Five Reasons Mawaweel is the Best Thing About Ramadan
While many bemoan the lack of things to do outside of the usual sohour-and-tent show during Ramadan, a closer look will reveal that, actually, cultural events boom during the holy month. Granted, there’s not quite as much live music, exhibitions and other events, but one particular intiative continues to set the standard for a contemporary Ramadan entertainment – Mawaweel.
This year, Cairo Jazz Club Agency has teamed up with Darb 1718 once more for the ‘Alternative Ramadan Experience’, and its shaping up to be even bigger and better, cementing itself as the best event-come-festival-come-carnival-of-all-things-fun – and here’s why.
It always has an eclectic music line-up….
The words ‘eclectic’ and ‘variety’ are thrown around all too easily, but few have as assorted a musical line-up as Mawaweel. This year, the first night will see Nass Makan open proceedings. Made up of the regular performers at unique Downtown cultural venue, Makan, the group brings together gypsy, zar and Arabic music styles for one of the unique sounds around.
After an intermission of sorts that will feature a dizzying and colourful tannoura performance, things take a turn musically, as the increasingly popular Sharmoofers then take to the stage – it doesn’t get more ‘eclectic’ than that, especially when you consider the performers set to take to the stage on night two (June 23) – Mazaher and Massar Egabri.
You can shop for some unique items…
When it comes to Mawaweel, Cairenes come for the music and stay for the bazaar – one that, over the years, has featured some of the best local brands, designers and craftsman in Egypt. This year, the bazaar is set to be even bigger, with everything from accessories and handicrafts, to food and drink at the Mawaweel pop-up food-court.
Mawaweel X El Sat7…
Despite an already impressive music line-up, Cairo Jazz Club Agency and Darb 1718 have found a way to host even more live music, bu fusing Mawaweel and the cultural centre’s recently launched rooftop live music series, Mazzika X El Sat7. Having already kicked off last weekend with Ahmed Omar and AfriCairo, this new element of the festival is set to welcome quirky brass band, El Nafikha (June 18), and enduring Oriental-pop group, Eftekasat (June 25).
Art, Art, Art…
This year’s resident Mawaweel exhibition, Bread II, brings together the work of a whole host of local artists – you can apply the word ‘eclectic’ here, too – alongside several interactive art instillations. As one of the more under-appreciated elements of Mawaweel, the annual exhibitions that are held pays testament to the ‘variety’ – there’s that word again – to the event.
It gives you an excuse to go to Darb 1718…
As one of the most unique cultural centres of its kind in Cairo, nay Egypt, Darb 1718 is also one of the most important. While Cairo’s arts and culture scene continues to ride a wave of recently sparked prosperity, Darb 1718’s contributions have been invaluable in both developing and supporting the local arts sector and bringing some truly unique one-of-a-kind events to Cairenes. On a more superficial level, it’s just a very cool place to be.
Mawaweel is set to open its doors at 8.30PM on Thursday 16 June. Tickets are 80LE; children under 12 enter for free. For more information, click here.