The Indian “Forum of Light” festival chose Egypt as its guest of honor for the first time, in its 28th edition at Calicut (Kozhikode) city in India.
Egypt’s selection as a guest was recommended by the director of “Al-Hikma Sunni University” in Kerala state, based on the selection of students from Islamic institutes and pioneers of Sufism in India, according to a press release from the Indian Embassy on Tuesday.
The Egyptian ٍFerqa El-Sebaaya El-Enshad Eddiny (septet ensemble of religious chanting) represented Egypt in the annual festival. They are a religious ensemble, founded on 12 August 2012, who are affiliated with the General Authority for Cultural Palaces. The authority perform in a non-traditional style, wearing white robes and using poems taken from religious songs which are part of the cultural heritage of Aswan.
The band’s performance included praises of the prophet Muhammad from the Egyptian heritage of Al-Azhar.
The group was received in a big celebration by a group of students who are memorising the Holy Quran at Al-Noor Islamic Center in Kalkut, India. The students performed, singing songs in Hindi mixed with Arabic, said Mohamed Idris, director of the Aswan Culture Branch.
Egypt’s ensemble, led by Sheikh Hussein El-Bayoumi, gave their performance during the past week amidst a large public presence who admire and follow religious chanting bands in Upper Egypt.
The Egyptian band concluded its concerts on 8 July.
Head of the External Cultural Relations Sector at the Ministry of Culture Heba Youssef, said that the invitation from the Festival of Lights in India was an affirmation of the strong Egyptian-Indian cultural relations.
The Festival of Lights ran from 4 to 9 July.