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Celebrating Egyptian Folk Music: Makan ECCA

arts & culture Mazaher music
Celebrating Egyptian Folk Music: Makan ECCA
written by
Malak Gharib
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Makan ECCA shines as the ultimate go-to for Egyptian music enthusiasts looking to travel to another universe through uplifting tunes. Leaving no one behind, Makan ECCA harmonises an eclectic array of rhythms ranging from traditional art and music to contemporary melodies and even embracing Zaar! Delve into the rich tapestry of Egyptian music across history and experience the vibrant musical assemblies hosted at Makan ECCA.

Makan is a musical venue owned by the Egyptian Center for Culture & Art, aiming to record and promote everything music and art. Makan ECCA continues to host their events, with the most famous being Mazaher Ensemble’s Zaar, which introduced younger generations to this vibrant tradition in the Egyptian folk scene.

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Aside from hosting grand events and championing folk artists, Makan ECCA has been carving its own path since its establishment in 2002, with a diverse array of productions, including books, cassettes, CDs, and movies. Among the literary offerings are “Music of Egypt’s Gypsies” by Dr Mohamed Omran, “Egyptian Wind Instruments of The Nile Delta” by Dr M. Omran & Dominik Huber, and “Awraq Thanya fi Al Thaqafa Al Shaabyya” by Mr Abdel Hamid Hawwas.

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Their productions include four CDs shedding light on various  Egyptian musical genres, including “Nass Makan” (Egyptian music & songs), “Mazaher” (Zar music & songs), “Mawawil” (Romani songs of Egypt), and “Hassan, Sayed & Salma” (Nubian, Jaafra, & Sudanese songs). Additionally, they offer three cassettes designed for the popular Egyptian market: Salma el Asal El Wadaa, featuring  Sudanese music; Hassan el Soghaiar Ballaja (Nubian music); and Sayed Rekaby El Genena (Jaafra music), which introduces us to Jaafra – a tribe in Aswan known for its uplifting music and lyrics.

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Their cinematic endeavours encompass captivating films like “Mirmah,” “Tahtib,” and “Jaafra & Okaylat, Arab Tribes of Aswan”. Each movie serves as a narrative thread within Egyptian folklore. For instance, “Tahtib” showcases the widespread traditional dance form in Upper Egypt, while “Jaafra & Okaylat” delves into the rich tapestry of the tribes of Aswan, illuminating their customs, traditions, and historical significance. These films not only entertain but also serve as cultural guides to the most precious parts of the Egyptian identity. 

Makan ECCA is a must-visit for culture enthusiasts or simply those who want to discover something different. Between Zaar and live performances featuring modern musical twists, brace yourself for a journey through the diversity of Egyptian music in one location.