Culture Events: Picks for the Weekend 6-9 September

Thursday 6 September



Maryam Saleh in El Sawy Culturewheel at 8pm
After releasing her first album I don’t Sing last May, Maryam and her band have been performing in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. Tonight they take the Culturewheel stage performing a mixture of rock and Arabic music. Read more on Maryam’s other projects here.

River Hall, 26 of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo

‘Bahari’ Short Film Screening in El-Cabina Center at 8pm
The award winning 13 minute short film will be screened at El-Cabina, one of Alexandria’s favourite cultural hubs. The film’s writer, director and producer Ahmed Ghoneimy will be present for a discussion after the screening. Read more here.

Library Space, 11 San Saba Street (Behind Cinema Realto), Downtown, Alexandria

Screening of 16 films from the 48 Hour Film Project in Darb 1718 at 8pm
As part of the 48 Hour Film Project of short films made from A to Z in under 48 hours, Darb will screen the 16 most successful films from the competition. The films come from Paris, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Warsaw, Berlin and other cities with genres ranging from comedy to sci-fi. After the screening there will be a Q&A with Mohamed Rida the producer of the project in the Middle East.

Qasr Al-Shamee St., Al-Fakhareen (behind Hanging Church and Amr Mosque), Cairo

Eftekasat in El Geneina Theater at 8.30pm
One of Egypt’s oldest and biggest oriental jazz bands, Eftekasat celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 and continues to bring beats from their two albums to the audience. Read more on Eftekasat here.

Azhar Park, Salah Salem Road, Cairo

Friday 7 September

Screening of ‘A Seperation’ in Sufi Bookstore at 7pm
The Academy Award winning Iranian film, which generated contreversy in Egypt and the Middle East, follows the story of a couple dealing with divorce. The film was directed by Asghar Farhadi.
12 Sayed El Bakry Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Hosam Ghaleb in 100Copies Music Space at 8pm
The venue will kick off its September schedule with Hosam Ghaleb’s dub trip beats. Ghaleb is also known for his music with Puzzle Band.

22 Talaat Harb Street, Downtown, Cairo

Contemporary Dance Night (Group B) in AUC’s Falaki Theater at 8pm
The initiative aims to bring dance closer to Egyptian audiences. Tonight sees the second group of performances (which will be repeated on Sunday and Tuesday): Disorder by Sherin Hegazy, π by Shaymaa Shoukry, A Step Back (Video Dance) by Ezzat Ezzat, Voodoo Doll (Video Dance) by Ibrahim Abdo, 1 by Ahmed El Gendy, Not for Everyone by Mirette Mechail. Read more here.

American University in Cairo Falaki Campus, Falaki Street, Downtown, Cairo

Saturday 8 September

El-Ghouri Tanoura Group in Wekalet El-Ghouri at 7.30pm
Expect traditional dance, vibrant music and colourful performances by El-Ghouri Dance Group this Saturday. They play every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.

3 Mohamed Abdou Street, behind Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo

Tok Tok 7 Comic book launch in Townhouse Gallery at 7pm
The comic book launched a few weeks after the start of the revolution is now in its seventh issue. On the launch night there will also be the launch of the fourth issue of ‘Ninth Art’, a comic art publication.

Factory Space, 10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Street, Downtown Cairo

Mariam Elias Talk in 100Copies Music Space at 8pm
The children’s author is set to discuss art, music and books with the audience.

22 Talaat Harb Street, Downtown, Cairo

Sunday 9 September

Art therapy in Sufi Bookstore at 5pm
Shima Youssef and Dr Suzan Radwan, who were mentored in art therapy under one of the best art therapy practitioners in Egypt, the late Dr Magdi Refaat, offer people a space to explore their personality and feelings through painting. Participants are welcome to join any time between 5pm and 9pm. Read more on Art Theray here.

12 El-Sayed El-Bakry Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Exhibition Opening ‘Leaving’ by Amado Alfandi in Awan Art Space at 7.30pm
The Sudanese artist showcases his individual style of painting in the newly opened Awan Contemporary Art Space.

