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Ramadan in the Capital: A Comprehensive Guide to Cairo’s Cultural Happenings

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Ramadan in the Capital: A Comprehensive Guide to Cairo’s Cultural Happenings
written by
Cairo 360

For centuries, Egyptians’ cultural traditions in Ramadan have been a profound part of our heritage. Many historians believe that most of the traditions trace back to the Fatimids, descendants of Fatimah, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. So imagine the years and years of events, lavish festivities, and mouthwatering feasts that have taken place in our homeland. Therefore, with the approach of Ramadan, it only seems appropriate to dedicate this article to discuss this year’s anticipated cultural events.

The ministry of culture’s Cultural Development Fund (CDF) has prepared a lively list of events which will be “unleashed” on the fourth day of Ramadan, spanning Zamalek, Al-Fustat, Al-Khalifa, and Downtown Cairo. What’s more, there is absolutely no admissions cost, except for events hosted by renowned artists, such as singers Ali al-Haggar, Aida al-Ayoubi as well as modern groups, including Wust el-Balad, Basata, and Karakib whose concerts will collectively take place over ten days.  

Head of the CDF, Mohamed Abuseada, told Al-Ahram Weekly, “This year, the CDF has included new cultural activities and events on the Ramadan agenda in an attempt to open new windows and increase and revive people’s awareness of their tangible and intangible heritage, as well as acquaint them with the diversity of their culture and civilization.” He also mentioned that this year’s plans and efforts are directed towards a specific goal, part of which is providing opportunities for youth cultural and art groups to participate in Ramadan activities.    

The events that will take place are quite diverse, so let’s categorise them according to the type of activity. Our journey starts at the open court of the Cairo Opera House where there will be massive exhibitions of books published by the ministry of culture, as well as handicrafts made by people with disabilities. This will begin on the 10th day of Ramadan. 

Music undoubtedly plays a major role in any Egyptian tradition. Hence, it came as no surprise that the ministry booked famous musician, Hani Shenouda, and marimba player, Nesma Abdel-Aziz, to perform two concerts at the Um Kalthoum Museum.

Poem recitals will be held at the Beit al-Shear located in the Al-Set Wasila House, which will all be led by Egyptian poet, Ahmed Abdel-Moati Hegazi. You can also find another enchanting poetic performance at the Centre for Artistic Creativity in Cairo Opera House, with a rendition of the Bordet al-Busiri (Al-Busiri’s Poem of the Mantle) under the direction of Khaled Galal.

Al-inshad al-dini (religious chanting) is no stranger to Ramadan and has stood the test of time. The Al-Ghouri Complex on Al-Azhar Street will be devoted to religious chanting and Sufi performances led by Al-Ghouri Complex director and head of the Sufi chanting group, Intesar Abdel-Fattah. Al-Azhar will also witness the captivating performance by Al-Tanoura Whirling Dervishes group, along with a musical performance by the Al-Nile Folk Instruments Group.

The list of cultural events is nowhere near finished. So be sure to check Cairo 360’s events calendar to learn more details about this year’s exciting cultural events!