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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Italian writer DACIA MARAINI in Cairo

The famous writer DACIA MARAINI, author of novels, short stories, theatrical plays, poems, autobiographical tales, and essays will present the Arabic version of the book "La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa" edited by Sharkiat and published in Italy in 1990.
With this book Maraini has been awarded the "Supercampiello" and "Book of the year 1990" prizes. Roberto Faenza has been inspired by this book to direct the movie "Marianna Ucrìa". The Arabic translation of the book will be presented by prof. Khairy Douma, professor of Contemporary Arabic Literature at Cairo University.
The event will take place on Monday June 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the Theatre of the Italian Cultural Institute in Zamalek.

In the framework of the project "Kalam le-l shabab/Words of Youth: Youth, Creativity and Poetry in Today’s Egypt", co-funded by the European Union, Dacia Maraini will participate in the workshop "I tell you a poem". During the event Maraini will read her poems to groups of students, young poets from Cairo and the general public.
This event will take place on Tuesday May 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM in the Theatre of the Italian Cultural Institute in Zamalek.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"A NIGHT AT KARLSTEIN" movie screening

Within the framework of the cultural events organized by the Visegrád Group, The Embassy of the Czech Republic is presenting the Czech musical film "A NIGHT AT KARLSTEIN" (1973) on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM in the Office of the Hungarian Cultural Counselor - Balassi institute, 13, Gawad Hosni St (off Kasr El Nil St.), 2nd floor, Downtown, Cairo.

"A NIGHT AT KARLSTEIN" is a 1973 Czech musical film directed by Zdeněk Podskalský, based on an 1884 play by Jaroslav Vrchlický. Although established almost a century ago, even today this lovely play about Emperor Charles IV and Elisabeth of Pomerania, which was the first woman who violated her husband's ban and entered in a male disguise to Karlstejn, enjoys great popularity with audiences of all generations. Director Podskalský tried to keep the old form of musical substance, while still retaining its historic atmosphere of comedy dialogues and charming archaisms. Cast: Karel Höger, Jana Brejchová, Vlastimil Brodský, Jaroslav Marvan, Miloš Kopecký, Waldemar Matuška, Slávka Budínová, Daniela Kolářová, Jaromír Hanzlík etc.

Synopsis: Charles IV, Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor, has built Karlstejn castle to house the crown jewels. More importantly, it is a place of relaxation and meditation, so no women are permitted, and no politics are to be discussed. His young wife misses him, and hearing of the prohibition, resolves to sneak in for a night. At the same time, a country girl needs to prove she has spent one night at Karlstejn to get her potential fiance's father to agree to let her marry him. Both women dress up as pages. Things get complicated when foreign dignitaries come to discuss politics, the queen is the page guarding Charles' bedroom, and the country girl is keeping watch on the walls of the castle.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The exhibition "DIKOTOMOUS" by American-born but Egyptian-raised artists DOMINIQUE MAHONEY and KENZIE KINGMAN opens on Wednesday May 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Al-Kahila Gallery. The exhibition will run until June 10.

The two female artists Dominique Mahoney and Kenzie Kingman depict the existence of two worlds through Art. The inspiration behind the themes comes from classic stories, fairytales, and icons, and resides under the umbrella of modern pop culture and current affairs.
It is a depiction of two worlds that coexist. The way they cajole, bolster, and illuminate each other’s strengths, diminishes the significance of the weaknesses.
The artists chose to use only 4 colours: red, white, gold, and black, the representation of the Egyptian flag.
With hybrid backgrounds the artists experienced a cosmopolitan upbringing that allowed them to combine and adapt to different principles, views, and philosophies. Opposing styles on each canvas results in the creation of a series of hybrid compositions. Dichotomy is the splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts.

For more information visit

Friday, May 24, 2013


El Genaina Theater presents a concert by PERCUSSION SHOW on Thursday May 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM. Percussion Show consists of five Egyptian percussionists who are united by their infinite beat passion. They bring you a world of rhythm and energy using percussion and beats and their own bodies.

