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Egypt celebrates heritage with historical play

April 29, 2015 And in Egypt, both culture and religion were celebrated by the performance of one of Egypt’s oldest plays — puppet show El Leila El Kibeera, or ‘The Big Night’. The play was performed to mark International Heritage Day and held in Moez Street, in the heart of Old Cairo.

Director Yasser Abdel Maksoud said he wanted to bring a part of Egypt’s heritage to a new generation.

“El-Leila El Kibeera is part of old Egyptian heritage. It is popular folklore and maybe many young people nowadays do not know it or never saw the play. We are trying to show them old things so that there can be new things,”

The play, dates back over 50 years and was originally a 13-14 minute show broadcast on the radio. When it was adapted for stage it was extended to 40 minutes. It was created by a collaboration of three artistic heavyweights – poet, lyricist and cartoonist Salah Jahin, composer Sayed Mekawi and actor and director Salah el-Sakka.

Maksoud said such artistic combination is rare.

“The greatest artists collaborated to produce this play, I don’t think that a group like this has ever collaborated together before, or will again,”

The Big Night was created to embody the celebration of the Moulid, a celebration of the birthday of Islamic saints, through displaying the various activities that surround that day.

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