Darawish Abul Gheit (Photo from promotional material on event’s official page)
CAIRO – 13 July 2017: El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music will host the Darawish Abul Gheit band Thursday at El Dammah theater in downtown Cairo, which is also hosting a special Sufi night.
The Darawish Abul Gheit band, led by Ahmed El Hankahawy, presents a mixture of Sufi and Zar music (Not to be confused with the ones who believe in ghosts) with a unique rhythm of folk music. Their name comes from Sheikh Hassan El Ghitani, known for his Sufi Zikr nights, which has attracted lots of Dervishes and other followers in the 19th century. Over time, this kind of music fused with Egyptian and Sudanese Zar music.
Darawish Abul Gheit performs two weekly sessions - Fridays in Abul Gheit village and Mondays in Matareya, Cairo.
Egypt is famous for its traditional and classical music traditions, such as folklore music. Egyptian folk music is the closest contemporary music to ancient Egyptian music in its feature, rhythm and instrument preserved until now by rural Egyptians (Fellahin), Saiyidi, the Nubians, Swahili and the Arab and Berber Bedouins. A new trend in Egyptian music involves the mixture of folklore and pop, combining the old with the new.
Every region in Egypt performs folk music with different instruments well known to their regions; for example, the Swahili use a guitar-like stringed music, Saiyidi uses “Nahrasan, a two-sided drum and the Mismar Saiyidi trumpet” and the Nubians perform folk music by ‘Daf’ and hand clapping.
El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music is “a unique civil society organization” that was founded in 2000 by Zakaria Ibrahim, with the aim of “reviving Egypt’s rich and unique performing arts heritage,” according to the El Mastaba Website.
The International Summer Festival is a massive music and arts festival organized by the BA Arts Center with the goal of adding a “colorful taste” to summers in Alexandria, as explained in their mission statement. It attracts a diverse audience through its combination of classical Egyptian art and new and varied mediums of art and music. The 2017 addition will showcase more than 60 versatile artistic events including music, theatre, cinema and dance.
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