Newsletter of Egypt Tourism August 2012

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Newsletter of Egypt Tourism August 2012

  1. 1. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority EGYPT THIS MONTHAugust 2012 www.egypt.travel Issue 38 Ramadan in Egypt Live Colors Egypt An exciting time to be here August . 2012 1
  2. 2. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Ramadan marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar within the market area. Open 24 hours and frequented by and the exact beginning and end of the month varies tourists and locals, it is considered to be an inspiring place Museums in Matrouh and Siwa depending on astronomical calculations. There is a lot beyond for intellectuals and writers. The Noble Prize winner Naguib Oasis to be established the word fasting (abstaining from eating and drinking from Mahfouz used to sit at the café and write his novels. The sunrise to sunset); it is also a break that one gives the body, as nearby Naguib Mahfouz café and restaurant named after well as a means of feeling the state of hunger the poor and the famous Egyptian laureate is also found in the bazaar area. deprived people experience. Moreover, it’s a time for charity Do not miss reading samples from his writings on display while work, assisting needy people and learning how to be thankful you are drinking mint tea. for what God has provided us with and cement one’s relation with God. Other places to visit in the area are the famous Kebab and Kofta house, as well as El Fatatery or the Egyptian pancake, Ramadan is not just special for its religious aspect, but also which are served with cheese and other accompaniments, for its distinctive customs and traditions that are cherished in or as a dessert with powdered sugar, jam or cream. You can Egypt as Egyptians are particularly keen on preserving their also have a delicious filling meal of Koshary (lentils, elbow numerous inherited social habits and traditions. macaroni and sautéed onions and a special sauce). People from all over Egypt make it a point to pay visits to There are also a huge number of shops in the area that sell sacred and religious sites. One of the busiest places in Cairo all kinds of gifts and souvenirs, so visitors can buy anything from The Ministry of Antiquities is planning to establish during Ramadan is the El Hussein area. El Hussein Mosque silver to jewelry, to copper and other Egyptian handicrafts. two museums in the governorate of Marsa Matrouh dates back to 1153, covers an area of around 3,500 square to display antiquities depicting part of the history of the meters, and lies on the site of an ancient Fatimid Caliph’s Cultural activities in Ramadan: Furthermore, people area. One museum will contain two thousands pieces cemetery. Another important mosque that Egyptians visit like to attend different cultural and folkloric events that discovered in the past few years from the Pharaonic, is El Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque. It is dedicated to the 13th take place in historical houses, especially after Iftar. Beit El Greek, Roman and Grecian eras. The other will display century Alexandrine Sufi saint El Mursi Abul Abbas, whose Harrawi and Beit Zeinab Khatoun are two popular choices. Siwa Oasis’s heritage and digs discovered in the area. tomb is located in the mosque. The mosque is situated in the Beit El Harrawi is considered to be one of the outstanding On the other hand, discussions are ongoing on the Anfoushi neighborhood of Alexandria; another delightful area examples of Ottoman Islamic houses, and dates back to 1731. development of Rommel’s Cave, where Rommel to visit during Ramadan. Its construction is attributed to Ahmed Ben Youssef El-Serafi. used to plan the eastward offensive against the Allied However, it is named after its last owner, Abd El-Rahman El forces that ultimately ground to a halt at Al Alamein. The Lantern or Fanoos is one of the significant features of Harrawi, who was the Hakim (Doctor) of Qasr El-Aini Medical Cleopatra’s spring-fed pool in the Springs of Juba, Ramadan. The ‘fanoos’ is a must-have for every child and School. The house is located behind El Azhar Mosque next where it is assumed that Cleopatra actually bathed many homes are decorated with them. These are traditionally to Beit Zeinab Khatoun. The latter most probably dates there is also in the plan to develop the area for visitors made lanterns of tin and colored glass, with a candle inside. back to the end of the 14th century and early 15th century and tourists. More modern examples are battery-operated, though they alleys in his neighborhood with a drum, calling for the last – approximately the era of Sultan Qaitbay, as noted in the lack the true spirit of the fanoos. meal before sunrise. In the old days when the population was not so large, he would call people by their names. He is The invention