Celebrating the EU with poetry

Deena Douara
2 Min Read

CAIRO: As Germany s European Union presidency draws to a close, the Goethe Institute is celebrating with a Long Night of European Poetry. Ambassadors, teachers, and students will be on hand to recite selections of their countries finest works in their mother tongues, followed by Arabic translations of the poems.

Egypt and 14 EU countries through their embassies will be participating in the event, including Austria, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate and unite diverse cultures that share a cultural bond and yet express their uniqueness in an aesthetic form of human communication.

The British Embassy chose to read poetry which celebrated Britain s diversity and decided on contemporary selections from Benjamin Zephaniah, a British-Jamaican poet.

Finland s selections, on the other hand, are more classic and patriotic, taking the introduction from Finland s national epic, Kalevala, then following with a comedic piece and concluding with a very powerful message, according to reciter Soraya Bahgat.

Other poets whose works will be recited include Paul Celan, Ernst Jandl, Javier Martin, Wislawa Szymborska, Jana Bodnarova, Konstantinos Cavafis, Albert Ostermeier and Bastian Böttcher.

Egyptian poets Ahmed Bahkeet and Jihan Omar will read their own works at the event and guest musicians Efekasat will also be performing.

The European Poetry event will take place at the Dokki Goethe-Institut, June 24, from 6:30-11 pm.

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