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.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DARB 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Center

In a very short time DARB 1718 has established itself as one of the main cultural venues of Cairo, and this despite its not exactly central location. With the hosting of the Artbeat Festival shortly before the Summer break and of the Mawaweel Festival now during the Ramadan month, DARB has become a "must know" location for anybody interested in Cairo's cultural life.
The area occupied by the Center is quite extensive and looks pretty much like a small "village" or rather a medieval court. It is shaped like a horseshoe with low buildings hosting crafts ateliers and laboratories on the sides. Whichever end you come in, when you reach the end of the alley you find a square (where a stage is set up for concerts and theatre performances), and a garden, where movies are screened when advertised. The building in front of you host the Art Gallery proper. It is a lovely complex and well worth the trip.

How to get there by car? Well, some adventurous people with better knowledge of Cairo's streets than I  might find it more convenient to get there from the Salah Salem Road, but I prefer to stick to the well known Corniche al-Nil (Cairo side). From the Corniche you have to go up the 10th of Ramadan Bridge (I would probably call it flyover). If you have no clue which one it is, no worries, I did not as well ... but I found out.
If you are coming from Downtown, it is the bridge you find on your left when making a U-turn at the first big square after you've waved goodbye to the southern tip of the island of Manial. If this does not help, it might help to know that it is also the location of a seemingly permanent bottleneck traffic jam, and of a Co-op Petrol Station.
If you are coming from Maadi, it is much easier, as it is the first square when you get down from the Asaar Al-Naby Bridge (that is the second bridge you go over coming from Maadi). In the square you'll take the flyover on your left.
If you got here, you've done most of the job. The flyover is just about a km long (you see the outer wall of DARB 1718 on your left just at the end of it). Make a u-turn at the first chance and, when the road forks keep right (unless you do not want to get over the flyover again and repeat the exercise ... just to make sure you won't miss it next time). At the next (almost immediate) fork, continue straight (main road - and most other cars - will turn right). You will find yourself in a rather large side road with several mechanic workshops. After about 500 mt. you'll find DARB entrance on your left.
Parking is available on the street.

If you were daunted by the directions (you should't, it's not as difficult as it seems), do not have a car, or simply are a clever and conscious person, take the Metro, get down at Mar Girgis station, turn right once out of the Coptic Museum's side exit, and then left at the first opportunity, just after the police checkpoint. You will walk through a small, very characteristic residential area with cafes full of people watching TV, playing, or smoking sisha. Continue straight for few hundred meters on the main road and just when it bisects, you'll find on your rights the "gates" of the courtyard of Darb 1718.

DARB 1718
Kasr El Sham' Street
Al Fakhareen - Old Cairo
(Behind the Hanging Church)
Tel.: 02 23610511

Articles about DARB 1718:
Egypt Today
Cairo 360
Al Ahram Weekly


  1. Did Habib Koite play on the 29th? Cancel? Reschedule?

  2. No, the concert did not take place and at present it cannot be rescheduled.