainted this year. That palpable buzz of excitement eludes us. And that makes us feel sad. But fear not! We're only a few days in, and as each sunset-marked feast passes, Ramadan is slowly getting its groove back.
Protests and political uncertainty has slowed things down a bit and there are few events to speak of – but then fetar is a daily event of sorts in itself – no?
Thursday sees Sufi in Zamalek welcome Soot Fel Zahma front-man, Diab Abouziad, for a live performance, while the Italian Cultural Institute welcomes film buffs to a screening of 1960 Italian film, Risate di Gioia (The Passionate Thief).
Artellewa launches its weekly Ramadan Nights on Friday, where the Third Eye Theatre Troupe entertains. Elsewhere, the Hassan & Morkos Ramadan Tent at Heliopolis nightspot, Roof Bar, rolls out the red carpet for shaabi music stars, Oka and Ortiga.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Darb 1718 hosts another edition of popular open-mic night, Mashrou3 Al Mareekh, while Wikalet El Ghouri launches its delayed Ramadan program with a performance by El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group.
Even with the lack of real events, we're not worried. There's a plethora of Ramadan tents to visit, all promising evenings of top dining and entertainment, including Wahawi at Le Pacha 1901, Ramadana at Tamarai, El Kheima at Y Lounge and Fawanis at Citystars, as well as Layali at Cavallini and Hassan we Morkos at Roof Bar – both in Heliopolis. Check out our guide to this year's tents for more!
And if you're having trouble keeping busy during the day, why not dive into the weird and wonderful world of the Egyptian mosalsal with our guide to this year's top Ramadan TV. Most will sleep the day away, but as our guide to staying fit and healthy while fasting will attest, there are much more effective ways to stave off the hunger.
Have a fun and productive first weekend of Ramadan, Cairo!