• artist:Mazaher
  • event type:WOMEX 21 Showcase - Official Selection
  • date:28 Oct 2021
  • time:23:15 - 00:00
  • city/area:Porto
  • venue:Theatre Stage
  • country:Portugal
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts


Zar is a communal healing trance ritual in which women carry the dominant role, involving hypnotic singing, chanting and dancing, polyrhythmic percussion on frame drums and shakers, and rolling riffs plucked from the harp-like tamboura. It can be found in various forms across north-east Africa and some claim it dates back to the time of the pharaohs. Among the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt are the musicians of Mazaher: Um Sameh, Um Hassan and Nour El Sabah. They are a central presence at the Makan Centre for Egyptian Culture and Arts in Cairo, a small but vital venue committed to “encourage the diversity of the Egyptian cultural scene as a strategy to counter cultural uniformity, consumerism and an increasing intolerance for the marginal.” Healing is needed more than ever, Mazaher are on hand to help.