CAIRO: Alexandria-based art aficionados are currently enjoying a vibrant arts program as part of this year’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival, which opened on July 16 and runs until August 18.
Now in its 16th edition, the month-long festival is an annual cultural celebration, which brings a selection of music concerts, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry recitals to the Alexandrian crowd.
Opening the festival last week was the Jordanian band Autostrad, who performed at the bibliotheca’s open-air theater. The following day saw Swedish folk band Triakel take to the stage, also at the venue’s open-air theater. This free concert was organized in collaboration with the Swedish Institute in Alexandria. A theater performance by Kawabees, an Egyptian performing arts troupe, took place at the bibliotheca’s great hall on the same day.
This edition’s musical line-up includes Sudanese singer Asia Madani, Swedish-Syrian singer Faia Younan, Moroccan band Made in Bled and the Swiss OY Band.
Some of the Egyptian musicians performing at this year’s event include pianist and composer Omar Khairat, bands Cairokee and Massar Egbari, singers Ali El-Haggar, Maryam Saleh and Mohamed Mohsen and musician Hisham Kharma, in addition to two performances by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra.
Other events include a screening of Alekos Sakellarios’ 1957 Greek film “The Aunt from Chicago,” a comedy in which Aunt Calliopi returns to Greece from Chicago after 30 years and plans to marry off her nieces, a recital by Egyptian poet Amr Hassan, a dance performance by the Al-Wahag troupe for Ballet and Free Dance and a talk by Egyptian actor Ahmed Kamal, who is a show business veteran with more than 30 years of experience in front of the camera.
This annual festival is organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center.
According to the Bibliotheca’s official website, the BA Arts Center “provides a forum dedicated to various expressions of all forms of art, and it seeks to realize the goals of the BA in being Egypt’s window on the world and the world’s window (to) Egypt in the artistic field.”
This summer festival has in the past hosted Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran, Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife and Lebanese singer and songwriter Tania Saleh.