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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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EL TANBURA at El Dammah Theater

El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music invites you to join El Tanbura Band before they embark for a tour of France that will touch the cities of Dijon, Montpellier, Strasbourg, and Paris among others.
El Tanbura will play tomorrow Thursday November 8, 2012 at El Dammah Theater (formerly El Tanbura Hall) at 9:00 PM

A quarter of a century ago, in the city of Port Said, a group of Damma and Simsimia artists undertook the responsibility to gather, keep, and revive this musical legacy which was under the threat of loss and vanishing. These artists responded to Zakaria Ibrahim's call for establishing a new band to achieve those goals. This was the beginning of El Tanbura band.

In the first five years the band successfully managed to gather 20 hours of that precious legacy which is orally transmitted through consecutive generations and had never been documented before. The band documented it in writing, recording, video, and photography. Very important are the live performances which have continued over 24 years and through which the band presents regular weekly shows on the beach of Port Said. These shows are presented free of charge to the people of the city whose ancestors had helped in creating this special heritage.

The band also presents two annual festivals held in the city streets: one is held in the spring and the other on Victory Day, December 23, which commemorates the peoples' victory over the tri-partite attack of France, Britain and Israel in 1956. The resistance songs which the people created during this attack and after have become an important part of the band's repertoire. The band has continued to compose new patriotic songs for other situations and events such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the American invasion of Iraq, the 50th anniversary of the nationalization of the Suez Canal, the war of 1956, the revolution of 25th January during which the band performed often in Tahrir Square, and, most recently, the first anniversary of this same revolution for which they composed the "Aadi El Dalma" song.

In 2003, under the direction and encouragement of El Mastaba, the members of El Tanbura established a school in Port Said for teaching a new generation this art of singing, percussion, instruments and dancing. Young Tanbura, as it is called, is run by Mohsen El Ashry, and this young band has developed to the point where they perform with a high level of professionalism in Port Said, Cairo, Alexandria and other places.

The ticket costs 30 EGP and is delivered at the entrance. But you can reserve it in advance and get it for 20 EGP only by writing at or calling 011 50995354 or 0223926768. Reservations will be cancelled at 9:00 PM.
Door opens at 8:30 PM.
For more information please visit

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