The DARB AL AHMAR ARTS SCHOOL TROUPE will also present a percussion performance by students between the ages of 6 and 18. Students enrolled at Darb Al Ahmar Arts School are taught circus arts and brass instruments in addition to percussion. They have previously performed at the Genaina Theater as well as at the opening of CirCairo Festival in 2012, among many other events.
Tickets: 20EGP. Tickets are available online at:

Al Azhar Park - Salah Salem Rd. – Darassa
For more info please visit: or call 02 23637081
Please Note that smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited inside the theater.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Multiple Kafka", an exhibition by Czech artist JIRI SLIVA

"Multiple Kafka", an exhibition of litographs and etchings by the famous Czech illustrator JIRI SLIVA is currently on display at the Arthropologie Gallery, 13A El-Maraashly Street, Zamalek.
The exhibition runs until June 6, 2013 and it is opened daily from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and from 5:00 to 10:00 PM. Closed on Sundays.

To know more about the artist and the exhibition click here to be redirected to the excellent article prepared by Sara Elkamel for Al-Ahram.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The KAFAFA TROUPE at El Dammah Theatre

El Mastaba Center for Folk Music presents for the first time the KAFAFA TROUPE from Upper Egypt, led by singer Abdel Wahed al-Banna, on Thursday May 23, 2013 at El Dammah Theatre starting at 9:00 PM.

"Kafafa" (from "kaf" or "palm") takes its name from the clapping rhythms of the singers and dancers. The "Kaf" performed in southern Upper Egypt in the villages around Aswan, Luxor and Qena mostly relies on a strong use of heritage and the singer's ability to improvise. The kafafa, who dance in front of the singer moving in one rhythm while usually clapping their hands, are those who offer the singer the topic of his performance. Traditionally performed at weddings, the kafafa come from the audience. Their task is to sing one sentence directed at the singer, who is referred to as "the artist." The sentence is a lead which inspires the singer's lyrics to flow. Throughout the performance the kafafa can offer the singer more than one topic. The lead inspiring the artist usually comes as a riddle, explains an expert on the art of Kaf, Ahmed Abu-Khnegar: "The sentence sang by the kafafa refer to a topic or a known folk story which the group has agreed the singer should tackle in his lyrics. If they feel he got the topic wrong and that's not what they wanted him to sing about they can go on repeating the sentence until he gets it right" said Khnegar.

The Kaf borrows from and merges other folk art forms of the area, including Moulid, Namim, Waw, and El-Sira. It refers to stories from the area's heritage and tackles all aspects of life and culture including morals, love, hate, and (more recently) politics and other concepts. In the past, before Kaf became a professional form of art, a woman used to dance during the performance.
Traditionally, melodic instruments were not used, only percussion instruments. The addition of the Oud (lute) is a recent innovation as is the absence of the female dancer. The common melodic modes (maqam) used in the singing are Rast and Ajam.

Tickets at the counter 30 EGP, by reservation 20 EGP. For reservations write to or call 01150995354 or 0223926768. Reservations will be cancelled at 9:00 PM.
Door opens at 8:30 PM
For more information please visit

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Treat yourself with an evening of exquisite jazz on Friday May 24, 2013 at El Sawi Cultural Centre in Zamalek with the Amro Salah Trio featuring Australian singer Michelle Rounds. Concert starts at 7:00 PM.

In the end of 2010 Pianist/Composer AMRO SALAH decided that it’s about time to perform his Jazzy ideas and compositions in public! Putting together his first Jazz Trio with 2 of the finest Jazz musicians in Cairo, Ehab Tass (Bass), also a life mate playing together since teenage years, and the“ technically shocking drummer ” Ahmed Hesham who’s at the same time the drummer of EFTEKASAT .
The Trio gave its debut performance at the Wisdom Hall in SAKIA inviting Jazz Vocalist Noha Fekry who appears frequently with the trio as a guest. The rare combination of such musicians has led hopefully to pleasant results of Jazz that mixes new age, acid and classical with Oriental, Latin and Bebop turning each live show to an exotic voyage.
Amro Salah Trio has performed at Cairo Jazz Festival in 2011 and 2012 with the Dutch legendary drummer Han Bennink , also performed at Cairo Opera House with Italian Singer, songwriter, actress and percussionist Elisa Nocita.
Musicians: Amro Salah: Piano, Ehab Tass: Bass, Ahmed Hesham: Drums, Michelle Rounds: Guest Vocal

MICHELLE ROUNDS is renowned throughout Australasia and the Pacific as one of their finest jazz vocalists ever, and has released numerous albums both in collaboration and on her own. Michelle has presented many jazz concerts throughout the world and is admired for her courageous and versatile scatting, more in the form of instrumental voice solos – she has a very wide vocal range and continually delights her audiences with the creativity expressed in this range – Michelle is a very fine and creative jazz singer of all styles - ballads, latin jazz, swing, be-bop, Mississippi Delta Blues, blues and waltzes.
Coming from a family of musicians, Rounds grew up surrounded by the sounds of music, growing up listening to Julie London, Marion Montgomery and Nat King Cole. It is her exuberant presence, confident, funny, and comfortable that is reflected in her performance. Her body language, swinging smoothly with each melody, sweeps her audience from one field to the next.

