Hayy Festival cancels Friday concert due to security concerns

Ahram Online, Thursday 25 Jul 2013

Performance by Palestinian singer Sanaa Moussa scheduled for Friday at El-Genaina has been postponed due to planned mass protests, say Hayy festival organisers

Left to right: Nawel Ben Kraiem, Khansa Batma, Sanaa Moussa. (Photo: Al Mawred Al Thakafy)
Left to right: Nawel Ben Kraiem, Khansa Batma, Sanaa Moussa. (Photo: Al Mawred Al Thakafy)

The organisers of the annual Hayy Festival, Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy (Cultural Resource), have postponed performance by Palestinian musician Sanaa Moussa due to expected mass protests across Egypt.

The concert was scheduled for Friday, 26 July.

The festival brings local and regional musicians and performers to the open-air El-Genaina Theatre at Al-Azhar Park during the fasting month of Ramadan.

On Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, head of Egypt armed forces, called for protests on Friday to give the military a mandate to confront "violence and terrorism."

"The security risks have forced us to push the concert to the following week," director of El-Genaina Theatre Charles Akl told Ahram Online, referring to the planned nationwide protests for Friday.

The Hayy Festival, running from 18 July to 2 August, which this year features five prominent female musicians from Mauritania, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco and Iraq , has already suffered from the ongoing instability in Egypt's capital following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Speaking to Ahram Online before the festival kicked off, Akl said that organising the line-up of artists this year was challenging. He explained that a few artists withdrew their participation and had to be replaced last-minute.

On Thursday 25 July, Franco-Tunisian musician Nawel Ben Kraiem will perform at El-Genaina as planned. The singer mixes multiple languages (Arabic, French and English) and is influenced by pop, electronic and tribal music. Ben Kraiem also acted in Indignados, a movie by famed French filmmaker Tony Gatlif. She is currently working on her first album.

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