The Sound of Cairo
By Dr. Maged El-Bialy
The Sound Of Cairo, (Sot El Qahira) is a music shop located downtown in Cairo. The Shop has been around for 30 years and is one of the first outlets for the National Record Company (Sot El Qahira) "Sound Of Cairo". You might wonder what is so special about a record shop. It is a special place for those who are admirers of oriental genuine tunes. The shop offers all types of old Arabic albums. You can find all the albums of the Egyptian musical legends, like Om Kulthoum, Abdel Whahab, and Fareed El Atrash. If you are a collector of Arabic music you can certainly complete your set from this shop or even buy the whole set either on tapes or CDs. As for prices, one CD may range from 30 L.E (US$ 6) to 50 L.E (US$10) and tapes may range from 5 L.E (US$ 1) to 20 L.E. (US$ 3.5), so money is not the issue!
Besides audiotapes you can also find videotapes that are in numerous collections of historical, political and religious documentaries. You can also find complete sets of old Arabic TV serials, even some with English subtitles. One video documentary that attracted me was "The Secrets of the Pyramids". There were Arabic, English and French copies of these documentaries. I asked the manager, Mr. Salah Ahmad, if he ever received foreign customers and his answer was that he always gets a lot of tourists to come in and buy tapes and CDs. There are of course more Arab customers than non-Arab but there are a lot of French customers who always look for old Arabic music reproduced from vinyl recordings to CDs.
The shop is not a fancy place, nor is it decorated in a special style but rather plain and simple. There are simple shelves with hundreds of tapes and CDs. What attracted me about the shop design is the number of mirrors put up in the walls. I felt I was in a Fun House for a moment! Sot El Qahira is very well known by downtown dwellers. It is located in 3, Borsa El Gedida St, off Kasr El Nil St.downtown. Next time you are downtown Cairo, and in the mood to buy an Arabic musical tape old or new, just drop by the Sot El Kahira Shop to get your request.
3 El Borsa El Gedida St.,
Off Kasr El nil St.
Tel.: 202 3913252
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