The 2012 CARAVAN Festival of the Arts in Cairo, Egypt during April/May 2012 with the theme of “The Road Ahead,” focused on building on the new spirit of interfaith solidarity that was so beautifully illustrated and witnessed by the world, during the “January 25 Egyptian revolution” in 2011.
The Festival included a visual arts exhibition with 45 participating premier Middle Eastern and Western artists, a film presentation by celebrated Egyptain actor Yousra, a literature evening with noted Anglo-Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif and a music night with the contemporary Egyptian musical group, Ana Masry.
THE ROAD AHEAD
British artist Roland Prime served as the curator for the 2012 visual art exhibition of the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts. He graduated from Canterbury Christ Church College with a B.A. in Fine Arts where he studied painting and drawing; through the exploration of art his work became gradually more three dimensional.
Once qualified in welding, this background led him to also creating large sculptures in steel made from the discarded pieces of metal from the steel industry, a recycled art form, gaining public and private commissions in the process. On his painting, he says, “I had always wanted to paint and explore the variety of expression that can achieved through painting.”
45 premier Middle Eastern and Western visual artists came together, each submitting one piece of work that reflected the theme, “The Road Ahead”.
Hisham El Zeiny
Khalil El Hakim
Omar El Fayoumi
Rania El Hakim
Reda Abdel Rahman
Wilson Abrama Ntana
Bishop Mouneer H Anis
Farres Ahmed Farres
MIDDLE EASTERN ARTISTS
Anne du Boistesselin France
Britt Boutros Ghali Norway
Brian Flynn UK
Carolyn Seaton USA
Cecilia Smith USA
Cosima Lukashevich USA
Damon Kowarsky Australia
Dorian Haqmoun Switzerland
Eric Blome USA
Francois Perez France
Julia Morgan-Leamon USA
Julie Klimentos Greece
Julie Oxenforth UK
Katrina Vrebalovich Norway
Kimberly Odekirk USA
Lucy Westwood UK
Maaike Draper-Albers The Netherlands
Marian Villadsen Denmark
Renata Dyk Poland
Renee van Lille-Demetroudes South Africa
Roland Prime UK
Sonja Moser Austria
On April 26 2012, the celebrated Egyptian actress Yousra gave a talk on the importance of the arts in bridging between peoples.
Yousra is a household name throughout the Middle East and is an icon of Arab Cinema. However, in addition to her illustrious film career, she is also a voice and activist on behalf of the suffering and oppressed and human rights. This led to her serving as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for a number of years, for which she received many awards for her humanitarian efforts.
On May 2, 2012, best-selling novelist and writer Ahdaf Soueif (i.e. The Map of Love which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1999), and a political and cultural commentator, gave a reading of her most recent book, titled Cairo: My City, Our Revolution: her memoir of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Her reading was followed by a book-signing.
Ms. Ahdaf Soueif lives with her children in Cairo and London. More information about her and her work can be found on her website:
Popular Egyptian singer and songwriter, Rula Zaki, known for her passion for building peace among all peoples gave an opening performance of her famous song, Ahl El Ketaab, that has become very popular since the revolution. The song is all about what we have in common as Christians and Muslims.
For more information visit her website: rulazaki.com
On May 5, the Ana Masry Band (meaning “I am Egyptian” in Arabic) closed the festival with a brilliant and packed concert. Ana Masry Band is a musical group whose popularity rose significantly following the "Egyptian revolution".
They are known for their fusion of Arabic, Muslim, Sufi and Christian music.
See the Ana Masry Band’s facebook page: