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Spring Festival's opening ceremony anticipates culturally rich festival

2012 Spring Festival unveils schedule of cultural events in Egypt, Lebanon and Libya that will host some of the best contemporary artists from across the region

Menna Taher, Friday 20 Apr 2012
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The fifth edition of the region-wide Spring Festival (19 April- 16 May) launches a rich schedule of cultural events on 18 April at Cairo-based Swiss Club in Mohandiseen.

The Spring Festival, which is organised by Al-Mawred Al-Thakafy (Culture Resource), runs every second year featuring contemporary music, dance, story telling and puppetry. It was started eight years ago as a dynamic initiative limited to Egyptian stages, preliminarily in Cairo and Alexandria but has nowreached new governorates including Minya and Assiut. In its fifth year, it now includes simultaneous in Beirut, Lebanon and Tripoli, Libya.

Chief organiser and director of Culture Resource, Basma El-Husseiny, gave a short speech at the opening ceremony, thanking organisers as well as the donors and all those who had helped make the festival possible.

El-Husseiny also announced that a book documenting the Egyptian revolution had just been released by the non-governmental Arab cultural organisation.

A representative from the European Commission expressed his appreciation for the project and talked about the importance of creativity in political upheavals.

He quoted the former French prime and foreign minister Robert Shuman, saying that world peace can only be achieved through creative efforts, adding that 9 May, which will fall within the duration of the Spring Festival, is the Day of Europe.

Amr El-Ezaby, chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority, said that culture is one of the most important attractions for vistiors to the country.

"The Egyptian population is flooded with creativity," he said while adding that culture is not only manifested in the pyramids, historical churches, mosques or the Pharaonic temples.

A short video containing clips of the artists featured in previous year's festivals was then shown.

The Spring Festival is organised in collaboration with The Cultural Cooperative Association for Youth in Theatre, Cinema SHAMS, and with the support of the Delegation of the European Union in Egypt, Doen Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Aga Khan Music Initiative, the Netherlands Embassy, Goethe Institute, and the British Council.

Ahram Online is among the media sponsors of the 2012 events.

Check this link for the complete programme of the festival.

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