In Photos: Stars light up first week of Citadel Festival for Music and Singing

Eslam Omar , Sunday 22 Aug 2021

The festival returned on 15 August and will continue until 30 August with two concerts staging everyday

Citadel Festival
Sheikh Yassin El-Tohamy during his performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Wednesday 18 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

At the historic Citadel of Salah Al-Din, star Egyptian and Arab singers and musicians have been gathering thousands of spectators everyday since 15 August to celebrate the summer with the return of the popular Citadel Festival for Music and Songs.

The 29th edition of the popular festival — which has made its return after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic — has been drawing thousands of spectators eager to join the revelries daily. The festival will remain in full swing till 30 August.

The festival opened with a concert by the Cairo Opera Chamber Orchestra — conducted by George Kolta — with Fouad and Mounib joining them later on, along with singer Medhat Mamdouh. The opening was attended by tens of cultural personas and VIPs, at the top of which was Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem.

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Foud and Mounib during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Sunday 15 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
the Cairo Opera Festival Orchestra during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Sunday 15 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

On Monday, the Talents Development Centre's Children Choir awed the audience with their spectacular performance that was followed with a concert by pioneer indie band Wust El-Balad — helmed by star vocalist Hany Adel — who performed a number of their evergreen songs, like ‘Qol Lel-Maleha’, ‘Hila Hob’, ‘Al-Leil’, ‘Tesmahily’, ‘Arrabily’, and ‘Antika’.

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Wust El-Balad band during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Monday 16 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Talents Development Centre's Children Choir during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Monday 16 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

On Tuesday, acclaimed pianist Ali Sharaf’s newly formed band, Cairo Café, performed memorised compositions of Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, Baligh Hamdy, and the Rahbani brothers with a jazzy flavour. Later, Ahmed Gamal and his band also took to the stage, performing some of the pop singer’s latest originals as well as covers for songs, like ‘Ally Gara’ and ‘Nassam Alina Al-Hawa’.

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Cairo Café band singer Ahmad Gamal during his performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Tuesday 17 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Cairo Café Band during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Tuesday 17 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

On Wednesday, Yasser Soliman performed a selection of famous covers like ‘Baheia’, ‘Salaf Wi Dein’, ‘Gana Al-Hawa’ and a medly of Mohamed Roshdy’s greatest picks, riling up the audience before veteran Sufi chanter Sheikh Yassin El-Tohamy took to the stage with his ensemble to perform a selection of traditional Islamic poems with their signature flavour.

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Yasser Soliman during his performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Wednesday 18 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Sheikh Yassin El-Tohamy performing on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Wednesday 18 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Thursday opened with a prestigious performance of the Cairo Opera Orchestra and Cairo String Orchestra before popular singer Ali El-Haggar and the orchestra entertained fans with nostalgic TV themes, like ‘Al-Mal Wi Al-Banon’, ‘Masa’let Mabda’, ‘Bawabet Al-Halawany’, and others, in addition to many of his well-memorised originals like ‘Ya Masry Leh’, ‘Ala Ad Ma Habina’, ‘Arfa’, ‘Harama Ya Saidy’, and ‘Men Gheir Ma Tetkallemy’.

Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Cairo Opera Orchestra during their performance on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Thursday 19 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Ali El-Haggar
Ali El-Haggar
Ali El-Haggar preforming on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Thursday 19 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

On Friday, experienced singer Nadia Mostafa entertained the audience with her most famous songs, like ‘Gay Fi Eih’, ‘Masafat’, ‘Al-Solh Khier’, and ‘Salamat’, along with classics ‘Akdeb Aliek’, ‘Al-Bostagia’ and ‘Ahwak’.

Mohamed El-Helw the took to the stage the orchestra of conductor Mohamed Abdel-Sattar and performed a selection of his memorised originals like ‘Ahim Shawqan’, ‘Ya Habibi’, ‘Arraf’, as well as TV themes like ‘Zizinia’ and ‘Lailaly El-Helmya’. Both singers were among the biggest stars of the 80s, and despite their lack of performances in recent years, the duo proved their skills are still golden.

Nadia Mostafa
Nadia Mostafa
Nadia Mostafa preforming on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Friday 20 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Mohamed El-Helw
Mohamed El-Helw
Mohamed El-Helw preforming on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Friday 20 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

On Saturday, Wael El-Fashni performed a selection of his late TV themes, such as ‘Wahet El-Ghoroub’, ‘Taye’, and ‘Mamlakat Al-Ghagar’, as well as singles ‘Am Gharib’, ‘Ana Gaylek’, and ‘Kont Fein Ya Wa’ad’.

Syrian artist Lena Chamamyan came next with a performance that included some of her well-known songs, like ‘Tareq Al-Shams’, ‘Sham’, ‘Bali Ma’ak’, ‘Hal-Asmar Al-Loun’, and ‘Haneish Wnshouf’.

Wael El-Fashni
Wael El-Fashni
Wael El-Fashni preforming on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Saturday 21 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

Lena Chamamyan
Lena Chamamyan
Lena Chamamyan preforming on the stage as part of the Citadel Festival on Saturday 21 August, 2021. Al-Ahram

The festival will continue running till 30 August, hosting two concerts every day — one at 8pm and one at 10pm.

An appealing line-up of artists will perform in the upcoming days, including Hala Roshdi and Tarek Arabi Tourgane on Sunday 22 August, Hazem Shaheen and Carmen Soliman on Monday, Nada Sharara and Hany Shaker on Tuesday, Nouran Abu Taleb and Hisham Abbas on Wednesday, band Speed of Hearts and Mohamed Mohsen on Thursday, Mohsen Hassan and Jannat on Friday, Tabla player Said El-Artist and Nesma Mahgoub on Saturday, Boghdady Jazz Big Band and Dina El-Wedidi on Sunda, and Marimba player Nesma Abdel-Aziz and Medhat Saleh will be closing the festival on Monday 30 August.

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