Chinese, Egyptian folk musicians wow audiences under pyramids

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Chinese musicians perform in front of the Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids scenic spot in Giza, Egypt, on April 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

On a breezy Monday night in Egypt’s Giza, artists from China and Egypt staged a folk music concert against the backdrop of the Grand Pyramids and Sphinx lit up in silver, enchanting hundreds of audiences with beautiful melodies.

Banners reading “Let the China-Egypt friendship flow forward like the Nile River” were seen at the venue of the China-Egypt folk concert, welcoming guests to such a unique show co-sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and the Chinese Embassy in Egypt.

The event was attended by Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping, Egyptian Minister of Culture Neveen Al-Kilany, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang, and some other 600 people from both countries.

The repertoire played by musicians from the China National Traditional Orchestra features classics and innovative works of traditional Chinese music, such as erhu unison “Horse Racing”, huagudeng big gongs and drums performance “Umbrella and Orchid,” and chamber music “Dunhuang.”

Chinese and Arab artists also jointly presented “Impression of Roses”, in which the Chinese pipa was played in an ensemble with the Arabian oud as a tribute to the instruments’ same origin, creating breathtaking melodies that wowed the audiences.

“I am interested in Chinese culture, especially classical music. It was a great surprise for me to know that this concert will be held in Egypt,” Fatma Essam, a housewife from Cairo, told Xinhua.

“What impressed me the most was the joint performance of musicians from the two countries, the music was wonderfully played, conveying to us an important message that music is a common language between all peoples and cultures,” she said, adding she took notice of very similar musical instruments during the performance.

“I hope that similar concerts will be organized in the future. Chinese music is beautiful and rich in authentic melodies, and it is a way to bring us closer to Chinese culture and the Chinese people,” she said.

Egyptian musicians perform music at a concert held in front of the Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, on April 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Sui Xiankai)
Egyptian musicians perform at a concert held in front of the Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, on April 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Sui Xiankai)

As the spectacular concert went on, four Egyptian girls brought to the audience a song that they had sung at this year’s China Central Television Spring Festival Gala staged in Beijing, to the accompaniment of the Chinese folk music, which won prolonged applause from the spectators.

Liu Sirui, a Chinese college student studying in Cairo attended the concert with her Egyptian and Chinese friends. She told Xinhua that the show is joyful and “the harmony is super.”

“Today’s show illustrates the convergence of the Egyptian and Chinese civilizations through music. The friendly atmosphere reflects the solid friendship between peoples from both countries throughout history,” she added.

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