Alexandria's cultural highlights of the week: 26-30 August

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Aug 2015

Extensive festival programme ensures an entertainment-packed week awaits the Alexandrian audience

Dina El-Wedidi
Egyptian singer Dina El-Wedidi (Photo: courtesy of artist)

An array of concerts and events are scheduled in Alexandria this week as part of the 13th Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival. This year's festival opened on 20 July and runs until 4 September.

The largest of its kind in the Mediterranean city, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival began in 2002.

This year the five-week festival includes a line-up of 38 events featuring local and international music, films, dance, theatre and folk performances.

Omar Khairat

Renowned Egyptian composer and pianist Omar Khairat and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra will perform in a concert on 26 August.

Omar Khairat is a reputed composer and pianist, whose original compositions -- which bridge contemporary Arab music and western tunes -- have earned him a large following in Egypt and the region.

Khairat has composed scores for over 50 Egyptian films, including The Sixth Day (1984), The Terrorist (1993), Mafia (2002), Girl's Love (2003), The Embassy in the Building (2005) and Deer's Blood, (2006). He also composes music for television series and special occasions, such as the opening ceremonies of important Egyptian and regional festivals.

Khairat also arranged compositions by celebrated Egyptian musician Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, releasing them as 'Wahabiat 1' and '2', while his arrangements of well-known Um Kulthoum songs brought him further acclaim.

He is particularly known to audiences in the Arab world for his frequent performances with his Omar Khairat Group, which continues to fill concert halls.


Mohamed Basheer and his band will play a concert on 27 August. Through an interesting amalgam of traditional melodies made contemporary, the band seeks to renew Upper Egyptian folkloric music. 

Mohamed Basheer grew up in Aswan surrounded by Jaaffary culture. He is profoundly influenced by the manifestations of this culture, as stated on the band’s official Facebook page.

Basheer has been collecting Aswan’s musical heritage and reintroducing it in a modern manner. He has integrated into it western instruments like the violin, flute, drums, keyboard, bass guitar and saxophone.

Family day

This year’s edition of the festival includes an entertainment-packed 'family day' on 28 August. The day will feature an array of interesting activities, all free of charge.

Medhat Saleh

Egyptian singer Medhat Saleh will give a concert on 29 August.

Saleh is a renowned singer and actor who started his 30-year career singing on Egyptian state radio before releasing a number of albums in the 80s and 90s. Saleh also starred in several TV dramas, films and plays. His work as an actor include TV series Loaloa Wa Asdaf, Hikayat El-Banat, and El-Cinderella.

Dina El-Wedidi

Egyptian singer Dina El-Wedidi and her band will play a concert on 30 August.

El-Wedidi has been successful and popular both in Egypt and abroad in recent years, playing shows in America, Europe and a number of countries in Africa including Kenya and Uganda. A yearlong mentorship from 2012 to 2013 with Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil and her own debut album Turning Back established her as a professional musician in her own right.

El-Wedidi’s music is rooted in Egypt, as well as Africa – evidenced in her collaboration with the Nile Project which includes musicians from Nile basin countries –though she has a following in Europe and America too.


Concert: Omar Khairat
Wednesday 26 August at 8:30pm, Open Air Theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

Concert: Basheer band
Thursday 27 August at 8:30pm, Open Air Theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

Family day:
Friday 28 August, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria
-Workshops and activities for children at 2:30pm at the Plaza.
-Short animation films for children at 6pm at the Lecture Hall.
-A play by the Child and Youth Creative Centre at 7pm at the Open Air Theatre.

Concert: Medhat Saleh
Saturday 29 August at 8:30pm, Open Air Theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

Concert: Dina El-Wedidi
Sunday 30 August at 8:30pm, Open Air Theatre, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria

Check the full programme here.

For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture

Short link: