Egypt: Tahrir Cultural Center Opens in CairoMar 2019
In March 2019, the Tahrir Cultural Center opened in Cairo after buildings at the American University in Cairo (AUC) were converted into a multi-cultural facility. The Center inaugurated its activities through an exhibition featuring thirty-five Egyptian artists. The Center boasts seven exhibition halls for visual arts and three multi-area theatres in addition to a hall for literature and book launches.
The Center was launched as part of an agreement signed in early 2018 between the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and the AUC . The AUC will run the Center, while the Sawiris Foundation provided a financial grant to launch the Tahrir Cultural Center. The Sawiris Foundation will also operate it for a year and bear the costs of retrofitting and rehabilitating the halls, according to the president of the Center, Ali Murad, who added that the Center’s program and work policies will adhere to those which run throughout all of the AUC’s institutions. He also said that the Center aims to become financially self-sufficient through ticket sales for events held in the various sections of the Center, commencing next year. An arts school affiliated with the Center is also being planned as a means of supporting the Center’s sustainability and financial stability.
The Center is made up of several departments: the Cinema Department, headed by director Amir Ramses; the Visual Exhibitions Hall department under artist Mahmoud Hamdi; the Drama department, headed by Saeed Qabil; the Literature department, led by publisher Karam Youssef; and the Arts department, headed by Hisham Gabr, formerly head of the Library of Alexandria. In a statement, Hisham Gabr stressed that the Center is founded on policies and programmes designed under "the principle that cultural services should be available without any form of classism or exclusion, because the only thing which should be taken into consideration is value and quality of the content.”