Cairo Opera House scraps Ramadan special program

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The tense security situation in Egypt has forced the Cairo Opera House to cancel this year’s Ramadan special program, which was scheduled to take place between July 23 and Aug. 6, the Ahram Online website reported on Wednesday.

“The cancellation is for security reasons in response to the current circumstances in the country and the ongoing violence, which we are afraid might continue in the upcoming several days,” Ahram Online quoted the opera house’s management as saying.

The program had included “a smaller than usual number of activities, limited to music performances at the open air theater and two events at the small hall.”

Before the ouster of President Mohammed Mursi on July 3, the opera house became a battleground between supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader. Mursi’s opponents protested against the appointment of Islamist Culture Minister Alaa Abdulaziz, who has now been replaced.

There has been increased tension since Mursi was ousted by the army earlier this month.

Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on Wednesday for demonstration in support of a crackdown on “terrorism and violence.” However, Islamists denounced Sisi’s statement, saying it was a call to “civil war” ahead of their own rallies.

Cairo Opera House is considered to be the Middle East’s oldest music institution.

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