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Arts & Culture in Downtown Cairo: Your Guide to AUC Tahrir CultureFest

From art exhibitions to book bazaars, we've curated all of the best experiences you can expect at this festival…

Karim Moustafa

Arts & Culture in Downtown Cairo: Your Guide to AUC Tahrir CultureFest


The American University in Cairo's Tahrir Campus will host the first edition of AUC Tahrir CultureFest, using the historic backdrop of Downtown Cairo as the subject and setting of a series of art exhibitions, shows, marketplaces and concerts!


Running from Wednesday, April 17th to Monday, April 22nd, we've curated all of the best experiences you can expect throughout the course of the festival…


'AUC Archives: Walk-through University History' Exhibition

📅: Wednesday, April 17th | 2 PM
Ever contemplated what student life was like back in the day? Curated by Hana El Beblawy, the exhibition delves into the vibrant history of AUC through archival images, videos, audio recordings and documents. These materials spotlight key moments in AUC's past, the everyday moments that shaped student culture, and how the university has transformed over time.

'Rhythms & Rhymes' Poetry Reading & Tablet El Sitt Performance

📅: Thursday, April 18th | 1 PM
The AUC's Oriental Hall will present the classical works of Sayed Hijab, a poet and co-founder of Gallery 68 magazine, followed by a live Tablet El Sitt performance.

'Tahrir Images and Narratives (1900-2011)' Exhibition

📅: Wednesday, April 17th | 2 PM
This exhibition has been put together by AUC Students to highlight the political and historical moments that defined Tahrir Square, from Saad Zaghloul's 1919 uprising against British occupation to the 2011 revolution.

Massar Egbari’s Performance

📅: Thursday, April 18th | 8 PM
Acclaimed Egyptian rock band Massar Egbari are here to entertain crowds with a dynamic live performance infusing genres like jazz, blues and rock.

Cairo Bike's Downtown Cairo Tour

📅: Friday, April 19th | 8 AM
What better way to spend your Friday morning than with a bike tour exploring the beauty of Downtown Cairo? Hosted by Cairo Bike, this Downtown Cairo tour will have you exploring the captivating architecture of the neighbourhood whilst learning about the city's historical landmarks.

'El Kosha' Puppetry Workshop

📅: Friday, April 19th | 1 PM - 6 PM
This interactive workshop by AUC invites children to learn the mechanics of puppet manipulation and experience firsthand how hand puppet performances come to life. Storyteller Hanan El Taher will also ignite your child's imagination through engaging story readings.

'El Leila El Kebira' Puppet Show

📅: Friday, April 19th | 3 PM
This old-school puppet show, written by Salah Jaheen and directed by Salah El-Sakka, delves into Egyptian folklore with 'Operetta Leil El Kebira' performance. Young audiences can enjoy numerous scenes from the play at the Ewart Memorial Hall, which reflect upon the traditions and customs of Egyptian heritage.

Homegrown Market & Bazaar

📅: Friday, April 19th & Saturday, April 20th | 12 PM - 9 PM
Organised by AUC's Student Union, join a community of local farmers and artisans with AUC and shop their finest creations and items. From organic fresh produce to unique handmade crafts, you can help support Egypt's local creators whilst scoring a few goodies for your family and friends along the way. Vendors include Urban Jewel, Meraki Natural Care, Atef Wassef Silver, CloutGear Hoodies, Verynile, Florchet Egypt, Kayan Candles, Let It Glow, Ellie Home, PureHoney and Pico.

'Cairo: The Never Ending Street Story' Panel Talk

📅: Saturday, April 20th | 1 PM
'Cairo: The Never Ending Street Story' is a panel discussion that will ignite your curiosity over the origins of renowned neighbourhoods across the capital, including Zamalek and Heliopolis. This discussion will cover 30 years worth of writings and history about Cairo from 1989 to 2019, beginning with anecdotes like 'Cairo's Street Stories', 'Cairo The Family Guide', 'The Field Guide to the Street Names of Central Cairo'.

'Cairo: Growing Metropolis' Panel Talk

📅: Saturday, April 20th | 4:30 PM
Have you ever wondered how Cairo transformed from a desert area to the massive urbanised destination that it is now? From gated communities and social housing to the New Administrative Capital , this panel discussion promises to answer all of your questions with the help of urban planners, designers and scholars (alongside tips for sustaining a viable future).

'Cairo Cafes: The History of Cultural Life from the Margin' Panel Talk

📅: Sunday, April 21st | 5 PM
This panel discussion will tackle the evolution of 'El Qahwa' as a public space and how its been the go-to spot for a myriad of activities, from political and artistic discussions to intense backgammon games. Bridging the gap between the past and the present, this talk will also highlight how Egyptian cafes have been impacted by the spread of Western-style cafes over the decades..

'Evolution of the Media' Panel Talk

📅: Monday, April 22nd | 1 PM - 3 PM
The JRMC department will tackle Egyptian media history over the past century, including the evolution of platforms like television, radio, print and digital media. The display will include AUC's student newspaper and how they've covered numerous events throughout modern Egyptian history.

'Poetry from Gaza' Reading Session

📅: Monday, April 22nd | 6 PM
Amidst the ongoing crises in occupied Palestine, this poetry reading by acclaimed Gazan poet Mosab Abu Toha will explore the history of Gaza, and reflect on its people's quest for freedom, before inviting audiences for a Q&A session.

'Book Bazaar' Experience

📅: April 17th - April 22nd | 12 PM - 9 PM
Organised by the AUC Press and Book Stores in collaboration with Tanmia Bookstores, this book bazaar offers a special treat for bookworms of all ages. Expect a myriad of genres and topics from history and politics to children's books and art.

If you wish to know more about AUC Tahrir Culture Fest's full schedule, then head to AUC's events calendar.

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