4 Hoda El Shaarawy Street, Downtown, Cairo

Sahara Band in El Sawy Culturewheel at 8pm
One of the most established Rai music bands in Egypt, Sahara, regularly performs at the Culturehweel; and this month is no exception.

Wisdom Hall, 26 of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Follow Arts & Culture updates on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts and Culture


Weekend events 29 June to 1 July

Friday 29 June

Screening of ‘Landscape in the Mist’ at Sufi Bookstore at 7pm
This 1988 Greek production, which won “Best Direction” at the Chicago International Film Festival, tells the story of two children, Voula and Alexandre, who are in search of their father, supposedly living in Germany. The film is the creation of multi-award winning art film director Theodoros Angelopoulos.

12 Sayed El-Bakry Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Omar Khairat Concert at the Cairo Opera House at 8pm
Renowned Egyptian pianist and composer Omar Khairat is set to take the main hall stage of the capital’s opera house, this Friday.

Cairo Opera Grounds, Zamalek, Cairo

Wust El-Balad concert at El-Geneina Theatre at 8.30pm
The popular underground band returns to the Al-Azhar Park stage with their much-loved blend of contemporary Egyptian tunes, jazz and world music.

Al-Azhar Park, Salah Salem Road, Cairo

“6 Years in Egypt” Photography exhibition in El-Cabina Centre ongoing
In Alexandria, the El-Cabina centre hosts Swiss artist Olivier Guignard, who offers up reflections on his time spent in Egypt. Guignard presents his six-year-long stay in the country’s coastal city before he is due to finally leave. The exhibition is ongoing until Saturday.

11 San Saba Street, Downtown, Alexandria

‘Tracks of Cairo’ Screening at Darb 17 18, Fri Jun 29 from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Darb 17 18 will host a screening of ‘Tracks of Cairo’; a documentary about the contemporary music scene in the capital and specifically about the impetus given to local bands by the revolution’s. Filmmakers Alex Brief & Johannes Roskamm will be present for a Q&A. Attendance is free.

Darb 1718, El Fustat, Old Cairo

DJ Amir Sharara at Cairo Jazz Club, Fri Jun 29 10:00 pm to Sat Jun 30 3:00 am
Nonstop uplifting tech, groovy, funk vocalistic, electric and proggy house mixes from the dynamic and versatile DJ Amir Sharara.Reservations at Cairo Jazz Club are recommended.

Cairo Jazz Club, 197 26th Of July St., Mohandiseen

Reham Alaa Exhibition at Cairo Atelier – Tue Jun 26 8:00 pm to Sun Jul 01 8:30 pm

Cairo Atelier in Downtown Cairo hosts young artist Reham Alaa’s first solo exhibition. Daily opening hours are 9AM – 1PM and 6PM – midnight.

Cairo Atelier, 2, Karim El Dawla St., off Mohamed Bassiouni St., Talaat Harb Square, Downtown

Ahl Cairo at El Sawy Culturewheel – Fri Jun 29 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Formerly known as Step by Step, Ahl Cairo is a contemporary Egyptian pop band that has been on the scene since 2005. Catch them live in El Sawy Culturewheel’s River Hall. Tickets are 15LE for members and 20LE for non-members.

El Sawy Culturewheel, end 26th July St, Zamalek

Talents Development Centre Concert at Cairo Opera House – Thu Jun 28 7:00 pm to Sat Jun 30 9:00 pm
The Cairo Opera House Talents Development Centre is crowning the semester with a series of concerts by its students.The event takes place in the Small Hall and tickets are available from the Cairo Opera House ticket office.

Cairo Opera House, El Gezirah

Saturday 30 June

Meetphool: Clown, Mime and Street Performance in Studio El-Madina and Anas El-Wogood Café at 7pm
Meetphool, a platform connecting artists, hosts a smorgasbord of street mime and clown along with storytelling, interactive theatre, contemporary dance, mini-concerts and poetry. The performers hail from across Egypt including Cairo, Alexandria, Minya and Fayoum.

