‘We Live in Cairo’ comes to Lowell High

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By Emily Rios

The students of Lowell High were introduced to two driven performers in the school auditorium on Tuesday, March 5th. Daniel and Patrick Lazour bridged a gap between cultures and history in their upcoming musical, We Live in Cairo, set for a world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in May of this year.

The duo have spent the past few years working on a musical that captures the tragedies and triumphs of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. The Lazours took the stage and shared the origins and inspirations for their work. Before they dove into their musical, the brothers laid out the context and setting.  

A picture they shared depicted a group of young adults surrounding laptops and socializing. This photo was taken in the midst of the revolution, highlighting the connectivity of the world and the ability to promote universal civil justice. It was predominantly young adults who drove the push for political change, risking their lives for the sake of the country.

Music was a huge catalyst in unifying people from various backgrounds in a stand against an oppressive government. In Tahrir square in Cairo, many revolutionaries camped out in tents, protesting and performing politically charged music.

Cairo became the birthplace of a new mainstream genre, known as Mahraganat. While this type of music was established years prior, its role in the energy of the revolution was significant in bringing a new cultural aspect to the movement.

The increasing legal and political issues that ensued during the last years of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule incited action. During a peaceful protest, violent suppression led to many injured, including some killed.

Among them was twenty eight year old student, Khalid Saeed, who was beaten to death while in police custody. People used networking sites such as Facebook to spread awareness of the injustices taking place.

The unjust actions of the police generated more protests, with people demanding the resignation of President Mubarak. Ultimately he did step down from his position, a few weeks into the revolution. However, the impact of his presidency on the country emphasized a bravery in the voices of youth that still inspire to this day, and it has.

In 2012, Daniel and Patrick Lazour wanted to capture the experiences in Egypt. Their production follows the lives of six youth revolutionaries, centering around two brothers. One of the brothers falls in love with a Muslim woman, despite him being Christian.

The tension between the two religions created a suppressed relationship. To escape the prejudices of their home, the two plan to elope and move to Alexandria. The Lazours incorporated music and expressionism to highlight a significant change in history that still reverberates.