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Mawaweel - The Final Take

We headed back to Mawaweel at Darb 1718 and got a dose of culture so big, it should tide us over until next Ramadan.

On Thursday 1st of August, it was Mawaweel Festival's closing night at Darb1718. We were lucky (and more than happy) to visit this cultural hub once again and attend the final night of the seriesthat offers both young and old an array of cultural events and entertainment. Before the main events of the night kicked off we took the time to check out all the featured staple events, such as the Khadra exhibition, artsy bazaars, and captivating local art workshops – which reassured us that original and powerful Egyptian art is still alive and well.

Not long after that, the events began with two short film screenings: Noor by Ahmed Ibrahim – portraying the determination of a 13-year-old boy as he faces unsurmountable obstacles; and Al Maktoub by Ahmed Amer – depicting a wife’s actions driven by desperation and confusion. Both films possessed intriguing storylines, careful direction and strong messages.

The musical performances of the night everyone had been waiting for started with an entirely new line-up of Egyptian bands. Folkloric band Basheer was the first to get the crowd up on its feet using a traditional yet modern fusion of Oriental and western instruments. Their music moved the eastern within us and added an extra touch of Ramadan. After a few Upper Egypt-influenced songs, and an incredibly amusing fire dance segment later, we felt the need for a turn of genres.

That was the queue for Indie Pop band Salalem to take to the stage. The much-loved group of musicians succeeded to make the crowd (literally) jump to their up-lifting performances highlighted by their witty, satirical lyrics, dynamic vocal pitches and great music. After playing a few of their original songs, ending their number with a brand new track La3alo Kheer, they left the crowd loudly cheering for more.

Closing the night were Tahteeb and Tannoura acts that wowed the festival’s attendees, which were closely followed by alternative Egyptian band Massar Egbari. Pleasing the audience with their mix of Rock, Jazz, Blues and Oriental sounds, the band created a worthy finale to the Mawaweel Festival, proving that you CAN rock out during Ramadan.

We at CairoScene can definitely say we enjoyed the night. It was diverse and filled with culture and creativity from many different artists. We’re also hoping Mawaweel makes a comeback next year so it can be the highlight of our Ramadan, just as it was this year.


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