8 Talaat Harb Street, Downtown, Alexandria.

Cairo Symphony Orchestra

Cairo Symphony Orchestra

Cairo Symphony Orchestra at Cairo Opera House – Sat Jun 30 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Since its residency at Cairo Opera House began in 1990, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra has played a crucial role in the development of Egyptian contemporary music and in the inspiration of Egyptian musicians and conductors alike. The concert will be held in the Main Hall and tickets are available at Cairo Opera House ticket office.

Cairo Opera House, El Borg Gezira, Gezirah, Zamalek

“Solid Urban Waste Project” Townhouse Gallery at 7pm
The Spanish architecture collective “Basurama” together with architect and urban planner Omar Nagati, showcase the results of a workshop held in Cairo, in which participants explored waste as a primary resource in order to design and build prototypes.

Factory Space, Hussein El-Memar Pasha Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Downtown, Cairo.

Senet at Cairo Jazz Club – Sat Jun 30 10:00 pm to Sun Jul 01 3:00 am
Founded just last year by singer and krar player Ibrahim Fanous, bassist Ahmed Omar and percussionist Ali Hassan, Senet’s traditional and folkloric music takes inspiration from Eritrean tribes. Reservations at Cairo Jazz Club are recommended.

Cairo Jazz Club, 197 26th Of July St., Mohandiseen

‘Lost Gods’ by Joshua Goode at Darb 17 18 – Sat Jun 30 7:00 pm to Thu Aug 30 11:00 pm
‘Lost Gods’ is about experiencing art from a new perspective. Creating the exhibition out of 200 small sculptures that will be buried in containers of sand, attendees will be asked to dig them out and place their finds on a shelf or table.

Darb 1718, El Fustat, Old Cairo

Harassment exhibition poster

Opening of harassment exhibition ‘Enough’ in Darb 1718 at 7pm
Harassmap, an online initiative mapping out sexual harassment in Egypt, join forces with Darb 1718 to host an exhibition featuring various artists, that encourages women to speak up against harassment on Egypt’s streets. Aya Mostafa will be playing music for the opening night. Read more on the initiative here.

QasrAl-Shamee Street, Al-Fakhareen, behind the Hanging Church and Amr Mosque

Quithara Ensemble at Arab Music Institute – Sat Jun 30 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Led by Alfred Gamil, Quithara -named after the Arabic word for harp- will perform in the Arab Music Institute in Downtown Cairo.

Arab Music Institute, 22 Ramses St., Downtown

High on Body Fat & Hany Mustafa at Bikya – Sat Jun 30 from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Bikya in Maadi rounds of a busy June with a gig of huge proportions. Musical comedy duo & Arabs Got Talent contestants High on Body Fat perform, with stand-up comedian Mohamed Shaheen opening. Acoustic-indie musician Hany Mustafa will then perform with songstress Farida El Geuretly. Tickets are 20LE at the door.

Bikya, 40 El Hadaek St. (Off Road 9), Maadi

Watan Workshop at El Sawy Culturewheel – Sat Jun 30 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
A choir group that addresses societal issues in an artistic manner, catch Watan Workshop in concert in the River Hall of El Sawy Culturewheel. Tickets are 10LE.

El Sawy Culturewheel, end 26th July St, Zamalek

Mado at El Sawy Culturewheel – Sat Jun 30 from 8.00pm to 10.00pm
Make your way over to El Sawy Culturewheel’s Wisdom Hall for an evening of acoustic music with Mado, who’s back in concert after two years of absence. Tickets are 15LE.

El Sawy Culturewheel, end 26th July St, Zamalek

Sunday 1 July

Mashrou' El Mareekh's Open Mic Night (Photo: Mashrou' El Mareekh on Facebook)

Mashrou’ El Mareekh’s Open Mic Night (Photo: Mashrou’ El Mareekh on Facebook)

Mashrou El-Mareekh’s Open Mic Night in Makan Centre at 7pm
El-Mareekh are back with their monthly open mic nights, giving everyone who signs up five minutes of fame to do whatever they want in front of an audience. Past performances have included music, stand up comedy, talks and group meditations. Read more on the El-Mareekh Project here.

