In these pages you will hopefully find interesting tips on how to take advantage of Cairo's many cultural opportunities, with particular attention to live events. Cairo Live Events Guide does not pretend to be exhaustive but will try to cover main events open to the public.

This is a private, independent, nonprofit endeavour. This blog was started in August 2008 by Cairowanderer who has been running it solo up to May 2011. Since then Cairene Beat contributes as well to the blog. If you have any comment, tip, or information you think might be relevant for the blog, please write to or

Read about Cairo Live Events Guide on The Daily News Egypt

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sama'Khana aka Sufi Theatre

The Sama'Khana (Hall of Listening), also known as Sufi Theatre, is a construction from 1810 that housed the "Cairo confraternity" of the Mevlevi Sufi Order founded by the Persian poet, theologian and Sufi mystic Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273). Better known in the West as "Whirling Dervishes", the members of this Sufi order use dancing and chanting as a meditative ritual, ritual that is carried out in a dedicated circular space of which this is the only example left in Cairo.
The buiding, in use till 1942, has been wonderfully restored under the direction of Italian architects and is a real jewel. You can visit it during the day, when the light show the decorations at their best, but it is more and more utilized for public evening performances. As the circular stage occupies much of the area of the theatre and the gallery is not usually open during performances, this means that there is limited space available so plan to arrive early if you want to be sure to get in. Another word of warning: the theatre does not have air conditioning system, meaning that in the late spring/summer seasons it can get quite hot inside.

The Sama'Khana is located in Sharia Suyufiya, in the Al Khalifa District, north/west of the Sultan Hassan Mosque and in the same street where the Amir Taz palace is located, just few meters down the road on the same side (right side if you come, as you probably will, from Sharia Saliba).
No chance to go there by Metro, and parking is a gamble. A taxi is probably the best option. If at the end of the performance you do not find taxis outside (often times you do, as they know there is something on and bet on somebody without driver like us needing their services), you can walk up to Salah al-Din Square where you can easily catch a taxi even late at night.

Sama’ Khana: 31 El Siyufiah St., Helmia Gedida 
Tel 02 2510 7806

If you wish to know more about the architectural importance of the building, click here.
Articles on the press:
Al-Masry Al-Youm

No comments:

Post a Comment