The 21st European Cultural Festival kicked off Thursday in Algiers with a breathtaking concert of the group Raina Rai which has delighted the large audience who were required to strictly comply with health measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Hosted at the Mahieddine-Bachtarzi National Theatre under the slogan, “Algeria sings Europe”, the 21st edition of this festival was opened by the legendary group Raina Rai which performed a dozen songs, to the delight of an audience that has thus renewed its interest in shows, after more than two years of interruption of all cultural activities due to the pandemic.
The band, led by the maestro Lotfi Attar, performed for two hours and a half, famous songs such “Lala Fatima”,”jaloul” and ”Koulou Lmam (Tell mom)” before performing with their legendary song “Ya Zina”.
A short repertoire of occidental songs was also performed by Sidi Bel Abbès native band, including “Caravane”, “La Bôhème” and “Hier encore” by Charles Aznavour, and the anthology hit by the mythical Rolling Stones band, “I can’t Get No Satisfaction”.
The group Raina rai was founded in 1980 by the musicians from Sidi Bel Abbès, Tarik Chikhi (1953-2019), Kaddour Bouchentouf, Hachemi Djellouli and Lotfi Attar, who were already members of the group “Aigles noirs”.
Earlier, the ambassador and head of the European Union delegation in Algeria, John O’Rourke, gave the opening speech of the 21st European Cultural Festival in Algeria, in the presence of representatives of the various diplomatic missions accredited in Algiers from the participating countries, as well as several guests and the director of the TNA, Mohamed Yahiaoui.
Accompanied by the crystalline sounds of the Kora (a West African vertical stringed instrument), the author, storyteller and musician Fayçal Belattar read out a poetic text inspired by the work “Identités meurtrières” by Amine Malouf, in which he advocates more love and humanism between individuals and peoples.
Several Algerian artists and groups will be singing Europe at the 21st edition of this festival, which, for health safety reasons, has been scheduled only in Algiers.
In addition to being an opportunity to promote Algerian-European cultural dialogue and exchange, the 21st European Cultural Festival is also intended to support the artistic world, which is severely affected by the effects of the global pandemic.
The 21st European Cultural Festival continues at TNA venue until 2 July, with the participation of fourteen European countries, including Germany, on Friday’s programme with the group “Ahellil Baba”.