19 - 25 August 1999
Issue No. 443
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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A moveable feast
THERE SEEMS to be no end to festivals held in Egypt during the month of August. On the heels of the 11th Citadel Festival of Music and Singing which closes tomorrow, comes the Fifth Cairo International Song Festival, which will open next Saturday and will last until 28 August, while the Tenth Ismailia International Folk Dance Festival will open on 24 August and will last until the end of the month. A total of 127 singers and groups representing 33 countries will be participating in the Song Festival, while 709 dancers representing 29 countries will take part in the Ismailia festival.
Unlike previous years when the activities and concerts of the Cairo International Song Festival took place at the Cairo International Conference Centre (CICC), this year's organisation is keen on transporting the action to more touristically appealing venues such as the Pyramids, the Citadel and Alexandria's Aida beach at the Montazah. During the opening ceremony on 21 August at the Khufu Hall of the CICC, the festival will honour six prominent Egyptian and international artists: Mohamed Hamza, Moharram Fouad, Sabah Fakhri, Sheherazade, Demis Roussos and the name of the late musician Mohamed Al-Qasabgui.
Various concerts scheduled to take place at the Giza Pyramids will bring Arab and international artists together, beginning on 24 August, when Lionel Richie and Anoushka will perform against a backdrop of fireworks. The concert on 25 August will feature Hakim, Modern Talking and Castelli, while Belinda Carlisle and Mohamed Fouad will sing on the 27th. The following evening's concert will be given by Grace Jones, East 17 and Hesham Abbas.
As for other Arabic music, the festival hosts a large number of the most popular singers including Nawal Al-Zoghbi, Diana Haddad, Mohamed Abdou and Assala. A total of 54 songs performed by artists from 26 countries -- including Egypt, Malta, Sweden, South Africa, France, Italy, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Portugal and Argentina -- will compete for the Occidental Song Competition's six prizes, which amount to a total of LE105 000. As for the Arabic Song Competition, it will include the participation of 73 entries by artists from 12 Arab countries -- including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lybia, Saudi Arabia and Tunis -- competing for five prizes worth a total of LE 57 000.
For more details about the activities of the Song and Ismailia festivals see Listings, and for programme of the song festival call the CICC at 263 4664.