U of A Participates in a Musical Initiative to Generate Sustainable Social, Cultural and Economic Development in Aswan, Egypt

After several years of preparation, the U of A's Canadian Center for Ethnomusicology helps to reintroduce musical involvement in Aswan

Kimberly Bricker - 5 June 2017

Partnered with Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), the Aga Khan Foundation, and the Om Habibeh Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology is working to promote music's unparalleled power to mobilize, create, and connect communities in the Egyptian Governorate of Aswan. Also, through a new initiative, the Aswan Music project, co-developed by U of A Professor of Music and Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, Dr. Michael Frishkopf, they aim to revive Aswan's musical richness and diversity.

Aswan's former abundance of participatory music has been dwindled in recent years, resulting mainly from the impact of popular music media and a lack of employment opportunities, particularly with the precipitous decline in Egypt's tourism since 2011.

Following over two years of careful research and planning, the Aswan Music Project offered workshops and performances in three Aswan villages from May 12 to May 22, involving musical participation from both adult musicians, young children, and their teachers, thereby launching an ongoing program for sustainable social and cultural development. By catalyzing a more vibrant live music scene, this initiative also aims to generate tourism, thereby producing more employment opportunities for local musicians.