Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kufiyaspotting #24: Sting Plays at the Pyramids for Palestinian Children

This photo by Abdel-Hamid Eid accompanies the article "Desert Bloom," about Sting's visit to Cairo in Al-Ahram Weekly, 26 April - 2 May 2001. It appeared shortly before Sting's concert at the Pyramids, along with rai star Cheb Mami, Egyptian sha'abi star Hakim, and Lebanon's Elissa.

Here's the most interesting bit, the Palestine connection. I quote:

The sponsors of this high profile event also pledged to donate 10 per cent of ticket revenues to the children of Palestine through Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a British charity organisation.

Sting goes on to say:

"My opinion is that the future lies around the negotiating table in the peace process. I'm not with bulldozers and tanks. And the sooner we get there the better," he urged. He believes that some of his songs "sing very directly about the situation in Palestine in a metaphorical way. It was very moving. I don't take it for granted"...

The singer brushed aside concern that he might be criticised for performing at a concert where revenues will be channeled to Palestinians.

"A charity for children can't be criticised," the singer said matter-of-factly. "I am here because I want to be here. I have great joy in singing"...

Sting says his message is "intrinsic in my songs and my music", but he told Al-Ahram Weekly that he had "no idea" whether he will compose or write songs for the Palestinian cause any time soon...
Egypt's Hakim said that he was delighted to take part in a cultural exchange mixing Egyptian folklore, Algerian Rai, Western music and Lebanese pop. Lebanon's Elissa said that her performance at the concert "is the least I can do for the Palestinian cause."

After being badgered by politically-loaded questions, Sting reminded his inquisitors that his was not the art of politics. "I am a singer. When I have an opinion, I can express it, but my job is to entertain. I don't want to be a politician"...

Cairo brings back "very fond" memories of his days as lead singer with The Police, when the band performed at the American University in Cairo in 1980.

As for Sting's outfit, which he wore at the interview, the white disdasha and kufiya (scarf): He was given the outfit in Jordan where he performed two days earlier, Sting told reporters.


Anonymous said...

Check your "While Europe Slept" post. I left a comment and a question there I was hoping you would respond to.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

I saw a sorority girl with an orange and black kufiya on walking up Dickson Street Saturday night.
I didn't have a camera handy. :(