Not to be missed: Eazees Festival, Medhat Saleh, Cairokee in Cairo, EU Film Screenings in Alexandria

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 May 2024

Ahram Online highlights a selection of do-not-miss events this week 15-22 May 2024 in Cairo and Alexandria.

Not to miss

EU Film Screenings in Alexandria

EU Film Screenings in Alexandria, a festival dedicated to screenings of European films in the Mediterranean city, was launched on 29 April and will continue until 20 May.

The films are screened across several cultural institutions operating in Alexandria, including the French Institute, Goethe-Institut, Instituto Cervantes (Spain), Honorary Consulate of Italy, Jesuit Cultural Centre, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Hellenic Foundation for Culture (Greece), and Anna Lindh Foundation.

The films, mostly produced in the 2020s feature cinema from Spain, Italy, Romania, France, Germany, Czechia, Greece, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium, Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia.

Check the full programme here

Sabbart in Cairo
Sabbart launched on 7 May and will run until June 12th at various venues in Cairo.

Organized by the European Union National Institutes for Culture EUNIC in Egypt, the programme includes film screenings, concerts, art exhibitions, and a talk.

Sabbart is a portmanteau of sabbar (Arabic for cactus) and art, and it explores how arts and culture can shape a more sustainable future. 

Check EUNIC’s Facebook page for more details while chosen events are included in the listing below.

Mazaher ensemble (Zar) - music
Wednesday 15 May, 8 pm
Egyptian Centre For Culture & Arts - Makan, 1 Saad Zaghloul street, Cairo

Mazaher is an ensemble in which women play the leading role (men have the secondary roles).

The musicians of Mazaher, Um Sameh, Um Hassan and Nour El-Sabah are among the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt. 

The music is inspired by the three different musical styles of the Zar tradition practised in Egypt.

Zar is a community healing ritual of singing, polyrhythmic drumming, and dancing.

Eazees International Women’s Theatre Festival (EIWTF) - theatre
The festival runs from 16 May until 22 May
Venues across Cairo

EIWTF is a seven-day festival that focuses on women's creativity in theatre and is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.

The festival’s president is actress Abeer Lotfy. Director Abir Ali and theatre critic Rasha Abdel-Moneim are the festival’s managers.

The second edition's honourary president is actress Elham Shaheen.

This year, EIWTF bears the name of Aida Abdel-Aziz, a renowned actress who passed away in 2022.

The activities of the festival will include theatre plays, workshops, seminars and discussions.

Check more here 

More Than Honey - film
Thursday 16 May, 7pm
Austrian Cultural Forum Cairo, 1103 Corniche El-Nile, Qasr El-Dobarah, Cairo

More than Honey is a 2012 documentary film directed by Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof about the threat of extinction of bees.

Over the past fifteen years, numerous colonies of bees have been decimated throughout the world. Although the causes for this are still a mystery, one thing is already clear: there is more at stake than simply a few dead insects, and a great deal more than just honey. Seeking answers, the film embarks on a journey to meet with people whose lives depend on bees.

Screening of More Than Honey takes place in the framework of the Sabbart programme.

Ahmed Ali El-Haggar - music
Thursday 16 May, 8pm
Room Art Space & Café, 10 Etehad Al Mohamin st., Garden City, Cairo

Egyptian singer, songwriter, and producer Ahmed Ali El-Haggar will be accompanied by Ahmed Kamary on qanun, Sika on bass, and Azeema on drums and percussion.

Son of renowned singer Ali El-Haggar, Ahmed focuses on fusing traditional music with Jazz and neo-soul flavours.

Over the past years, El-Haggar has established himself as one of the most popular young independent musicians, and he has also joined other musicians in their concerts, with names including Carole King, Jason Mraz, and Melissa Etheridge, among others.

Ahmed’s debut album was released in May 2020.

Harp in Tour - music
Thursday 16 May, 8:30pm
Cairo Opera House, Small Hall, Zamalek, Cairo

In an evening dubbed Harp in Tour, the Egyptian harpist Mona Wassef will be joined by other harpists Elinour Elshal, Fayrouz Amr, Norseen El-Masry, Elinor El-Shal and Natalia Nassef, alongside Doha El-Guerzawi (percussion), and Karim Wassef (bass guitar).

The evening will include original works by Wassef, as well as a variety of classical and Arabic compositions, including works by Andalusian composers, Sayed Darwish, Abdel Halim Hafez and Rahbani brothers

Cairokee and Marwan Pablo - music
Friday 17 May, 7pm
American University in Cairo, New Cairo

The highly popular band Cairokee will join Marwan Pablo in a unique performance.

Founded in 2003, Cairokee's breakthrough came during the Egyptian revolution in 2011 when they released a hit single Sowt El-Horreya (The Voice of Freedom), followed by Ya El-Midan (Oh, the Square) featuring singer Aida El-Ayoubi.

The band has released several studio albums and toured across the Arab countries and internationally.

