Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Egyptian girl power

Singers Youssra El-Hawary and Dina El-Wedidi brought an electrifying mix of contemporary and classic Egyptian music to American audiences, reports Reham El-Adawi

The US Embassy in Cairo, in partnership with the Centre Stage Arts Exchange Programme, announced two US tours by Egyptian singers involving residencies and exchanges as well as concerts in 10 cities each. 

Youssra Al-Hawary’s tour (11 September-12 October) includes Washington, DC. Now a fixture of Egypt’s independent music scene, Al-Hawary blends the sounds of Cairo’s underground with quirky acoustic charm led by the sway and swagger of her accordion. Her songs demonstrate French chanson, indie rock and jazz influences. Performed with playful charisma, her compositions capture the feelings of everyday life in Cairo, and the charged alchemy of the Mediterranean basin fuels her distinctive and soulful sound.


Dina Al-Wedidi’s tour (15 September-19 October) includes New York City. Al-Wedidi imaginatively reinvigorates Egyptian folk music with her fusion of modern and traditional sounds. She previously partnered with the US Embassy in Cairo for the Hakawateya (Storytellers) concert. Her songs draw on folklore, ritual and early 20th-century popular music but remain open to global exploration.

The US Department of State’s Centre Stage Arts Exchange Programme — a public diplomacy initiative administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the US Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding — is now in its fourth season. 

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