Monday, May 20, 2013

CAPPELLA NOVA CHOIR (USA) at El Sawi Cultural Center in Zamalek

The CAPPELLA NOVA CHOIR, the premier chamber choir of Lewis & Clark College from Portland (USA), will present "DANCE RHYTHMS", a concert of old and new American and Middle Eastern choral music in the River Hall of El Sawi Cultural Centre in Zamalek on Friday May 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

The program will consist of North African sacred and secular music (including the ecstatic Sufi music and dance tradition), American Shaker songs, 20th-century American choral music by Barber, Copland, and Ives, new music for choir by American composers Whitacre, Carey, and Lauridsen, Renaissance music based on dance melodies, and African-American spirituals and gospel music.

The choir is directed by Lewis & Clark music professor Katherine FitzGibbon, who is also Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble and Head of Faculty at the Berkshire Choral Festival, and accompanied by staff pianist Stephanie Thompson. Assistant conductor Charlie Ahlquist, voice instructor Susan McBerry, and McBerry’s husband Albert Alter will also serve as leaders on the tour. For more information, please visit:

For a sample of the Cappella Nova Choir skills, check and

Sunday, May 19, 2013

AUTOSTRAD (Jordan) and SALALEM (Egypt) at the Cairo Jazz Club

Cairo Jazz Club presents on Tuesday May 21, 2013 starting at 10:00 PM the second installment of their contemporary Middle Eastern music series, "El Fusion". This week, Cairo's darlings SALALEM, and one of Jordan's most renowned bands, AUTOSTRAD, will be on stage.

To know more about Salalem, visit  and listen to their music on Soundcloud at . For Autostrad check  and listen to their music at .

Next El Fusion Tuesdays:
Tuesday 28th May, 2013: Darwasha (Egypt) followed by Akher Zapheer (Jordan)
Tuesday 4th June, 2013: Sarah El Gohary (Egypt) followed by Ribab Fusion (Morocco)

For reservations please contact 010 6880 4767. Reservation lines open daily from 5pm - 9pm
Cairo Jazz Club LLC |197, 26th July St., Agouza (Sphinx Sq)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Have just received communication that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the festival "Africa by Egyptian Eyes" has been postponed to Thursday May 30, 2013. The organizers apologize for any inconvenience.

For updates, please see the festivals Facebook page:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"AFRICA BY EGYPTIAN EYES" Festival at the Pyramids of Giza

Youth Who Love Egypt organization invites you to the "Africa by Egyptian Eyes Festival", which will be held on Saturday May 18, 2013 at the pyramids of Giza. The event will present folk performances from Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Congo, and Ethiopia. The festival lasts from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Entrance is free.

The organizers are happy to accept the participation of more bands and cultural groups that highlight the unique folklore of African nations.

For further information, see the festival's Facebook page (

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"CÒSMIC IN EGYPT" by Xavier Puigmartì at the Mashrabia Gallery

Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art will host the screening of the film "Còsmic in Egypt" (2013) by Xavier Puigmartì on Sunday May 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

The film is made up of a selection of short movies or visual poems, that - together - create a story. It is a craft work between cinema and painting. Xavier Puigmartì has written the stories, created the illustrations, filmed and edited the footage. The movie contains various landscapes and characters that are real while some, on the other hand, are paintings or drawings cut from paper. All scenes in the movie were filmed in Egypt. The duration of the film is 35 minutes.
Free entrance.

Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art - 8, Champollion St., Downtown Cairo
Phone 02 25784494, mobile 0100 1704554.
Opening hours: Daily except Friday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Help sustain the tradition! Listen to the last virtuosi of the tanbura at El DammahTheater on Thursday May 16.

