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8 April 2024

Experience a dazzling array of sights, sounds and tastes celebrating the wonder of Egypt at the Illuminating Egypt Festival on Saturday 13 April at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

Illuminating Egypt is a free event featuring diverse music and dance performances, mouth-watering street food from Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa, a souk-inspired market and an exciting range of family-friendly activities.

The evening event will be held across the National Museum grounds from 4–8pm allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy the illuminated gardens and forecourt, and the magnificent architecture of the Museum at night.

National Museum of Australia director Katherine McMahon said the Museum is thrilled to be showcasing Egypt’s diverse offerings and welcoming visitors to the site at night.

‘The Museum is looking forward to celebrating Egypt’s diverse culture during the festivities. We have been working with a range of Egyptian communities to create an evening of lively performances, exceptional experiences and interactive events that the whole family can enjoy,’ said Ms McMahon.

Manager of contemporary programs at the Museum, Jessi England, said the Museum is excited to be bringing performers, artists and stallholders together for this vibrant celebration.

‘The Illuminating Egypt Festival will be a beautiful evening for visitors of all ages and a feast for the senses! Visitors are invited to bring friends and family to the stunning location of the National Museum of Australia for a fun, entertaining and unique evening,’ Ms England said.

Entertainment from some of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary and traditional Egyptian performers will surprise and delight. Visitors will be swept up by the high energy and striking beats of Tarek and Youssef Sawires, the Zaffe Band Traditional Arabian Drumming, Banat Amar dance troupe, and masterful oud player George Wasef. St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church Choir will uplift audiences with their ancient hymns.

Visitors will be transported by the smells, sights and sounds of souk-inspired market stalls where they will discover treasures ranging from hand-crafted Egyptian instruments and ceramics to clothing, jewellery and fashion accessories. There will also be a range of fragrances, grocery items, lanterns and other Egyptian wares on offer.

The evening will also feature a wide range of family-friendly activities, including art-making with Egyptian papyrus, stamping with phonetic hieroglyphs and lantern making.

Illuminating Egypt is a special event in conjunction with the National Museum’s must-see exhibition, Discovering Ancient Egypt, which explores the history and culture of ancient Egypt and features more than 220 objects spanning 3,000 years.

The exhibition will be open for special extended evening hours on the night of the festival. Exhibition ticket costs apply. To avoid disappointment, please book ahead!

Media contact: Matthew Heap – 02 6208 5006, 0459 949 172 or

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