beit zeinab 1

1. Beit Zeinab Khatoun

Hidden in one of the alleys of the old Islamic city; is one of the most remarkable houses that have managed to survive through the test of time. The house was named after its last owner, as was the custom for Islamic houses in those days, and is strategically situated behind the famous Al Azhar Mosque. Dating backing to the end of the 14th century or early 15th century, Beit Zeinab Khatoun is a state of the art Ottoman house. It is also famous for staging numerous cultural concerts and events by both prominent and up and coming Egyptian talents.

Address: 3 Mohamed Abdu Street, Behind El Azhar Mosque, Islamic Cairo, Cairo, Egypt. Telephone: 025147164

2. Wekalet el Ghoury

Wekalet el Ghouri Arts Center is categorized as Performing Arts Theater and is one of four cultural centers in the Al Azhar area. Since finalizing restorations to the Wekalet in October 2005, it has become a hot-spot for organizing cultural events, the most popular being the bi-weekly Al Tannoura dance performance. The performance is similar to the more commonly known whirling dervishes; however, this version of the indigenous dance incorporates instruments and other additional elements.

wekalet el ghoury4 (photo courtesy of Mohamed Salem Korayem)

Events taking place at Wekalet El Ghoury this month: – Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays: Tanoura Performances – 22nd of July: Nubian singing by Ahmed Moneib and Mostafa El Haj

Address: 3 Mohamed Abdo Street, Off Al Azhar street, Al Darb Al Ahmar, Cairo- Egypt. Telephone: 02 2375 2287 / 02 2735 4234


beit el sit wassila 23. Beit El Sit Wassila

In the heart of Al Azhar area stands one of the historical residences, Beit El Sit Wassila, located next to Beit El Harrwi and dates back to the 17th century. This house was built by Sheikh Abdel Haq and his brother Loutfi Al Kenawi. Its name, Beit El Sit Wassila, has been derived from the name of its last owner Wassila Khatoun bent Abdallah El Beida Maatouqa

Events taking place at Beit El Sit Wassila this month: – 20th & 27th of July: Poetic Evenings, including recitals with Egyptian great poets Ahmed Abdel Moti Hegazy, Mohamed Ibrahim abo Senna, El Samah Abdallah and Hassan Tolba reciting works of Sufi poets Ebn Al Kared and El Hallaj El Sahrawy, Ibn El Arabi and Galal Eddin El Roumi. These evenings will tae place at Beit El Sit Wassila.

Address: Mohamed Abdou Street, next to Beit El Harrawi, Al Azhar, Cairo, Egypt. Telephone: 02250103171

4. The Amir Taz Palace

The Amir Taz Palace, also know as Dar Taz meaning the home of Taz, is one of the most well known Mamluk Palaces remaining in historic Cairo. This ancient palace, along with its significant complex of buildings, annexes and gardens was built on a huge rectangular plot overlooking a main commercial street named Al-Suyyufiyya and another smaller alley named Darb al Sayh halil. It lies near al-Salibba street and around the corner from Sabil Umm Abbas.

amir taz palace

Events taking place at Amir Taz Palace this month: – July 13th & 14th: His Excellency the King is the King by Amir Taz Troupe

Address: Ad Darb Al Ahmar, Cairo Governorate Telephone:02 25142581

5. Beit El Harawi

The house was built in 1731 and is considered one of the best examples of Islamic houses of  the Ottoman era. The southern facade of the house is quite impressive with its large wooden mashrabeya.  The second entrance is a later addition to the house that dates back to the 19th century. Much of the house’s architectural traits, as well as wooden mashrabeya screens, can be admired from the courtyard. Following its renovation in the 1990s, the house became the Arab House of Oud, and is currently managed by the famous Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma who transformed the house into one of the capital’s main stages, in addition to turning it into one of the world’s most prominent schools that teach oud playing. Try to time your visit with one of the house’s numerous evening concerts. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the house, with wonderful Egyptian music playing in the background.


Events taking place at Beit El Harawi this month: – July 17th, 20th & 23rd: Music Concerts at Beit El Harawi by Artists Abdallah Abu Zikri, Ebtesam Shababeek, Arab Band, Dueto Ghassan and Dina, and solo music on Oud.

Address: Mohamed Abdou St.Al Azhar, Cairo, Egypt. Telephone: 0225104174 

al manasteerly 16. Al Manasterly Palace on Al Rawda Island

Situated in the south western corner at the end of Al Rawda island, it is the remaining part of a development built by Hassan Fouad Al Manasterly Pasha 1851 A.D./267A.H.. His mosque where he is buried is situated near the palace. On the left side stands the Nilometer that dates back to 861A.D./247A.H. built in the reign of Caliph Al-Mutawakkil `Ala Allah Al Abbasi, bestowing more beauty and significance on the place. Manasterly Palace on Rhoda Island is where the International Music Centre holds its instrumental and Chamber music concerts and is one of the finest buildings in Cairo. The concert hall itself is a Rococo masterpiece and should be a delight to admire while listening to a concert during Ramadan.