1 Saad Zaghloul Street, Downtown, Cairo

Film Screening of “Bird” in Darb 1718 at 7.30pm
Originally set to be screened last week, the biographical film follows the life story of legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker – featuring tunes like “Lester Leaps In”, “Ornithology”, “Why Do I Love You”, “April in Paris” and “All of Me”. Directed by award-winning Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood, it stars Forest Whitaker and Diane Venora.

QasrAl-Shamee Street, Al-Fakhareen, behind the Hanging Church and Amr Mosque

“The Holy Family in Egypt” exhibition at the Picasso Gallery
This exhibition centres around portrayals of biblical scenes of Christianity’s holy family in Egypt. Including sculpture, watercolour, oil painting and metal work, the event features contemporary Egyptian artists Helmy El-Tony, Mohamed Thabet, Mohamed Haji, Mostafa El-Razzaz, Mostafa Rahmy, Nathan Doss, Omar El-Fayoumy, Ramadan Ibrahim, Reda Abdel-Rahman, Ragheb Ayad, Farid Fadel, Georges Bahgoury and Effat Hosny, among others.

30 Hassan Assem Street, off Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Follow Arts & Culture updates on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts and Culture

July’s El-Fan Midan to take a Nubian twist

El-Fan Midan (Art is a Square), the art in public space event, will host its monthly event on Saturday 7 July in Abdeen Square with a Nubian them.

El-Fan Midan's one year anniversary edition (Photo: Sherif Sonbol)

El-Fan Midan’s one year anniversary edition (Photo: Sherif Sonbol)

After hosting the monthly event for over a year now, El-Fan Midan’s July edition coincides with the International Day for Nubia, so the crew will celebrate Nubian culture on Saturday 7 July.
The event will feature different music groups, film screenings, dance performances and various art galleries throughout the day.

Some of the artists participating include: Yasser El-Manawehly, Karam Mourad, Mounib Band, El-Darb El-Ahmar school, Cinderella Bayt’s puppet show, and the Percussion circle. There will also be an exhibition of Shemoo’s workshop featuring a variety of talents.


El-Fan Midan is from 5pm till 11pm in Abdeen Square, near Downtown Cairo, on Saturday 7 July

The 15th Ismailia Documentary Festival opens Saturday

The Ismailia International Documentary Film Festival, opening on Saturday, will showcase films from 40 countries and commemorate lost Egyptian artists.

The festival runs till 28 June; it is headed by director Magdy Ahmed Ali, the head of the National Centre for Cinema, and organised by film critic Amir El-Omrany. 40 countries are participating with over 100 films: 56 in the official selection, divided into four competitions: short feature films (20 films), short documentary films (15 films), long documentary films (8 films), and animated features (13).

The 15th Ismailia Film Festival is dedicated to the late set designer and artist Salah Marei, who is one of the pillars of the festival and will be commemorated during the proceedings.

The opening ceremony will involve the screening of three documentary films directed by the late Shady Abdel-Salam, which are being screened for the first time after they were definitively edited by Magdy Abdel-Rahman, together entitled “The Road to God”. In addition there will be an exhibition exploring the life and work of the late artist Salah Marei.

Participating in the four competitions are nine Egyptian films.

Alexandria’s Cabina Cultural Centre hosts musical forum

The Cabina Cultural Centre is set to host the Oufoky (‘horizontal’) Music Forum this weekend, combining live underground music performances with films that touch upon musical subjects, along with a workshop.

El-Cabina's library space (Photo: Rowan El Shimi)

El-Cabina’s library space (Photo: Rowan El Shimi)

The forum is taking place in the Cabina, a cultural centre in downtown Alexandria that was transformed from a rundown building to one of Alexandria’s most active centres. It boasts a recording studio in which bands can practice, record and perform. It also promotes the literary arts, with a library that also hosts film nights.