of the lantern goes back to the Fatimid era, not paid a fixed salary, and relies on individual support and when the Fatimid caliph used to check for the new moon contributions. The Mesaharaty still exists until today, especially indicating the commencement of Ramadan. The children in lower income areas, where houses are closer to each other, would accompany him on this mission each carrying a and people can still hear him. ‘fanoos’ with a candle to illuminate the way for their caliph. Family gatherings during Ramadan offer the perfect The making of the ‘fanoos’ is quite an important industry chance to strengthen ties through exchanging visits or inviting that is brought to light only in Ramadan. ‘Fanoos’ makers can one another over the main meal, Iftar, or the pre-fasting meal, be found in particular areas such as Khan El Khalili bazaar; Sohour. Guests usually come laden with their favorite dish or considered one of the most remarkable markets in Egypt, this desserts, either homemade or store-bought. bazaar was inspired by the Mamluk Prince Jaharkas El Khalili, back in 1382 AD. The Khan El Khalili area is also where the El Certain types of desserts and drinks are only consumed Live Colors EgyptLive Colors Egypt Hussein Mosque can be found. during Ramadan. The most popular are ‘Konafa’, a shredded wheat-based pastry baked with sugar, honey syrup, nuts Another special feature of Ramadan is the canon, which is and raisins. ‘Qatayef’, an oval shaped pastry stuffed with the signal of breaking the fast. The story goes that in the mid- different types of nuts and raisins or ricotta cheese, is also nineteenth century a worker was cleaning a canon at the site a popular choice. ‘Om Ali’, a bread and milk pudding dish of the citadel and fired it by accident, coinciding with sunset and lokomades (honey balls). On the table there is usually a and the moment of Iftar. This consequently turned into a ritual Hibiscus (Karkade) drink, served cold, ‘Kamar El Din’ a dried during sunset. Though today, this habit has been substituted apricot juice, and a liquorice drink ‘Erk Sous’, which are all the by television and radio announcements, the canon is still fired most popular during the month. from the Citadel every day during Ramadan. The Charm of El Azhar and El Hussein areas: There is a special charm in the atmosphere during Ramadan, especially in local The Mesaharaty or the caller for Sohour time, the second cafes in Khan El Khalili, like the popular and traditional Fishawy. meal right before sunrise, strolls down different streets and The 200-year-old café is one of the most popular oriental cafes 2 August . 2012 August . 2012 3
  3. 3. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter CRoss EGYPT CHALLEnGE in oCTobER A scooter rally conducted throughout the most chal- lenging roads and tracks of Egypt will take place in October. It is a breathtaking challenge that is equally fascinating for spectators and riders alike. Each season The Cross Egypt Challenge introduces a new route throughout the most famous spots of Egypt. The series started in 2011 and the first challenge was a us Recitals up for Religio 9-day ride from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea The Nile Gro in the North of Egypt to the Temple of Abu Simbel, on the southern borders of Egypt, with a total distance of over 1,700 km. This year’s challenge will witness a 2,400 km route starting from Egypt’s capital and passing through The nile Group for Folkloric instruments is a band formed the most exotic oases in the Egyptian western desert by Zakaria Al Heggawi. They first started performing in 1955. before ending the season in front of the world’s largest Al Heggawi toured the Egyptian countryside looking for fresh open-air museum, luxor. and new talent to join his band and despite the many faces The route is as following: Cairo/Alexandria/Marsa and names who have led and performed with the band, they Matrouh, Siwa Oasis, Bahareya Oasis, Farafra Oasis, have managed to save their place as one of the country’s Dakhla Oasis, Kharga Oasis and finally luxor. most popular bands in the Sufi chanting and religious songs genre. They will be performing on Friday August 3rd at 9 pm While El sheikh Zein and his band, one of Egypt’s leading PERMAnEnT EXHibiTion FoR PoPE religious groups, with music made up of Sufi chants and songs, will be performing on August 10th. One of El Sheikh Zein’s sHEnoudA’s PossEssions most popular performances to date was with singer Janine Zaki where their musical performance fused Sufi chants with Opened last month, an exhibition of His Holiness architectural style of the house. The home is named after Ramadan tends to make Egyptian nightlife more Christian hymns. Pope Shenouda’s personal possessions is taking place Zeinab Khatoun, the last to reside in the house. entertaining, certainly more festive, and nowhere else is this at the