A building in an alleyway off Qasr Al Nil Street, deep in the heart of Downtown Cairo, hosts the Dar Al-Tanweer culture centre; a place where admirers of literature, arts and lovers of culture can meet to enjoy a variety of cultural and artistic events.
On Thursday 19 December the centre hosted a new art exhibition of four artists; painters Omar Fayoumi, Mustafa Fayad and Iman Hussein and sculptor Hisham Noar. Among the attendees were artist Mohamed Abla and poets Amin Haddad and Asma’a Yassin. The exhibition will run until 29 December.
The entertainment of the night was provided by Reggae artist Ibrahim Al Haddad, who started off the night by playing soothing tunes, and Egyptian band Property of Nadya Shanab, known for their album El Mahrousa, which was the number one selling album at Virgin Egypt for several weeks upon its release. The performance of the band was the highlight of the evening as they performed seven of their songs. Property of Nadya Shanab’s music falls in the world fusion category and it complemented the ambiance and set up of Dar Al-Tanweer perfectly.
When asked about her impression of the centre, singer Nadya Shanab said: “I thought it was a nice spot, different from a lot of places available for cultural activities these days. It is cozy and intimate and has a lot of potential.” The scale of the venue seemed to appeal to the singer: “It’s nice to be able to play smaller, acoustic gigs every now and then.”
Dar Al-Tanweer, literally Home of Enlightenment, is originally a publishing house. It was established in Beirut in 1975 and specialised in publishing the most important works of Arab authors written post the 1967 war. The publishing house expanded to Tunisia and Egypt and their list includes an extensive number of literary works from all over the world.
The Downtown cultural centre was opened by the Cairo branch of the publishing house on 30 January of this year and it established itself as a venue that regularly hosts a variety of cultural events. Besides this, the centre also serves as a space where anyone can enjoy the wide array of books available and a cup of coffee.
The centre states it has the desire to add to the great heritage of Egypt through presenting knowledge, literature and art of Egypt and the Arab world. It offers a variety of services including an extensive library featuring the most important in-house publications and the latest Arab and foreign titles.
Furthermore it offers space for seminars, discussions, workshops, film showings and music performances, and a cafe. One of the most attractive rooms in the centre is the graffiti room which is filled with wall paintings that express the struggles of recent Egyptian history.