The Gudran Association for Arts and Development, a group of artists who believe in the power of art to realise social change, are the masterminds behind the Cabina and the music forum. Gudran’s work has been enriching Alexandria’s independent cultural scene for years, helping integrate art into the lives of the people.

The films will begin at 5:30pm, the workshop at 6:30pm and concerts at 8pm.



5:30pm Film screening of ‘La Vie en Rose,’ which pays tribute to French music icon Edith Piaf.

8pm Wasla Band from Alexandria performs alternative pop music followed by Meshwar Band from Cairo performing Reggae.


5:30pm Film screening of ‘Bird,’ which pays tribute to jazz saxophonist Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker.

8pm The Simplexity Band followed by the Darwasha Band from Cairo. Both bands play progressive rock music.


5.30pm Film screening of ‘Immortal Beloved,’ which tells the story of the life of Beethoven.

8pm The ‘Storm Band’ plays contemporary Egyptian music from Alexandria, followed by Cairo’s ‘Like Jelly,’ which will put on a musical satirical comedy show.


5.30pm Film screening of ‘The Doors’ by Oliver Stone, following the story of the band.

8pm The ‘Puzzle Band’ from Cairo and the ‘Telepoetic Band’ from Alexandria take audiences through a series of electro-music performances.


6:30pm ‘Drum Clinic’ workshop with Amr Galal.

8pm The ‘Deep Fish Band’ presents electronic music from Alexandria.

The Cabina Centre, 11 San Saba Street, behind the Cinema Rialto, Mahatet Raml, Alexandria

Exhibition opening today 20 June

A new exhibition called Sit down, I’ll tell you a story is set to open at the Mashrabia Gallery on 20 June.
The exhibition is a collection of photographs of chairs with text telling their stories.

“A chair can tell you wishes, hopes and doubts. They are witnesses of human troubles or achievements. You can often find scars on them,” says the gallery.


The photography is by Mauro L’Abate and the text by Consuelo Costa.

The exhibition is on-going until 7 July at the Mashrabia Gallery at 8 Champollion Street in Downtown Cairo.

Opening hours: Daily 11am–8pm except Fridays.

Weekend events 15-17 June

Tout Art from Golan Heights perform in Cairo and Alexandra

Tout Art from Golan Heights perform in Cairo and Alexandra

Friday, 15 June

Live Electronic Music Festival at the Rawabet Theatre at 7pm

The Electronic Music Festival will bring together bands from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Rawabet will host: Yunfi-X (Tunisia), Ramsi Lehner (Egypt), Hidden Orchestra (UK), DNB (Lebanon) and Conforce (the Netherlands). Read more here.

2 Hussein El-Meamar Street, off Mahmoud Bassiouni Street, beside the Townhouse Gallery

Cairo Opera Orchestra to perform chamber music at the Cairo Opera Small Hall at 8pm

The Cairo Opera Orchestra will perform chamber music at the small hall of the Cairo Opera House.

Tout Ard Concert at Teatro Eskendria at 8pm

Tout Ard is a six-member reggae band established in 2009 from the Golan Heights. The band’s songs deal with different social and political issues. They also play covers by reggae musicians like Bob Marley. Read more here.

25 Fouad Street, Downtown, Alexandria

Masar Egbari at El-Geneina Theatre at 8.30pm

Hailing from Alexandria, Masar Egbari spent the last few years performing contemporary Egyptian music in different venues around the country.

Azhar Park, Salah Salem Road, Cairo

Saturday, 16 June

Screening ‘The Silent Speak’ at El-Sawy Culturewheel at 7pm

Al Jazeera’s documentary film shows how people in marginalised communities use the internet and social media to realise change.

Word Hall, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo

El-Ghouri Tanoura Group at Wekalet El-Ghouri at 7.30pm

Expect traditional dance, vibrant music and colourful performances by El-Ghouri Dance Group this Saturday. They play every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.

3 Mohamed Abdou Street, behind Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo

Cairo Symphony Orchestra at Cairo Opera House at 8pm

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Op. 35, always pull large crowds to the Cairo Opera House. The Cairo Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Ahmed El-Saedi.

