Cairo Weekend Guide: Mother’s Day, Cairo Jazz Festival & Amina K.
We won’t lie; it’s been a rough morning. Fresh, loud voices that usually fill the halls early in the day are now hushed and quiet; the fervent typing replaced with slow, lagged taps. Heads are propped up on arms and the occasional whimper can be heard in the distance – several desks have been abandoned. But beyond the wreckage of the aftermath of our birthday celebration, some of us survived, and are loyally here to round up the best events this weekend has to offer – thank god.
But before we get to that, Mother’s Day has sneaked up on us, but you needn’t worry if you’ve yet to make plans. The Fairmont Heliopolis is celebrating mothers of Cairo with special offers at all of their restaurants, including Noble House, Maria’s and Al Dabke, while Le Marche are offering special Mother’s Day pastries. Elsewhere, Sofitel El Gezirah have a special deal going that offers a dinner for two at Sud, a Nile-view room for the night and a Friday morning brunch for 1600LE, while Saraya Gallery is swiping 50% off of the bill if you fancy a spot of tea and scones. Meanwhile, Kempinski Nile‘s Mother’s Day ‘Mini Package’ offers a 30-minute body massage, plus a choice between a 30-minute head massage or mini-facial for 200LE.
Let’s get back to this weekend. Thursday marks the start of an important event: the Cairo Jazz Festival. Tonight, you can catch several artists between Al Azhar Park and El Genaina Theatre, including Moroccan band Ribab Fusion, Brazilian bossa nova musician Gilberto Gil and German jazz-folk musician Kristiina Tuomi, as well as local favourite Dina El Wedidi and, returning to his hometown, Ali El Farouk.
Cairo Jazz Club also hosts performances for the festival and this evening will feature Austrian group, GMH Orkestar, bringing you an eclectic mix of Latin American music and Balkan folk. More live music can be found at El Dammah Theatre for Free Arts with ‘semi-nomadic’ musicians, Bedouin Jerry-Can Band, while Cairo Opera House will celebrate the life of Sayed Darwish with a special collaborative performance.
This evening is your last chance to check out the screenings at Sakia Film Festival, or instead head to Italian Cultural Institute for ‘A Flat for Three’, which tells the story of three male divorcees that find themselves living together.
The partying options are as such: 4 the Love of House is at Tamarai, Air Nights is at Y Lounge, LIV is at Cavallini, DJ Hany Khalil is at Pub 55, DJ SImon is at Roof Bar, and coming back to life once again, Melouk brings your ‘I’ll House You’.
The Cairo Jazz Festival continues on Friday as Al Azhar Park hosts multiple award-winning KJ Denhert, Austrians GMH Orkestar – which roughly translates to ‘the little Granny has a parlour orchestra’ – and Egypt’s very own, Eftekasat.
Nearby at El Genaina Theatre, more performances ensue with UK Jazz Artist 2013 winner, Neil Cowley, Japanese group Mikarimba, Bulgarian band Mitko Rusev and finally, the Miguel Amado Group from Portugal.
There’s live music elsewhere, too, with legendary Sudanese musician, Sharhabeel Ahmed, at El Sawy Culturewheel and Ahmed Nazmi touring for new album ‘Ethbat Hala’ and at 100Copies Music Space, while Baheya will entertain at Sufi. For something a little more upbeat, though equally live, head to Cairo Jazz Club where Negmo performs.
For a real upbeat outing, Club 35 hosts a terribly named YOLO Friday event, while O Bar will be spooning out a smooth R&B Night. Meanwhile, Berytus Pub offers partygoers ‘Hot Friday Salsa‘, where you have the opportunity to take a dance class.
Morning activities are also an option; Artellewa hosts a Fri Day & Night event, inviting you to spend the whole day there and enjoy a variety of workshops and performances, while Mall of Arabia hosts the 10th Mother & Baby Festival over the weekend and Misr Language Schools happily put on their MLS Spring Carnival.
There’s more of the Cairo Jazz Festival on Saturday! El Genaina Theatre brings you Egyptian-influenced, Rembrandt Ferichs Trio, Indian-influenced musician Christophe Wallemme will perform ‘Namaste’, while the Arch Stanton Quartet are back for a second performance. Nearby at Al Azhar Park, Lithuanian group, Dainius Pulauskas, and Lebanese pianist, Ziad Rahbani, will perform.
Darb 1718 has a full house today with Egyptian/Dutch/Polish band Sabrine & Doum Do taking to the stage, as wells as Bluenotes, while KJ Denhert presents ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back – One Musician’s Journey’, giving audiences a chance to get to know her as she speaks of her career and experience.
For something a little bit more relaxing, check out the reflexology lecture or the Sufi healing meditation at Sufi, or head to Nūn Center for some organic fresh produce at their Famers Market. If shopping is on the menu then be sure to check out Amina K’s ‘The Boutique Experience‘ in Zamalek, as the designer gives Cairo’s fashion-conscious a sneak peek at her new collection.
Galleries are overflowing with new exhibitions and today sees ‘Al Khayal‘ by Mahmoud El Dewihi arrive at Tache Art Gallery. Elsewhere, a collection of Emad Ibrahim’s work is being shown at Mahmoud Mukhtar Museum, Farghali Abdel Hafiz’s ‘The Egypt I Love… Immortal’ is at Zamalek Art Gallery, seventeen artists put together their work representing Egyptian identity in ‘Ana El Masri’ Exhibition at Cala Art Gallery, and Hala Abu Shady reflects on cultural issues through her ‘On My Forest Land‘ collection.
With so much going on in the city, it would be simply impossible to stuff it all into this guide, so make sure to click on our Cairo 360 events page for everything this weekend has to offer – trust us, it’s a lot.
Happy weekend Cairo!