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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