Tuesday, September 16, 2014


A new Festival series titled “BAB ELBAHR” meaning “Sea Gate” aiming at strengthening cultural tourism and embedding culture in the daily life of people. The festival will feature discussions, debates, workshops and exhibitions in addition to a one day performance. The Festival will take place between 20-26 September 2014.

SEA GATE is considered the first festival to educate, enlighten and entertain the general public, while directly developing cultural tourism and encouraging internal tourism. SEA GATE is not only considered a gate to Tourism but also a gate to culture and arts where unusual discussions will take place during the festival.

Festival Theme and Content

Cleopatra, the theme of the festival will bring the issue of "Women Leadership" into debate. Discussions will tackle parenting, equality, increase in marriage age, increase in divorce rate and female leadership positions in Egypt. The festival will also use CELOPATRA as a female figure from history and open the debate about women rights and achievements in ancient times.

Opening of the Festival will feature a photography exhibition titled “Women in Egypt” in cooperation with Al-Qomrah organization. Artists presented are Sara Zoheir, Sally Mokhtar, Dina Nasr, Ahmed Waddah, Nada Thakeb, Mai Badr and Corinne Grassi. The opening will also feature an exhibition of contemporary designs of traditional crafts.

This will be followed by two discussions at the Swedish Institute on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd by two female figures, Nadia Abdou and Colette Frege who will discuss challenges of female leaders and possible ways to overcome them, while illustrating some success stories.

On 24th of September, the Festival will host a WOW day (Women of the World Festival). WOW is a festival of talks, debates, performances and activism celebrating women and girls. It takes place initially at the South Bank Centre in London. WOW is also a global festival, and has happened in 3 continents since it launched in 2011. Each WOW is rooted in its local area but becomes part of the global WOW network, and festivals feed into each other, swapping stories, supporting and inspiring each other, creating a network of people and ideas.

WOW Day will discuss the social impact of the newly declared sexual harassment law. Speakers from local independent initiatives and the government will come together to discuss the effect of such a law on the society. This day will be supported by the British Council in Egypt.

The festival will screen the short film "Unseen Alexandria" directed by Abdallah Dawestashy, winner of the second prize in the short films competition at Alexandria Film Festival of Mediterranean countries. This will be followed by a screening of “Cleopatra” by the famous Elizabeth Taylor in ALEF BOOKSTORES on 23rd. Dr. Franco Grecco and Dr. Ezzat Kadous will lead a discussion on 25th titled “Cleopatra between myths and reality”. This discussion will be accompanied by a film screening that is made by ANPI MED Association to promote tourism. On the same day, Sherine Taman will discuss her book "Cleopatra".

Parallel to the discussions and debates a children program will take place in ALEF Bookstores in Kafr Abdo, where children will chose figures from history learn about them and illustrate them in painting and in a live theatrical performance. The children will also learn how to shape copper wire and leather.

The closing of the Festival is the performance night on Stanley Beach on 26th September to directly promote internal cultural tourism towards a bigger step in the festival's next edition BAB EL SHAMS "SUN GATE".

The performance night will feature a performance for High Dam Band, Karakeeb Band, Nour Ashour and Massar Egbari Band. In the morning there will be several workshops among which is a giant origami ship, Kites by Torraha NGO, Mini Madina by AYB Association, Cleopatra eyes, backstage décor and other society activities.

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