Cathedral in Abbassia. more evident than in Egypt. Another religious singing group that is deemed successful is The exhibits include personal tools used while in isola- Other places of interest are ‘Beit El Shaer’ (The Poet’s The nile Group for Religious Recitals. The group’s performance tion during the monastic period, his priesthood attires House), located in the heart of Moez Eddin Allah Street. It is Here are a few suggestions that you should not miss out on. includes Sufi chants and dances with the Tannoura. They will and some of his personal writings to public figures. surrounded by a wealth of cultural and historical landmarks, be performing on August 17th at 9 pm. including the Sultan Qalawun mosque. Beit El Oud is also El Geneina Theater’s Performances another location, established by the famous Oud player sama’a for Religious and spiritual Music Festival of its first performance, the festival has been recurring every Naseer Shamma. Here people can enjoy wonderful concerts, The theater first opened its doors to the public in 2005. It is This festival is the brainchild of artist Intessar Abdel Fattah, year for the last four years. This year, the festival will be taking especially when Shamma himself is featured, alongside other an amphitheater situated in one of Cairo’s biggest parks, Al which first saw light in 2007 at Wekalet El Ghoury, when he place at Salah El Din Citadel. It will include several engaging oud players. Azhar Park. The theater can accommodate up to 500 people combined forces with the Culture Development Fund to performances by 24 different groups from 19 countries and is located next to the Ayyoubi Wall on the west side of organize and inaugurate the festival. Following the success including Zambia, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, France, Spain, Wekalet El Ghouri, right behind the Azhar Mosque in the spacious park. USA, Malaysia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Tunisia, Gamaliya, hosts orchestras, singers and dancers from all over Morocco, Armenia and Egypt. the Islamic world, offering some of the best performances With such an amazing backdrop, the theater has hosted during the month. last but not least, the Citadel is all lit up many cultural and artistic events and this Ramadan is no In this year’s festival, several religious and literary figures will Live Colors EgyptLive Colors Egypt during Ramadan, and in various parts of the grounds around different. The theater is hosting this month several musicians Sama’a Festiv al also be honored including Sheikh Al Azhar Dr. Ahmad El Tayeb, the Citadel, there are many cultural activities, ranging from from the MENA region: the late Pope Shenouda III, the late author Khairy Shalaby folkloric dances, to dervishes and famous Egyptian and and the late religious singer Sheikh Taha Al Fashny. Another Arabic singers performing. The Garage Theater at the Jesuit Cultural Center is one of performance to look out for is the “Mawlawya” group for Sufi the most active culture centers in Egypt’s second capital, chants and religious songs. Most hotels and coffee shops have special activities, the coastal city of Alexandria. The theater started operating usually in a tent erected on the grounds, where music, in 1999 and has been hosting cultural events and providing The festival will be running from July 29 to August 8. folkloric dances, live singers and traditional Ramadan foods performance space for many of Alexandria and other cities’ are offered. Finally, riding in a felucca boat and enjoying the underground artists. enchanting lights of Cairo by night is a popular Ramadan pastime. Taking a Nile cruise on one of the many boats that Their Ramadan schedule includes several ‘must-go to’ offer Iftar or Sohour is also enjoyable. events including religious recitals by some of the country’s favorite groups. 4 August . 2012 August . 2012 5
  4. 4. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter CalendAr August 2012 Nile Group for Folkloric Instruments Art El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm China, France, Ecuador and the UAE performances 1 August - end September 2 August Salah El Din Citadel, Jospeh’s Well Theater “Summer Exhibition 2012“ Sama’a Festival at 9.30 pm Works by: Hisham El Zeiny, Dina Fadel, US, India, Yemen troupes Reem Hassan, Hany Rashed, Amr Fekry, Salah El Din Citadel, Joseph’s Well Theater 3 August Amr Khedr. at 9.30 pm Nile Group for Folkloric The works will be on display on two Instruments floors and can be seen by appointment. 