El Dor El Awal, Hawas, BalQeis: Egyptian musicians in French music festival

Ati Metwaly , Tuesday 23 May 2023

Egyptian musicians — El Dor El Awal band, Hawas band, and BalQeis — will join a rich lineup of performers from around the world in the upcoming 36th edition of the French University International Music Festival (FIMU).



The FIMU festival is held annually in France's northeastern city of Belfort, with this year's edition set to take place 25-28 May.

Egypt is in the festival's spotlight this year, represented by El Dor El Awal band, Hawas band, and BalQeis.

El Dor El Awal is a well-known Egyptian band founded in 2003. The line-up, which consists of six musicians, is a melting pot of cultural and musical backgrounds who express their creativity through tunes that carry a strong rock base (bass, drums, electric guitar) topped with instruments such as the violin, the saxophone, or the flute.

Among their strong points is an attractive improvisation that they infuse into their performances leading the listeners through the modern sounds that also carry strong influences of traditional Egyptian music.

Formed in Cairo in 2014, Hawas’ alternative sound developed through the years as they performed multiple live events and took part in numerous functions and festivals.

The band offers alternative Egyptian songs from the colorful musical paths of the musicians, as they meander the world music realms. Their music stems from the diversity of instruments, drawn from a wide range of subcultures, generations, and backgrounds.

BalQeis is a multi-instrumentalist artist who mixes oud and electro music with rock and alternative influences. While moving between tradition and modernity, she provides a very dynamic performance attracting the listeners to the unexpected sounds and strong rhythms.

A solo act, BalQeis fuses the sounds of oud to the music that is otherwise embedded in electronic sounds, making the whole experience a unique journey for the audience.

This is not the first time that Egyptian musicians have performed in the French festival.

Last year, Egyptian band Nour Project — represented by the band's founder, saxophonist and vocalist Nour Ashour — took the festival stage twice, performing for a French audience of thousands.

The annual FIMU festival offers music to audiences free of charge, drawing audiences of over 100,000 fans in recent years.

In its first editions, the festival focused on music performed by the university bands, but it soon opened its doors to many French and international musicians. The festival presents music of all genres, allowing the audience to discover new music trends.

As the festival has grown, the FIMU has attracted participants ranging from formally educated instrumental ensembles to independent bands with a strong presence in their home countries and regions.

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