CultureEgypt

Sting caught between a rock and a hard place at pyramids concert

British rock star Sting faced the wrath of local singing star Hakim and a disgruntled crowd at a rock concert at 's Giza .

The organisers introduced Sting after a break of 90 minutes in the programme, to the irritation of a crowd at the ancient resting place of the Pharaohs who had been expecting to see their local hero take the stage an hour earlier.

Hakim promptly burst onto the set, protesting loudly that it was his turn to sing, but the organisers would not let him. “Whoever is willing to accept the insult of an Egyptian in Egypt can stay. Goodbye!” he snapped as he stormed off.

As parts of the audience responded to his suggestion that local talent was being scorned in favour of big foreign names, chanting “Hakim! Hakim!”, the concert ground to a halt once more amid feverish backstage negotiations.

Only when the organisers finally explained that Hakim had failed to turn up on time for his allotted slot did the crowd calm down.

Finally Sting, promoting his latest album, Brand New Day, did get an enthusiastic reception for a set including his global hit Desert Rose, performed with Algerian Rai star Cheb Mami.

Organisers said 10% of ticket receipts would go to the British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Archaeologists have in the past complained that musical performances, particularly rock concerts, may damage the 4,600-year-old pyramids.

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This article was first published by Reuters on 26 April 2001.

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Author

  • Khaled Diab

    Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and . Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the and the UN, as well as civil . Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled's life has been divided between the and Europe. He grew up in Egypt and the , and has lived in , on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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Khaled Diab

Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the EU and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled’s life has been divided between the Middle East and Europe. He grew up in Egypt and the UK, and has lived in Belgium, on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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