Art Alert: Egypt Independent newspaper hosts cultural fundraising event

Ahram Online, Monday 4 Mar 2013

The Egyptian weekly newspaper, threatened with closure, will host a fundraising concert in Cairo on 16 March featuring popular local musicians like Ramy Essam

Egypt Independent's campaign promoting 'Ya Mosahel' event (Photo: Egypt Independent)

Al-Masry Al-Youm's English language weekly newspaper is to host a fundraising concert featuring local musicians to promote the paper, which is facing closure.

The concert, which will be held at Darb 1718 on 16 March, features a diverse line-up of independent musicians, including Like Jelly, Maii Waleed, Ze Khodz, Ramy Essam and Hany Bedair.

The newspaper's choice of musicians seems to reflect its independent nature. Like Jelly and Ze Khodz use humour in their performances, and Like Jelly also experiments with story-telling. 

Maii Waleed uses her electric guitar and her soft voice to present her own lyrics and compositions inspired by her experiences. Ramy Essam, joined by Hani Bedair, one of Egypt's most talented percussionists currently on the scene, brings a flavour of current revolutionary times.

Dubbed “Ya Mosahel,” an Egyptian colloquialism for “here’s hoping,” the concert announcement is accompanied by a set of intriguing posters that depict Egypt Independent journalists in unorthodox jobs - using the newspaper to swat a fly, to shine shoes, to wash a car window. 

The quirky campaign follows an announcement by Al-Masry Al-Youm management that Egypt Independent “can no longer continue to exist due to financial losses sustained by the organisation last year.”

After the decision by Al-Masry Al-Youm to “immediately” shut down the weekly publication, the Egypt Independent team, determined to keep the venture alive, requested a second chance.

In a statement on Facebook, Egypt Independent's editorial team said that the parent organisation had "granted us time to work on making [the publication] a sustainable venture."

The newspaper's staff have also launched a campaign to encourage subscriptions. 

Egypt Independent was established as a website in 2009 by the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm news organisation, which has published a popular Arabic-language daily since 2004. In 2011, Egypt Independent began publishing a weekly print edition.

Saturday 16 March, at 8pm
Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Centre
Kasr El-Shamee Street, El-Fakhareen, Old Cairo
(Behind the Hanging Church and Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque)

Ahram Online declares its full support for Egypt Independent's editorial team and for the continuation of their excellent work .


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