'A Day For Home' festival supports national unity in Egypt

Mai Heikal, Monday 4 Apr 2011

On 1 April hundreds of Egyptians gathered to support national unity in the 'A Day For Home' festival organised in Khaleel Hamada street in Alexandria, between Two Saints church and Shark Al Madina mosque


The idea of the festival was proposed by journalist Ayman Abdel Salam and was adopted by Alex Face Youth, one of the most active youth organisations on Facebook in Alexandria, with the participation of a number of sponsors and Egypt's Youth Awareness group.

Khalil Hamada street, where the attack against Egyptian Christians on New Year's Eve took place, resulting in the death and injury of around 100 Egyptians (mostly Christians), was chosen as a location where a unity and political awareness campaign should begin.

The festival aims to establish the concept of citizenship, which already has it basis in the moderate and tolerant Egyptian culture. A stage was set at the entrance of the street and a number of  residents and committees shared in the organisation of the event.

The festival began after Friday's prayers in Shark Al Madina mosque. It was inaugurated by Remon Ezzat and Peter Adel performing the Egyptian national anthem and ‘Ya Belady’, one of the popular songs from the revolution. A number of national and political awareness talks followed.

A group of Egyptian Muslim and Christian youths adopted the idea of forming people's committees in different areas, which are responsible for solving problems that may affect national unity.

The band ‘Storm’ then took to the stage singing a number of well- known songs, followed by a poetry recital by Boushra Agban, dedicating one poem to Mariam Fekry, one of the martyrs of the New Year's Eve attack and Ahmed Bassiony, one of martyrs of the Egyptian revolution.

The guitarist Omar Abou Shady presented the two famous songs ‘Aicha’ and ‘Hotel California’. The next number was a standup comedy performance inspired by revolution stories.

Lastly, the stars of the event took the stage. First Massar Egbari asked the audience for a minute of silence in memory of the martyrs and then the group performed a number of their greatest hits.  

The organisers of the event asked the people that had gathered in the hundreds, including those on balconies and on roof tops of the surrounding buildings, to maintain and defend national unity in Egypt.

They also promised to organise similar events in other areas of Alexandria in the near future.

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