14th edition of the Sama'a International Festival kicks off at the Citadel

Amira Noshokaty , Tuesday 21 Sep 2021

The brainchild of director Intesar Abdel-Fattah, the Sama'a International Festival is a very important artistic manifestation of how music uplifts the soul, unites humanity, and fosters peace

Hour
Hour, sufi women troupe. Photo by Amira Noshokaty

The 14th edition of the Sama’a International Festival for Spiritual Music and Chanting started off at Cairo’s Citadel on Saturday 18 September.

The brainchild of director Intesar Abdel-Fattah, the Sama’a International Festival is a very important artistic manifestation of how music uplifts the soul and unites humanity and fosters peace.

In her opening speech, Abdel-Fattah greeted the audience and emphasised the importance of this edition, dubbing it the ‘Edition of Challenge and Perseverance’.

This year, the guest of honour is Jordan, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary. Tunisia is also in the spotlight for the contributions of its troupes in the festival throughout its history.

Sama
Sama'a International Festival
Sudanese Sufi troupe Donqola. Photo by Amira Noshokaty

On Sunday 19 September, at the premises of Al-Hanager Theatre’s open area, the festival hosted a number of performances, including a powerful start from Egypt’s renowned Sufi chanting troupe ‘Al-Hadra’, which is the first Sufi troupe to take zikr from mosques to theatres.

They were then followed by French Sufi troupe ‘The Heart of Paris, The Stars of France’, a group of 4 musicians who are students of Madame Caroline Dumas at Lécole Normale De Musique De Paris.

The festival then transitioned to a vivid musical repertoire from Sudan’s ‘Donqola Troupe’, which was nothing short of joyful.

Moving to the rhythm of the music, the all-male band engaged the audience, who were happy to clap and chant along.

Their clever use of drums and swift maneuvering between notes made their chants more vibrant and markedly different from their peers’.

The day ended with a refreshing change of pace when an Egyptian Sufi all-women ensemble named ‘Hour’ took to the stage to chant and praise Prophet Muhamad with their powerful voices.

The festival will be running daily in multiple venues at 8 pm till 24 September.

For more details click here.

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