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

‘When will tomorrow come?’ play at El Sawy Culturewheel at 8pm

The play, directed by Michael Mounir, will be performed at the culturewheel for one night.

Wisdom Hall, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo

‘Carry on’ exhibition at the Artellewa Gallery

This is the exhibition of the Arab Collaboration Project. It brings together six artists and writers from countries of the Arab uprisings to collaboratively develop a creative project over a ten-week residency. Participants include Ahmed Zidan, Aliaa El-Geredy, Ibrahim Jawabreh, Iman Hasbani, Jameel Subay and Rola Khayyat.

19 Mohamed Ali El-Eseary Street, Ard El-Lewa, Giza

Sunday, 17 June

‘Spain in the Era of Freedom’ screening at the Artistic Creativity Centre at 6pm

This 2004 production is directed by Luis Martin del Olmo. The film is part of a series of films on the history of Spain entitled ‘Cinema for Change,’ which will be held from Sunday through Friday, organised by the Cultural Development Fund and the Spanish Embassy in Cairo. It highlights films that explore the legacy of General Franco’s authoritarian rule of Spain. For full programme, click here.

Opera grounds, Zamalek, Cairo

‘The Holy Family in Egypt’ exhibition at the Picasso Gallery

The exhibition ‘The Holy Family in Egypt,’ to open on Sunday at the Picasso Gallery in Zamalek, will include a selection of work by contemporary artists including Helmy Eltony, Mohamed Thabet, Mohamed Haji, Mostafa El-Razzaz, Mostafa Rahmy, Nathan Doss, Omar El-Fayoumy, Ramadan Ibrahim, Reda Abdel Rahman, Ragheb Ayad, Farid Fadel, Georges Bahgoury and Effat Hosny, among others.

30 Hassan Assem Street, from Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo

‘Gallery Collection’ exhibition at Al-Masar Gallery

The exhibition showcases a fine selection of exhibitions the gallery has held over the past four years, including works by the stars of 20th-century Egyptian modern art, pioneers of the third, fourth and fifth generations, and the young artists of today. On display will be works by Adel El-Siwi, Ahmed Fouad Selim, Essam Marouf, Georges Bahgory, Hamdi Attia, Ibrahim El-Dessouki, Mahmoud Abdullah, Sami Aboul Azm, Sami Abdul Azm, Kareem El-Qurity, Leila Ezzet, Omar El-Nagdy, and others. Open from 11am to 9pm.

Al-Masar Gallery, Baehler’s Mansion, 157b 26 July Street, side entrance on Isaac Jacob Street (ground floor), Zamalek, Cairo

100Live festival this weekend in Cairo

The sixth annual 100Live Electronic Music Festival takes place Thursday and Friday, 14 and 15 June, in downtown Cairo. Ten acts will play in the black box of Rawabet Theater. Organized by music label 100Copies, the relatively small festival is a major event for the local electronic music scene, an incubator for the avant-garde, a listening post for a year in music.

That said, don’t ask label founder and festival organizer Mahmoud Refaat what to expect from the two days. “Adventurous and experimental” music is his forecast. About 1,500 people are expected to attend. Of the 10 acts, seven are from overseas: Wormholes and DNB from Lebanon, Molsen and YNFI-X from Tunisia, Hidden Orchestra from the UK, Conforce from the Netherlands, and DJ Animal Strabisme from France.

100 Live
The local acts are Wet Robots & Bosaina, Ramsi Lehner and Kareem Lotfy.

“It’s not for a lot of people anyway,” adds Refaat, who wants the festival to stay a platform for promoting alternative music. Some of the acts are only produced for the festival, he says, as there are few other avant-garde electronic music festivals in the Egyptian capital. Local clubs tend to prefer more accessible DJ music, he says.

“We have chosen musicians on the label, and musicians working around the label,” says Refaat of 100Copies. “They have an alternative way of working. We tried to invite musicians with two different musical influences: [electronic] and experimental combined with classical instruments.”

