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  • The Aswan Music Project - Pilot workshops: West Aswan, Iqlit and Selwa – May 12-22, 2017.
Reviving culture and arts in Aswan

The Aswan Music Project
Pilot workshops: West Aswan, Iqlit and Selwa – May 12-22, 2017

Aswan, Egypt, 16 May 2017 - Artist and cultural development specialists will gather in Aswan during 12-22 May 2017 to premiere a series of music and arts workshops that will form the first phase of the newly established Aswan Music Project. Conceived by the Aga Khan Music Initiative and the Aga Khan Foundation, in partnership with Om Habibeh Foundation, Aswan Music Project aims to harness tremendous power of music and arts education to mobilise and connect communities thus seeking stronger social integration and pluralism while celebrating richness and diversity of Aswan’s cultural heritage.

First series of workshops will be led by Cairo-based Salam Yousry, a multi-talented artist, teacher and arranger. He will work in partnership with many musicians from Aswan on Oud and Duff. The first series will comprise three days of work and practice in the villages of Iqlit, Selwa and Gharb Aswan.

The workshops are designed to include education sessions in kindergartens, teacher-training sessions and adaptation of contemporary music education methods for early childhood training. The workshops will include sessions for children and parents, as well as for professional and amateur artists, thus encouraging regular practice informed by the innovative training methods.

Aswan’s position as a centre of artistic and cultural innovation has been weakened by the exodus of artists to the capital, as well as declining tourism in the region. Aswan music project aims to promote musical participation, musical development, and cultural continuity, by encouraging interest in Aswan’s traditional artistic heritage, especially through musical training of teachers, children and youth. In this way the project seeks to sustainably revive Aswan’s performing arts, enhancing social cohesion, and generating new possibilities for future employment in the tourism sector.

The Aswan Music Project is commissioned by the Aga Khan Music Initiative and developed in partnership with Aga Khan Foundation (Egypt), Om Habibeh Foundation and the University of Alberta in Canada.


The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) is an interregional music and arts education programme with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities. The Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms. The Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, and subsequently expanded its cultural development activities to include artistic communities and audiences in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and West Africa.

The Aga Khan Foundation Egypt (AKDN): The AKDN’s programmes in Egypt range from the development of the 30-hectare (74 acre) Azhar Park in the centre of historic Cairo to education and rural development in Aswan. Al Azhar Park project extends beyond the park to vocational training, including restoration skills and carpentry. In rural development, the AKDN promotes environmentally sound agricultural practices and helps farmers generate additional income. In education, it supports early childhood development and continuing education in Aswan. Microfinance programmes provides a range of financial products that support micro, small and medium enterprise development.

The Om Habibeh Foundation (OHF): an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, supports the social and economic development of disadvantaged communities in Aswan Governorate. An Egyptian not-for-profit organisation established in 1991, the Foundation empowers local capacity to advance education and income generation initiatives. Since 2006, OHF’s long-term development programme has reached over 80,000 people in the Aswan Governorate.

The University of Alberta  is a public research  university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, recognised by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as one of the top five universities in Canada and one of the top 100 universities worldwide. Comprising 18 faculties and nearly 40,000 students, including 7,700 graduate students and 7,800 international students representing 151 countries, the University of Alberta has graduated more than 260,000 alumni, including Nobel laureate Richard E. Taylor.

The Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE): Housed within the Faculty of Arts' Department of Music, the CCE's primary mission is "musical sound for the public good", including five primary ethnomusicological activities: archiving, dissemination, research, teaching, and outreach - with a focus on human development: improving the world through music.