2 August One of the country’s most popular bands Sama’a Festival in the Sufi chanting and religious songs 4 D, El Gezira Street, 11211 Zamalek, Cairo Iraq and Azerbaijan performances genre. It was formed by Zakaria Al Tel.: +202 273 99 503/ 0122 6539 396 El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm Heggawi. They first started performing in 1955. Al Heggawi toured the Egyptian 1 August - 16 September 2 - 9 August countryside looking for fresh and new “The Collective Exhibition 2012” Mawaweel Festival talent to join his band and despite the Sixty artists exhibiting their most recent Held during the month of Ramadan, it many faces and names who have led paintings using different media, styles will present a mix of concerts, plays and and performed with the band, they have and techniques. Guest of honor is late handcraft exhibitions. managed to save their place as one of artist Nerman Sadek, who is famous for Darb 1718, Al Fostat, Old Cairo the country’s most popular bands in the her beautiful flowers and landscapes. Sufi chanting and religious songs genre. 2 August The Garage Theater, Jesuits Cultural Centre, 6 August Duroub Art Gallery, 4 Latin America Street, Basheer Troupe and Mawlawiya Alexandria at 9.30 pm Sama’a Festival Garden City. for Religious Singing Group - Tunisia, Bosnia and the UAE perfor- Opening the Mawaweel festival with The 4 August mances Film Screening Mawlawiya presenting old Sufi music, as Sama’a Festival Salah El Din Citadel, Jospeh’s Well Theater well as lyrics from poems that have long Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey perfor- at 9.30 pm 6 August been neglected. mances Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol Darb 1718, Al Fostat, Old Cairo Salah El Din Citadel, Jospeh’s Well Theater 6 August Jesuit Cultural Center, Alexandria at 9 pm at 9.30 pm Sama’a Festival 2 August El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm 13 August Rim Banna (Palestine) 4 August Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Composer and singer, who has Sama’a Festival 7 August Jesuit Cultural Center, Alexandria at 9 pm performed in several music festivals all China, the UAE and Morocco perfor- Sama’a Festival over the world. She studied music at mances Yemen, Spain and Ukraine performances the High Institute for Music in Moscow El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm Salah El Din Citadel, Jospeh’s Well Theater recording. Ever since, she collaborated Christian hymns Special Ramadan Events under one of the great Russian compos- at 9.30 pm with numerous Arab and international The Garage Theater, Jesuits Cultural Centre, ers Vladimeer Karobka 5 August composers and producers, her most Alexandria at 9.30 pm 1 August - 13 August Geneina Theater, Azhar Park at 9.30 pm Sama’a Festival 7 August recent was in 2011, when she started Sama’a for Religious and Sama’a Festival 16 August Live Colors Egypt Egypt, Zambia, Yemen, France and working with Marc Collins, the leader ofLive Colors Egypt Spiritual Music Festival 3 August Germany performances Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Bosnia perfor- “Nouvelle Vague” (New Wave), a French Upper Egyptian Folk This year’s edition will be joined by Dina El Wadidi (Egypt) Salah El Din Citadel, Joseph’s Well Theater mances musical collective known for rearranging Perforamnce many countries, including Zambia, Singer and Arghoul player. She first at 9.30 pm El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm post-punk and new wave hits in bossa El Sawi Cultural Center, Zamalek, at 10 pm Bosnia, India, Pakistan, France, Spain, embarked on her musical journey at the nova (Brazilian fusion samba and jazz) US, Malaysia, Armenia and others. Also age of 19, when she joined “El Warsha 5 August 9 & 10 August Geneina Theater, Azhar Park at 9.30 pm 17 August several religious and literary figures will Theater Troupe.” She joined the band Sama’a Festival Yasmine Hamdan (Lebanon) The Nile Group for Religious be honored. Artistic exhibitions and “Habayebna” (Our Loved Ones), famous Iraq, India and Azerbaijan performances Lebanese songwriter, composer and 10 August Recitals traditional crafts will be exhibited at both for playing folkloric music and songs El Ghouri Dome, Azhar at 9.30 pm singer. She first appeared on the El Sheikh Zein and his band Another religious singing group that is Salah El Din Citadel and Ghouri Dome. especially El Sheikh Imam’s songs. Lebanese music scene in 1998, when Sufi chants and songs. One of Egypt’s deemed successful. Their performances Geneina Theater, Azhar Park at 9.30 pm 5 August she teamed up with Zeid Hamdan to leading religious groups and their most include Sufi chants and dances with the 1 August Tannoura Show form the indie electro duo “Soapkills.” popular performance to date was with Tannoura Sama’a Festival 3 August El Sawi Cultural Center, Zamalek at 10 pm Between 1998 and 2005, the duo singer Janine Zaki where their musical The Garage Theater, Jesuits Cultural Centre, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq troupes Sama’a Festival released four albums, including a live performance fused Sufi chants with Alexandria at 9.30 pm 6 August . 2012 August . 2012 7

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