It is the third time the festival will be held at Rawabet. Its location downtown carries a whiff of politics. Tahrir Square, with all its associations, is just down the road, and the major political parties are based nearby.

Refaat says he likes the concept of a music festival at the center of social and political ferment — though the festival itself is not making any particular political statement.

“It’s a music festival. As we’re not politicians, we’re not contributing to politics. We’re cultural people and contributing to culture. Most people working in culture think this is not the right moment to be holding festivals. But 100Copies doesn’t think this way.”

Three to four years ago, he adds, he would have said that electronic music is a rebellion against mainstream music. “I can’t say that anymore, though,” he says. The local scene is small but diffuse. Electronic music samples every genre: drum and bass, dub, ska, rock, pop, reggae, jazz and even local shaabi music.

While 15 years ago every Cairo club featured a rock band, these days you are more likely to find mixing decks and scratched vinyl. “It’s not exactly the thing in Egypt anymore,” the former heavy-metal rocker attests. “The concept of music is drifting somewhat.”

The 100Live festival has grown every year since its 2007 debut. In that time, the label has also fostered a regional electronic music scene, linking up with the Moroccan Irtijal Festival (10 years old) and the Tunisian E-Fest (also six years old). Cairo musicians tend to collaborate with those in Beirut, says Refaat, while Tunisian and Moroccan musicians are more likely to look to Europe, especially France. But this began to change two years ago, when 100Copies began promoting music from beyond Egypt’s western border.

Perhaps next year, Refaat hopes, the festivals will combine their programs and share local and international acts. The dream is to create a fortnight-long North Africa-wide festival.

The 100Copies label has also begun to promote shaabi and mahraganat music, which is usually only played at local weddings and nightclubs.

“It’s not to make them popular, but to represent this music on stage at festivals,” Refaat says of the new development. The label does not want to frame it as exotic, North African music, he says, but simply as good music in its own right.

Aside from the festival, 100Copies also has a radio station, 100Radio, and in coming weeks will open the 100Space studio and performance space off Talaat Harb Street downtown. Refaat hopes the venue will “push and accelerate” the quality of local electronic music. The space will likely hold a small gig every Friday — something understated enough to lure artists from their bedroom studios.

“They have to be interested in us, though,” he says. “They have to come to the scene.”

Thanks to Egypt Independent

Sorry folks on El Hibeh story

From Dr Carol Redmount

Please note that I have just learned that the airing has been postponed due to other breaking news . . .

how sad – this seems like a pretty important story to me… this means that the story mentioned in the previous post will NOT go to air in the US this Thursday – will let you know if I find out when it will actually air…

El Hibeh remains of a child mummy

Child’s foot. Truly outrageous. Now reburied.

Another exposed and destroyed mummy found beside path back to guard building at El Hibeh. This was reburied.

Another exposed and destroyed mummy found beside path back to guard building. This was reburied.

El Hibeh – still an issue

From Dr. Carol Redmount

I have just learned that the NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams program “on the chaotic state of Egyptian Antiquities,” in which El Hibeh plays “a prominent part in the story” is scheduled to air this Thurs 10pm on the U.S. East Coast. Filming took place while we were in Egypt. However, I was also warned that if there were any breaking news stories the segment could be postponed. If a web-link is forthcoming I will post it here . . .

TO keep up-to-date with what is still happening in regards to El Hibeh, and at times more generally the state of looting Egyptian antiquities please join the FB page Save El Hibeh Egypt at

Looter pits are thick on the site at El Hibeh

Looter pits are thick on the site at El Hibeh

Reburying scattered mummy pieces at El Hibeh

Reburying scattered mummy pieces

Coptic era pottery broken at El Hibeh

Coptic era pottery broken at El Hibeh

El Hibeh mummy remains

Destroyed mummy on burial textiles a few meters south of destroyed excavation trench. Now reburied.

El Hibeh North Cemetery. Looted grave with adjacent burned material.

El Hibeh North Cemetery. Looted grave with adjacent burned material.

Looted mummy remains at El Hibeh

Looted mummy remains at El Hibeh