Egypt: National Security issues lead to cancellation of sold-out double-concert

4 May 2015


Daily News Egypt reported that a cultural festival called ‘Bab El-Shams’ (‘The Door to the Sun’) in Alexandria, which featured the two bands Massar Egbari and Cairokee, was cancelled because National Security would not issue an official permission.

“To attend a concert by Massar Egbari or Cairokee is currently a milestone amongst Egypt’s youth, because of what these bands stand for,” wrote Daily News Egypt. The bands are considered to be among the very few local talents that could be considered as genuine artistic advocates of the youth.

The festival ‘Bab El-Shams’ was supposed to include an exhibition of several minor projects by the governorate’s youth, an artistic workshop, an initiative driven by unpaid volunteers to clean the historic garden, and finally a concert by the two bands.

Much to everyone’s surprise this sold-out event, which encourages volunteerism and supports a national treasure, was cancelled just a few days before its planned date.

Despite the fact that the two bands are registered at the syndicate and for long held all the needed paperwork and permissions to perform anywhere locally and internationally, National Security kept delaying the matter refusing to give any final answers.

“During the last meeting with one of the officials there, he sarcastically described Massar Egbari as a youth band that incites the adolescents and only sings about the negativities in the country,” said Tamer Attallah who is the technical director of Agora, the festival organiser, and he is also Massar Egbari’s drummer.

Tamer Attallah used to be a police officer himself. He said the the comment was both illogical and unsuitable as the institution does not have the authority to evaluate the country’s musical talents. “The band’s genre and appropriate choice of lyrics should be celebrated rather than oppressed,” said Attallah.

Agora is a well-known cultural organisation that has hosted similar festivals before.

These cancelled concerts are two out of a whole range of concerts which have been cancelled in Egypt in recent months.

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» Read the Freemuse report on Egypt: ‘Censors of Creativity’


» Daily News Egypt – 28 April 2015:
National Security calls Massar Egbari inappropriate
“Massar Egbary is an entertaining inciting band that only sings about the negativities while leaving out the achievements,” says National Security representative. Article by Nayera Yasser

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