Egyptian rapper Marwan Pablo’s career kicked off in the mid-2010s when he was known as Dama. 

Later, he adopted the Marwan Pablo name in 2017 upon release of his first single Al Gholaf X Ozoris (The Cover X Ozoris), the success of which prompted him to write and produce the following tracks, popularizing the trap music in his hometown Alexandria.

Pablo collaborated with numerous rappers, creating a network of musicians, who strongly influence their fans in Egypt and the Arab region.

Medhat Saleh, Reham Abdel Hakim, Mai Farouk - music
Friday 17 May, 7pm
Zed Park, Sheikh Zayed

This unique evening will feature three well-known singers, Medhat Saleh, Reham Abdel Hakim, Mai Farouk.

Medhat Saleh is one of Egypt's most popular singers, with a wide collection of famous songs, such as Kawkab Tany (Another Planet), Wala Teswa Domoe (Not Worth the Tears), and El-Donia Alemetny (Life Taught Me), as well as dozens of film scores including Mafia, El-Beliatsho (The Clown) and Amir El-Zalam (Prince of Darkness), to name but a few.

Ali El-Haggar - music
Friday 17 May, 8:30pm
MUST Opera House, 6th of October

El-Haggar has been one of the best-known singers in Egypt and the Arab world over the past four decades.

He has performed lyrics drawn from the poetry of Salah Jahin, Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudy and Sayed Hegab and collaborated with some of the country's most renowned composers such as Baligh Hamdy, Sayed Mekkawy, Omar Khairat, among others.

In his concert at the MUST Opera House, El-Haggar will be accompanied by a grand orchestra.

Abu Shaar Brothers - music
Friday 17 May, 8pm and 10:30pm
El-Sawy Culturewheel, Wisdom Hall, 26th of July street, Zamalek, Cairo

Formed in 1983, the Abu Shaar Brothers from Syria began as a quartet presenting music and chants that praise Prophet Mohamed. 

At the time of formation, the youngest member of the band was just 11 years old. As the band’s popularity began to grow the new generations subsequently entered the ensemble.

Soon Abu Shaar Brothers (El Ekhwa Abu Shaar), became an internationally renowned Syrian Islamic Nasheed group whose music and lyrics focus on a religious repertoire.

The highly popular band in Egypt and the Arab region, Abu Shaar Brothers have more than 600 thousand followers on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. 

The Abu Shaar brothers currently reside in Egypt, where they hold many concerts.

Korean Cultural Week 
Running from 18 May until 24 May
Cairo Opera House, Open Air Theatre, Zamalek, Cairo 

The event marks the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) in Cairo.

Organized by the KCC, the festival will showcase a variety of Korean music and arts, as well as workshoips.

The Week will open with a celebration at the Cairo Opera House, followed by a performance of Ulsuu with Earth play and a show that fuses breakdancing and modern dance.

The event will also include The Talchum, a Korean traditional mask dance which in 2022 was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Gaby Bishara - music
Saturday 18 May, 7pm and 10pm
El-Sawy Culturewheel, 26th of July Str, Zamalek, Cairo

Performing covers of a blend of classic jazz and melodies from the golden era, the band is led by Gaby Bishara as vocalist.

The band’s line-up also features Mimi Ayad (drums), Basem Mamdouh (keyboards), Martin Yaacoub (saxophone) and Toni Habeeb (bass guitar).

The Empower Her Art Forum (EHAF)
The Forum will be held between 18 and 22 May at The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NEMC).

The EHAF is an international art forum, the first of its kind to be hosted at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

The forum will see a specialized hall that will see the participation of more than 130 artists from 40 countries this year. The detailed programme of the concerts, visual art exhibitions, seminars and discussions is yet to be revealed. 

Check the EHAF's events on the Facebook page 

Folklorita - music
Sunday 19 May, 8pm
Al-Ghoury Dome, Al-Darb Al-Ahmar, Fatimid Cairo

Folklorita presents covers of songs from Egyptian heritage. 

The group consisting of 17 performers relies mainly on voices, percussive instruments, tabla, doholla, daff in addition to other musicians. 

Folklorita’s first concert was in March 2024 and ever since the group has performed across many venues in Egypt. 

They have also performed during the opening and the closing ceremony of the Alexandria Short Film Festival.

Too Far Away (Zu Weit Weg) - film
Monday 20 May, 7pm
Goethe-Institut, 17 Hussein Wassef Str, El-Missaha Square, Dokki, Cairo

Directed by Sarah Winkenstette, the documentary follows Ben (11) and Tariq (12), two boys who found to have a lot in common. Both are new to school and football and have lost their homeland. Ben's village will soon become an open brown coal mine. He and his family move to a nearby city but Ben fails to fit in at his new school. His one pleasure, football, pales with the arrival of Tariq, a Syrian refugee and better player.

Screening of Zu Weit Weg takes place in the framework of the Sabbart programme. 

The film is screened in German with Arabic subtitles

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