Web Site Review: The Egyptian Castle

The Egyptian Castle is truly an oasis along the information superhighway. Allow plenty of time to visit this site, because once you get there you won’t want to leave! Whether you’re an Egyptian native who wants to listen to live Arabic radio or a novice dancer who is eager to learn about Middle Eastern culture, you’ll enjoy your stay. You’ll find it at:
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The Egyptian Castle is a web site about Egyptian culture, built by Nahed Elbanhawy. She is an Egyptian who was born in Cairo and has lived in Canada for 20 years. She has picked an elegant way to share the culture of his homeland with the rest of the world.

The Egyptian Castle is a great way to introduce yourself to Arabic music. The music page features a series of buttons, each marked with the name of a famous Arabic vocalist: Fairuz, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Farid Al Atrache, Warda--they’re all there! When you click on a vocalist’s name, you’re taken to a page that gives a brief biography of him or her, plus several RealAudio and MIDI files of songs made famous by that person. Even if you’re new to Arabic music and not familiar with any of these vocalists, you can start clicking on names and listening to sound clips. Soon, you too will know the names of the well-known Egyptian artists and be able to hum a couple of tunes made popular by each!

Although I felt the music area was likely to hold the strongest interest for us dancers, the rest of this site was also great fun to explore! The Egyptian Castle has a number of things to entertain its visitors: digital postcards (unfortunately, their pictures have nothing to do with Egypt), online cartoons in English, clips of Egyptian movies, photos of Egyptian people, and more. An entertaining page about Egyptian proverbs shares such gems of wisdom as, “If you get between the onion and its peel you'll only get the stinky smell.”

Each page of this web site has a different MIDI file that plays Arabic music for you while you explore the site. For those web surfers who prefer not to have background music, each page also obligingly has a button at the bottom to turn the music off.

So, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, pull up a comfortable chair in front of your computer, and lose yourself for a while in the Egyptian Castle!


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