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Tips from the culture desk: July 4-11 in Cairo
Mahmoud Mokhtar, "The Secret Keeper"

It might be the middle of Ramadan, but there are plenty of cultural events to catch in Cairo this week, from a lovely humanitarian iftar dinner, to musical and literary performances, to a trip to the museum of one of Egypt’s most important sculptors.

Veggie Iftar Cairo Vol. 5 — Wednesday, July 8

In its fifth edition, Cairo’s Veggie iftar returns this year to the GrEEK Campus to celebrate vegetarianism as a lifestyle and raise awareness about Cairo’s veggie movement. The event is also open to non-vegetarians to sample the assortment of food brought in by the veggie community. Participants are asked to register their attendance and mention what they will be bringing, clearly labeled with whether the dish is vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. Event-goers are also asked to bring musical instruments for an open jam session following the meal. The iftar also includes an optional yoga session and a showcase of environmentally friendly products and initiatives.

Photo from the Cairo Veggie Iftar Facebook Page.

The Cairo Veggie Iftar will start at 6 pm on Wednesday, July 8, at the GrEEK Campus, 28 Falaki Street, Bab al-Louq, Downtown Cairo.

Doum’s Ramadan Nights — Wednesday, July 8

Doum Cultural Foundation is hosting several nights of poetry, music and storytelling at the Cairo Public Library in Zamalek. While many of the events are interesting, we are particularly recommending Wednesday night’s performance of musical poetry by poet Amin Haddad, actress Doa Hamza and Eskenderella’s Hazem Shahin. All three artists are talented in their respective fields and the collaboration between them will be worth the trip.

Here’s a previous performance on Soundcloud

Doum Cultural Foundation

Doum Cultural Foundation

The events start at 9 pm at the Cairo Public Library, 15 Mohamed Mazhar Street, Zamalek. Entrance is free.

Mawaweel Festival — Thursday, July 9

The fifth edition of Mawaweel Culture Festival, run by the Cairo Jazz Agency and Darb 1718, brings alternative Ramadan nights of live music, a bazzar and an ongoing art exhibition. On Thursday, Osama Abdel-Hady and his band are visiting Cairo from Mansoura to present their soft-rock originals, followed by El-Mawlawya presenting folk festivities, including Tanoura whirling and singing. The night will end with Hawirdo, who will play their original set of Nubian music with an array of African and reggae influences. The “Cinemania” exhibition, hosted by Darb 1718, will also be open, featuring hand painted-posters based on Egyptian films exectued by a range of visual artists.

Check out Hawirdo on Youssra al-Hawary’s radio program on Nogoom FM:

Thursday, July 9, at Darb 1718, Kasr El-Shamaa Street, Al-Fokhareen, Cairo. Next to Amr Ibn al-Aas Mosque. Nearest metro stop is Mar Girgis. Entrance fees are LE40.

A trip to the Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum

Mahmoud Mokhtar, known as the father of modern sculpture in Egypt, was born in the Tanbara village near Mahalla in 1891 and died in 1934. The artist had a leading role in the 1919 revolution against the British occupation led by Saad Zaghloul. Among his famous public works gracing the streets of major cities across the country are the statues of Saad Zaghloul in Alexandria and Cairo, along with the iconic Egyptian Renaissance statue in front of Cairo University. After Mokhtar died, a group of art patrons, headed by feminist icon Hoda al-Shaarawy, established a museum in his honor in 1938. The collection moved to its present-day building in 1962. The space hosts an array of the artist’s sculptures, which included his work on the revolution, but also his fascination with the Egyptian countryside and the country’s ancient pharaonic history.

Photo by Rowan El Shimi.

5 Tahrir Street, El-Gezira (In front of the Cairo Opera House), Cairo. Regular opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 am – 2 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm. Contact: 02 7366 665