Ramy Essam’s concert at Cairo University abrubtly closed
|On 26 October 2011, Ramy Essam’s concert at the Cairo University Medicine School was abrubtly stopped by the Dean of the university.
The concert took place in connection with an opening event for an exhibition entitled ‘Transition stage, police and thieves’, and it included a concert by Egypts famous ‘freedom singer’ and newly appointed Freemuse Award-winner Ramy Essam.
The following report is based on information from his manager, Mariam Emad.
Ramy tried to ignore him and began singing.
From the side of the stage, his manager was hinting to Ramy that he should skip the third song on the set list, entitled ‘Down down, premium council of the armed forces’ because of previous experiences with this song which often has been a cause for vivid discussions. His fans in the audience were already aware that Ramy was intending to skip this song, because he usually starts his concerts with it, and at this point some of the students began singing it: “Down down council…”.
A big crowd of university students had gathered, after they heard that Ramy would be coming, and more and more showed up as as the concert was proceeding.
Disrupting the concert
“We can sing, all of us, without using the guitar,” he said.
As the verbal struggle between the organisers, the Dean and Dr. Moetaz increased to a disturbing level, and Moetaz was shouting, “Why do you want the council to leave? It is the only thing we have left!”, and also said several insulting statements directed at Ramy and his manager. Ramy got upset, stopped singing, and was about to go into the discussion. But his manager, Mariam Emad, wouldn’t let him do that.
As the audience saw Ramy packing his guitar to leave the hall, they started yelling, “Ramy, stay! You! Go!” and, “Down down council…”, “Ramy, proceed!”
No need for yelling
Mariam Emad went to the Dean and thanked him for having Ramy, and at the same time apologized for the disturbance. She told him that they would be leaving and there was no need for yelling.
Until the last moment the organisers were arguing with Dr. Hussain and Dr. Moetaz. Ramy Essam packed his guitar and equipment and left immediately without talking to the doctors. As they were leaving the university premises, a couple of doctors came and apologized.
Ramy will sing
And they are right: “I will keep singing what I believe in, and if that’s causing anyone a hard time, well, then that is their problem. They will have to deal with it!,” stated Ramy Essam.
Four Egyptian newspapers reported about the event on the following day.
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