In Sudanese Zar tradition, the "Sanga" is the spiritual mediator between the visible and the invisible. The "Sanga" plays the tanbura, a large-sized lyre shaped like a simsimia. This instrument was brought to Egypt by successive waves of Sudanese immigrants who came to Egypt after Mohamed Ali conquered Sudan under the leadership of Ibrahim, Mohamed Ali's son. Until the middle of last century there were many tanbura players. However, new generations lacked interest in learning and playing this instrument and the tanbura all but disappeared until Zakaria Ibrahim rediscovered the last remaining players and, with the founding of the Rango band, revived its practice.
Hassan Bergamoon and El Arby Jakamo are two of the last four tanbura players in Egypt and they will be hosting a performance of Sudanese Zar music at El Rango's performance at al Dammah Theatre on Thursday May 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM.

Tickets at the counter 30 EGP, by reservation 20 EGP. For reservations write to or call 01150995354 or 0223926768. Reservations will be cancelled at 9:00 PM.
Door opens at 8:30 PM
For more information please visit

To know more about RANGO check El Mastaba Center - Rango group & 30IPS - Rango group

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MARIOLA CIENIAWA at the Manasterly Palace

Polish virtuoso pianist MARIOLA CIENIAWA will give a recital in the lovely surroundings of Manasterly Palace, on the Nile island of Manial, on Sunday May 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM.
The highly interesting program will include works by Szymanovski, Paderevsky, Mompou, Granados and Albeniz.
Click here for a biography of the artist and the full program of the concert.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"IN SEARCH OF OIL AND SAND" Documentary Screening at the British Council

The documentary film 'In Search of Oil and Sand' will be screened at the British Council Agouza on Tuesday May 14, 2013 at 19:00 PM.

'Oil and Sand' was an extravagant film about a coup d'etat made by members of the Egyptian royal family and a few friends and relatives in 1952, shot just weeks before the royals were overthrown in a real coup. This documentary follows Mahmoud Sabit, the man who found the original 8mm reels, as he reconstructs the film's story, its array of real life players, and the political circumstances surrounding the shoot.
This uncanny marriage of fiction and reality reveals that the original film not only managed to unwittingly predict the fate of the King, but also foresaw the next 60 years of relations between Egypt and the West.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Mahmoud Sabit.

Friday, May 10, 2013

"EL FUSION" NIGHTS at the Cairo Jazz Club

Cairo Jazz Club came out with a very interesting idea. Over the course of the next four Tuesdays, starting from 14th May, 2013 and ending on 4th June 2013, CJC will present each Tuesday, starting at 10:00 PM, a double bill including one of the best bands on the Cairo scene and a musical sensation from the Middle East.

"EL FUSION" Nights Program is as follows:
Tuesday 14th May, 2013: Zeid and The Wings (Lebanon) followed by Abo Wel Shabab (Egypt)
Tuesday 21st May, 2013: Salalem (Egypt) followed by Autostrad (Jordan)
Tuesday 28th May, 2013: Darwasha (Egypt) followed by Akher Zapheer (Jordan)
Tuesday 4th June, 2013: Sara El Gohary (Egypt) followed by Ribab Fusion (Morocco)

For reservations please contact 010 6880 4767
Reservation lines open daily from 5pm - 9pm

Cairo Jazz Club LLC |197, 26th July St., Agouza (Sphinx Sq)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cairo's Digital Art Festival and Imane Homsy on the press

Came across an interesting piece by Sarah el-Sirgany about the recently concluded Cairo's Digital Art Festival. Click here to be redirected to the Al-Monitor page featuring the article.

And the life and career of Lebanon's great qanun player Imane Homsy, who sadly passed away prematurely few days ago, is duly remembered in this obituary by Elie Hajj (always from Al-Monitor).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

HALA ELKOUSSY at Mashrabia Galllery

The opening of the exhibition "Journey Around My Living Room" by Hala Elkoussy will take place on Thursday 9 May 2013, at 7:00 PM at Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Arts in Downtown Cairo.

This project by Hala Elkoussy borrows its title from the book "Journey Around My Bedroom" by Xavier De Maistre in which the author undertakes a journey of two weeks in his own bedroom and proceeds to describe it as if he has never seen it before.
In spring and summer of 2012, Elkoussy went back to her beginnings as a street photographer. She photographed every day in her neighbourhood of Downtown Cairo; her interest being in the mundane, the banal, the here and now with its wealth of small traces and the gaps that don't offer unilateral meaning. The resulting installation on offer in this exhibition offers visual indices for the larger context, a detailed portrait of a city in waiting.

The exhibition runs until June 4 2013, daily except Fridays, from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Mashrabia Gallery: 8, Champollion St., Downtown, Cairo
Phone: +202 25784494

Monday, May 6, 2013


Herebelow you will find the weekly program of the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts that will be held from Thursday May 9 to Thursday May 16, 2013 at St. John’s Church on the corner of Port Said Rd & Rd 17 in Maadi.

