On Wednesday, the United Nations for High Commissioner Refugees (UNHCR) will throw a fundraising concert to support Syrian refugees in Egypt. The concert has been organised with support from the British embassy in Egypt and the Arab League.
Mohamed Dayri, UNHCR regional representative, weighed in on the subject. “We are convinced that Egypt’s government and people have provided Syrian people with a lot of help. We want to document this and salute Egypt through a public information event,” he said.
The number of Syrian refugees in Egypt has been growing steadily since the start of the crisis, according to Dayri. There are 64,000 registered Syrian refugees in Egypt and 16,000 pending registration. Although most refugees are living in Greater Cairo and Alexandria, they are also scattered around Luxor, Beni Suef, Sohag and Minya. “Since the first wave of Syrians arrived in 2012, a great deal of support and public sympathy has been displayed. Numerous charity organisations came forward to provide assistance to Syrians, offering them cash and housing,” said Dyari.
The government has also been accommodating: “The open arm approach has been provided by the Egyptian government itself,” said Dyari. “Before the crisis, Syrians entered Egypt without a visa, and this has continued. President Morsi decreed in September 2012 that Syrians could access public schools and health facilities. They are also offered regular three-month extensions for their residential visas.
“For all those reasons, we have to sincerely and warmly show our appreciation to the Egyptian people for their support through the concert,” said Dyari. The concert will include performances from musicians such as oud player Nassir Shama, Egyptian tenor Ragaa El-Din Ahmed, and Syrian singer Abdel Kader Abul Seoud. It will be conducted by Maestro Nayer Nagi. All musicians are performing for free, and the Opera House has asked for money only to cover the costs of hosting the event.
Tickets are on sale for EGP 200, EGP 500 and EGP 1,000. The proceeds will go to charity organisations helping Syrian refugees in Egypt, including Caritas Egypt in Alexandria, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and the Mostafa Mahmoud Hospital, which provides medical assistance to Syrian refugees.
The concert will start at 8pm. For tickets, contact Ms. Aline Michael at the UNHCR, 01223223222.