El Sawy culturewheel
El Sawy culturewheel (Arabic: ساقية الصاوى) (transliterated: Sakkiat Al-Sawy) is an all-purpose, private cultural center, located on Gezira Island in the Zamalek district, central Cairo, Egypt. It is considered one of the most important cultural venues in Egypt. According to Aljazeera, the center gets more than 20000 visitors monthly and its website receives approximately 150000 visitors/month.
El Sawy culturewheel was established in 2003 by Engineer Mohamed El-Sawy. Prior to its construction, its location, beneath the 15th May Bridge in Zamalek, was a garbage dump and a shelter for homeless people and drug addicts. El-Sawy named his center in honor of his father's — Abdel Moneim El-Sawy, an Egyptian novelist and a former minister of culture — five-part novel series: "El-Sakkia" or (The Wheel).
Locations and halls
As of April 2009, El Sawy culturewheel has 3 branches: the main branch in Zamalek, a branch in Algeel Algadeed school and a temporary branch in Qena. The main branch has 8 halls: Wisdom hall, River hall, Earth hall, Word halls 1 and 2, Garden Hall, El Naseeb and Bostan El Nil. The permanent premises in Qena is scheduled for opening in Ramadan, 2009.
The center is home for a wide range of activities and cultural events. Every year, it chooses a main theme for most of its events, the 2009 theme is "dignity", through which it aims to abolish some social problems, such as begging. The center has organized hundreds of concerts and musical events, including those for oud, jazz, musical theatre, children chorus and performances for several Egyptian and Arab bands, singers and entertainers. It also hosts several seminars, workshops, art exhibitions, book fairs and movie shows.
Being the first non-government controlled private cultural center in Egypt, its events are claimed to have more freedom and higher quality than those in government-controlled centers. In addition, it organizes a number of conferences and festivals, including an annual theatre festival, the "Sakkia animated film festival", El Sawy culture wheel festival for documentaries, and the El Sakkia conference for Arabic language and Poet Laureate Ahmed Shawqi. There is also a lecture series about Ancient Egypt by Egyptologist Ahmed Seddik.
The Sawy also includes several sections for arts and music training and a number of libraries, including a music library and children's library. and it offers several art classes in painting, sculpture, piano and violin for children and youth.
- (Arabic) "El Sawy Culturewheel in Egypt: From a place for beggars to a resort for intellectuals". CNN. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- (Arabic) "El Sawy Culturewheel in Egypt chooses minds as a focus for its 2008 activities". Aljazeera. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Many reasons for one visit". Al Ahram Weekly. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Inventing the Wheel". Egypt Today. 2004-10. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- From the Culturewheel website
- (Arabic) "Cornerstone for El Sawy culturewheel in Qena laid". Al-badeel Newspaper. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-04-01.[dead link]
- "Popularizing Art and Culture: An Egyptian experience". islamOnline. 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- (Arabic) "23 independent theatre groups in El Sawy culturewheel festival in Cairo". Aljazeera. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- (Arabic) "83 movies in Sakkia's first animated film festival in Cairo". Aljazeera. 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- (Arabic) "Presenting El Sawy culturewheel documentary film festival awards". Aljazeera. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2009-04-01.