Address: 1 El Malek El Saleh Street – Manial, Cairo, Egypt. Telephone:  0223631467

7. Darb 1718

darb(photo courtesy of Darb 1718)

The fourth installment of ‘Mawaweel’ Festival Ramadan 2014, will be in Darb 1718. Mawaweel offers a fresh alternative to the Ramadan experience that is rich in culture and entertainment. You will enjoy a collaborative, fun-packed program including art exhibitions, crafts, short film screenings, theatrical and musical performances by the best artists and bands on the scene, as well as diverse bazaars, displaying Egypt’s finest goods. There will also be an array of delicious oriental nibbles and beverages to give you a proper taste of Middle Eastern flavors.

Address: Kasr El Sham3 Street, Al Fakhareen – Old Cairo, Cairo, Egypt Telephone: +2 (0) 2 23610511

8. ElGeneina Theater in Al Azhar Park

elgeneina (photo courtesy of Ahram Online)

Hayy Festival For the night year now, El Geneina Theater is hosting El Hayy festival; one of the most interesting and finely tailored series of artistic events taking place there. Hayy’s focus is to present women singers from the Arab and Mediterranean region. This year the festival will feature women singers from Western Sahara (Morocco), Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon and Palestine.

Address: Salah Salem St. Telephone: Tickets Marche: 01008425387

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA9. Talaat Harb Culture Center

The Center hosts the Operette Evening; El Leila El Kebira Poet Salah Jahin’s famous puppet operette introduces us to the magical Egyptian moulid with all the happy traditional goings-on such as food stands, children playing traditional street games, a circus, among others. This is a vibrant happy operette enjoyed by all ages.

1 El Sayeda Nafisa St., Islamic Cairo Tel: 23628174 & 23622647

10.Beit El Seheimy

A marvellous place that reflects the history and beauty of Muezz li-Din Allah Street in Islamic Cairo, which stands on the corner with Darb al-Asfar. where its main entrance is located. The Islamic style house is situated in the Gamaliya district, featured in the famous Cairo Trilogy, of Egypt’s most celebrated writer, the late Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz.


Events taking place at Beit El Seheimy this month: – 14th, 18th, 20th, 25th & 27th of July: Variety Shows, including Puppet shows (The Egyptian Aragoz), El Seera El Hellaleya (Helali Saga) where stories of a hero are sung, the famous El Nil Troupe for heritage music instruments and El Daraweesh troupe for religious songs, to name a few.

Address: 19 Darb Al Asfar, off al Moez Street

11. Beshtak Palace

The Beshtak Palace or Qasr Bashtak is a historic palacebeshtak and museum in Cairo, Egypt, built by the Mamluk Emir Bashtak in the 14th century. Events taking place at the Beshtak Palace this month: – 17th, 20th & 24th of July: Musical Evenings, including Oud Concert with veteran Oud player Naseer Shamma, “3oshak El Nagham” troupe, Sharara Sextet Band concert and Abdo Dhagher Band.

Address: Al Moez Street, Bayn al Qasrayn Area,  El-Gamaleya


12. El Mastaba Center

El Mastaba Center manages a network of traditional musicians from diverse traditions in Egypt, including Bedouin, Sufi, Nubian, Delta, Upper Egyptian, Sudanese and the Canal Zone. The bands perform regularly in their original communities and in El Mastaba’s theater space, El Dammah Theater, in the Abdeenarea. Several bands tour regularly internationally and have received awards and special mention for their work. 

mastaba (photo courtesy of El Mastaba)

Events taking place at El Mastaba Center this month: – July 18th: Nuba Nour band: Nuba Nour is a Cairo-based collective of Nubian singers and master frame drummers.  The band perform traditional Nubian music from antiquity along with modern folk songs reflecting the ongoing struggles of a life in exile for the Nubian people, following the loss of their Aswan homelands in Egypt during the 1960s.

-July 25th: Abul Gheit Dervishes band: The Dervishes of Abul Gheit’s performance is about zikr (a Sufi ritual in remembrance of God’s grace) with madih (chants praising the prophet Mohammed).  Wearing white galabiyas (traditional Egyptian garment) with green tokens and holding the sajat (finger cymbals), the troupe captures the essence of Sufi and blends it with the beat of the zar and zikr circles. This infusion of numerous rhythmic folk rituals goes back to the18th century.  

Address: El Mastaba Center, El Dammah Theater, 30a Al Belaasi, Al Balaqsah, Abdeen, Downtown Cairo Telephone: (02) 23 92 6768, Mobile: (2 011) 50 99 5354 (2 012) 23 22 6345