As Egypt seeks to find its path into the future, the annual CARAVAN Festival of the Arts has the theme “In Peace and with Compassion …The Way Forward”. Hosted at St. John’s Church in Maadi, sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt, and supported by the British Council, the festival will be held from 9-16 May and will focus on visual public art, literature, film and music.
The CARAVAN Festival of the Arts was founded five years ago with the objective of building bridges of understanding, respect and friendship between East and West, and between Muslims and Christians, through the Arts.
The week-long festival attracts thousands of visitors from around Egypt and the world. One of its unique aspects is that, to date, the festival has taken place at the historic St. John’s Church in Maadi/Cairo, a center for interfaith dialogue for over 80 years.
The heart of this 2013 CARAVAN festival is a visual public art exhibition. This year over 45 premier Egyptian and Western visual artists, Muslim and Christian, are participating in what will be a truly unique public art-oriented exhibition for Cairo. The 2013 CARAVAN visual art emphasis seeks to follow in the footsteps of an approach to public art that has featured painted animals. The subject in Cairo will be the donkey which symbolizes peace in both Islam and Christianity. Participating artists included celebrated Egyptian artists such Reda Abdel Rahman, George Bahgory, Ibrahim El Dessouky, and Mohamed Abla, to expatriate artists such as the well-known Norwegian artist, Britt Boutros-Ghali.
Additionally, there are special participating guests in the festival for film, literature and music include noted Egyptian actor Amr Waked, who will be giving a talk and a screening of his latest film, Winter of Discontent, Dr Alaa El Aswany, the best selling novelist of The Yacoubian Building, who will give a talk and sign his newly released book, The Automobile Club, and the renowned oud (lute) composer and player, Georges Kazazian.
All attendance is free of charge, and 20% of all art sales go to Egyptian charities assisting the poor regardless of creed.