*Opening Night of the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts 9 May (Thursday) at 7:00 PM -- Opening presentations by Muslim and Christian dignitaries, and the Ambassador of Switzerland. All 90 fiberglass donkeys together with the 45 participating premier visual artists that painted them will be present.

*Film Night 11 May (Saturday) at 7:00 PM -- Egyptian actor AMR WAKED has starred in movies such as "Contagion", "Syriana" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen". He will be giving a talk and there will be a screening of his latest film "Winter of Discontent".

*Literature Night 13 May (Monday) at 7:00 PM — Dr ALAA EL ASWANY, best selling novelist (The Yacoubian Building) and writer, will give a talk and sign his newly released book, "The Automobile Club".

*Musical Concert 16 May (Thursday) at 7:00 PM — Concert featuring the renowned oud (lute) composer and player GEORGES KAZAZIAN who has published a dozen albums of his music which ‘capture a translucent way of playing the oud’.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Oud master Charbel Rouhana and the Beirut Oriental Ensemble will perform in Cairo on Thursday May 9, 2013 at El Genaina Theater in Al Azhar Park.
Lebanese composer, singer and musician Charbel Rouhana is one of the few masters of the Arab oud and its techniques. Those techniques have been published in seven volumes and were adopted by the National Conservatory of Music in Lebanon and the Faculty of Music in the Holy Spirit University, where Rouhana has been teaching since 1986. Charbel Rouhana and the Beirut Oriental Ensemble have performed more than 100 concerts in Asia, Europe and Africa.
The concert will also feature percussionist Ayman Mabrouk, Oud enthusiast Ahmad Maher, and Accordion player Wael El Sayyed. these 3 contemporary musicians put their talent together to explore a new genre of music that is true to jazz’s real soul, beats and live improvisation.

Concert starts at 8:00 PM, entrance ticket costs 20EGP. Tickets are available online at .

More information on facebook & twitter.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Decorated Donkeys grazing around Cairo!

The British Council, along with the Embassy of Switzerland, supports the fifth CARAVAN FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS taking place at St. John’s Church in Maadi from May 9 to May 16, 2013.
As part of the visual arts programme of the festival, 80 fiberglass donkeys will be decorated by Egyptian and foreign artists and exhibited in public places around Cairo.
The British Council in Agouza will be hosting two donkeys - one by British artist Julie Oxenforth [] and one by Egyptian artist Dr Salah El Meligy [], Head of the Fine Arts Sector of the Ministry of Culture.
After being displayed in Cairo, 25 of the donkeys will travel to Geneva for an exhibition at the United Nations headquarters and then on to London for a final exhibition.

For the full programme of the festival click here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"COVERING ONE'S BACK" Photography Exhibition

In today’s world, what images can we bear to look at? This was the question posed by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis when curating the photography exhibition “Covering One’s Back”.

The exhibition brings together a wide range of works that engage with photography and the photographic process by artists from the Arab World and Switzerland. The artists participating are Atfal Ahdath, Yasser Alwan, Goerge Awde, Goran Galić & Gian-Reto Gredig, Raphael Hefti, Hassan Khan,Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, and Heini Stucki.

Opening May 7th and running until May 23rd, 2013 the exhibition also includes lectures and Portfolio Review Sessions which are an opportunity for photographers to discuss their works with professionals. All events take place at the Gezira Art Center in Zamalek.

The deadline to submit applications for the Portfolio Review Sessions is 9 May, 2013.
Open call for application
Application form

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PINOCCHIO at the Cairo Opera House

On Sunday May 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM the Cairo Opera House will host the well-known actor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, already known to the Cairene public for his recent interpretation of Alessandro Manzoni’s “Promessi sposi”, who will bring on stage one the most famous characters in the history of world literature: PINOCCHIO.
Performing in the role of the puppet by Carlo Collodi, Finazzer Flory will be accompanied by original music and by two dancers from Milan’s Scala Theatre.
The piece has been already presented to great public and critical acclaim in United States’ theatres, where the Italian Cultural Year is being celebrated. The piece, conceived for the young and the adult, will be easily accessible also to non Italian speakers thanks to the Arabic subtitles made by the students and teachers of Misr University for Science and Technology. The cost of the tickets, available at the Opera’s ticket office, vary from 5 to 20 Egyptian Pounds.