Egyptian media are highly influential throughout the Arab World, attributed to large audiences and increasing freedom from government control. Freedom of the media is guaranteed in the constitution; however, many laws still restrict this right.
Cinema of Egypt
Egyptian cinema became a regional force with the coming of sound. In 1936, Studio Misr, financed by industrialist Talaat Harb, emerged as the leading Egyptian studio, a role the company retained for three decades.
For over 100 years, more than 4000 films have been produced in Egypt, three quarters of the total Arab production. Egypt is considered the leading country in the field of cinema in the Middle East.
Actors from all over the Arab World seek to appear in the Egyptian cinema for the sake of fame. The Cairo International Film Festival has been rated as one of 11 festivals with a top class rating worldwide by the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations.
Music of Egypt
Egyptian music is a rich mixture of indigenous, Mediterranean, African and Western elements. It has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since antiquity.
The ancient Egyptians credited one of their gods Hathor with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilise the world. Egyptians used music instruments since then.
Contemporary Egyptian music traces its beginnings to the creative work of people such as Abdu al-Hamuli, Almaz and Mahmoud Osman, who influenced the later work of Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez whose age is considered the golden age of music in Egypt and the whole Middle East and North-Africa.
Prominent contemporary Egyptian pop singers include Amr Diab and Mohamed Mounir.
Today, Egypt is often considered the home of belly dance. Egyptian belly dance has two main styles – raqs baladi and raqs sharqi. There are also numerous folkloric and character dances that may be part of an Egyptian-style belly dancer’s repertoire, as well as the modern shaabi street dance which shares some elements with raqs baladi.
Egypt has one of the oldest civilisations in the world. It has been in contact with many other civilisations and nations and has been through so many eras, starting from prehistoric age to the modern age, passing through so many ages such as; Pharonic, Roman, Greek, Islamic and many other ages.
Because of this wide variation of ages, the continuous contact with other nations and the big number of conflicts Egypt had been through, at least 60 museums may be found in Egypt, mainly covering a wide area of these ages and conflicts.
Tutankhamun’s burial mask is one of the major attractions of the Egyptian Museum.
The three main museums in Egypt are The Egyptian Museum which has more than 120,000 items, the Egyptian National Military Museum and the 6th of October Panorama.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), also known as the Giza Museum, is an under construction museum that will house the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world, it has been described as the world’s largest archaeological museum.
The museum was scheduled to open in 2015 and will be sited on 50 hectares (120 acres) of land approximately two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Giza Necropolis and is part of a new master plan for the plateau. The Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al Damaty announced in May 2015 that the museum will be partially opened in May 2018.
Egypt celebrates many festivals and religious carnivals, also known as mulid. They are usually associated with a particular Coptic or Sufi saint, but are often celebrated by Egyptians irrespective of creed or religion.
Ramadan has a special flavour in Egypt, celebrated with sounds, lights (local lanterns known as fawanees) and much flare that many Muslim tourists from the region flock to Egypt to witness during Ramadan.
The ancient spring festival of Sham en Nisim has been celebrated by Egyptians for thousands of years, typically between the Egyptian months of Paremoude (April) and Pashons (May), following Easter Sunday.