The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture

The Cairo Guide to Arts & Culture Events in Ramadan 2011

The Cairo Guide to Arts & Culture Events in Ramadan 2011
written by
Haisam Awad

A few of your favourite hangout spots in
Cairo might be closed for Ramadan, but you should find no trouble in keeping
yourself busy over the next few weeks.
If you’re tired of the onslaught of Ramadan TV shows, and looking
for a way to entertain yourself in the many hours until sohour, then step out into
the huge hub of activity that is Ramadan in Cairo.

The Hayy
is a venture of the Cultural Resource (Al Mawrad Al Thaqafi) and
El Genaina Theatre that will bring a host of international female artists to
Cairo for a series of concerts. Proceedings kick off on August 11th with Spanish
singer Ara Musa Honra, followed on August 18th by Nesto; the solo project of Tunisian
musician Badiaa Bouhrizi. Algerian singer Karima Nayet will be joined by Grammy
award-winning Egyptian musician Fathy Salama for a concert on August 19th and
Palestinian composer and musician Nai El Barghouthi will be on stage on August 25th.
Closing the series of concerts on August 26th will be acclaimed Anglo-Indian
singer and multi-instrumentalist Susheela Raman.

Opera House
is working in conjunction with several
embassies in Cairo to bring you a series of unique Ramadan-themed musical
nights. The Indonesian Embassy will hold the first musical night tomorrow (August 10th), which
will be followed by the Uzbekistani (August 12th), Sudanese (August 13th), Algerian
(August 14th), Palestinian (August 20th), and Iraqi (August 21st) embassy nights. Each
night will celebrate Ramadan with a concert of Arab and Islamic performances in
the Open Air Theatre.

Through the second annual Fawanees Festival, the Ministry of
Culture is sponsoring Ramadan-themed concerts and performances in El Sawy
Culturewheel, Makan and El Ghouri throughout the month, bringing you some familiar,
and some not-so familiar faces.

They don’t grace stages in Cairo as often
as we wish they should, but El Sheikh Gomaa El Banna and his group will showcase their talents at Makan through their
performance of Sufi and zikr songs for a traditional Ramadan experience. As a group, Mawawil specialise in baladi
and mawawil songs. Catch their energetic and inspiring concert at Makan on August 17th.
Sudanese singer Asia will make a rare
appearance too at Makan; the talented Sudanese songstress will perform on
August 16th.

Mohamed Rashad will put on a series of traditional mawwal performances
to the backdrop of rababa and mezmar at El Sawy Culturewheel tomorrow and then
on August 16th and 27th. Also at El Sawy Culturewheel will be several traditional
takht shows; ensemble performances that use oud, qanun, ney and other time-honoured
Arabic instruments on August 13th and 28th.

El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group boasts some of the
best tannoura dancers in Egypt, and they’re very busy this month. They will be
wowing crowds in no less than ten separate shows throughout Ramadan at Wikalet El Ghouri, also as part
of the Fawanees Festival. The next performance is on August 10th,  you can keep up with their other performances, as
well as the rest of the Fawanees Festival on our events page.

The historic site of Al Ghouri never fails to impress, and this Ramadan you can catch the Sufi Music Festival there, starting on August 15th. The eleven-day festival will feature the unique Qawwal music of  India’s Chanchal Bharti, her eight-man group and the direction of Egyptian conductor Intesar Abdel Fatah. 

Darb 17 18 is hosting a Ramadan Film Festival,
where a diverse range of films will be screened. The next screening will be
documentary film Lost in La Mancha on
August 10 and it will be followed up with some psychological
horror in Austrian film Funny Games. The series of screenings will also include Following
(August 17), Boy (August 22) and Wall (August 24th).

In a nice change of pace, Arabic
calligraphy artist Khodeir
has a Ramadan-themed exhibition starting in Picasso
in Zamalek on August 12th. The exhibition will run till September 1, and
Picasso Gallery is opened daily except for Sundays. Other art exhibitions that
are running throughout Ramadan are ‘Maspero‘ at Darb 17 18, ‘The Contemporaries
at Tache Gallery, ‘To Egypt With Love II’ at Safar Khan Gallery and ‘Contemporary
Views IV
’ at Al Masar Gallery.

We know Ramadan can be a stressful time for
all, especially when hoards of extended family are frequenting the house for
fetar. If you need an excuse to get away, but want to steer clear of Ramadan festivities
all together, there are still plenty of non-Ramadan related events that you can
lose yourself in.  

Zizi Adel, of Star Academy fame, will perform
at El Sawy Culturewheel tonight, August 9th. Three days later, multi-talented singer, songwriter and actress Maryam
will perform at El Genaina Theatre on August 12th, while popular Egyptian
singer Akmal will performing at El Sawy Culturewheel on August 15th. 

Cairokee will be on stage at El Sawy Culturewheel,
while fans of the witty Salalem will be pleased to know that they will be out
in full force as well on Saturday, August 13th.

August 17th is a big day; you can enjoy
either an open breezy night at Cairo Opera House’s Open Air Theatre to the energetic
jazz sounds of award-winning musician Fathy Salama, or a night of contemporary Egyptian music 
by Malaleem Band, who will perform a blend of oriental jazz, funk, Latin and rock tunes at El Sawy
Alternatively, you can check out local favourites Eftekasat performing their
jazz, rock, and Latin fusion at El Sawy Culturewheel.

If that wasn’t enough, El Sawy Culturewheel
will also host Wust El Balad just two days later on August 19th.

If you’re looking for another way to digest
the huge fetar meals between August 25th and 27th, grab the first nine people you
can find and enter the Ultimate Football Championship tournament at the
Canadian International College. This special Ramadan ten-man tournament splits
competition into three different battles; football, table football and
Playstation football.

Alternatively, you can try your hand at the Archimedia Pro Evolution Soccer PS3 tournaments starting on August 15th. Winners will be pit against winners of the Dubai tournament in an online final. Stakes are high, and the prizes are big. The tournaments, which begins August 13th, will be held in the Maadi and Designopolis showrooms.

Keep checking our events page for more. Ramadan