About this project
ALMOST THERE!! We are in the homestretch!! PLEDGE TODAY + watch our trailer:
Voices and Faces of the Adhan: Cairo is a feature-length documentary film examining the 1,400-year-old oral tradition of the Muslim call to prayer.
- Adhan: the Muslim call to prayer
- Muezzin: one who recites the adhan, calling believers to prayer five times daily
- There are over 30,000 paid and volunteer muezzins in Cairo
The film follows the muezzins of Cairo -- the voices of the city -- as the tradition of the adhan, and Egypt itself, undergo crucial changes.
We believe everyone can connect with the very human stories of our individual muezzins. In this way we see the film as an opportunity for intercultural dialogue between the West and the Middle East, at a time when it's greatly needed.
Help us make the world a smaller place. Help us bridge these gaps between imaginary cultural divides. Help us make magic happen!
How This Began
It started wtih love. Then heartbreak. And now action.
While traveling in 2007, Anna was so captivated by the call to prayer in Cairo -- this rich, thousand-voice aural tapestry rising up above the city -- that she started walking into mosques during the times of the adhan just to listen closely to the muezzins.
Once back in the states, she couldn't believe there existed no actual documentation of individual muezzins from individual mosques.
Through her research, Anna learned that a new law was being passed to essentially end this ancient oral tradition as we knew it. She vowed to document the individuals who recite the adhan in Cairo before they disappear forever! A wonderful group of creative individuals came together to make sure this important story gets told!
Why We're In This
As we document and share this story, these are our primary goals:
- To create an ethnographic record of this never-before-documented oral tradition, for other cultures as well as for future generations
- To tell the stories of several individual muezzins and their relationships to the call to prayer
- To break down misconceptions about Islam and the Middle East -- through individual human stories, and by showcasing the beauty of an ancient culture's sacred music
- To report how the Revolution and the changing Egypt have affected how the adhan is recited
The Story We Captured
Islam's first muezzin, Bilal, recited the adhan 1,400 years ago, and to this day muezzins call Muslims to pray using the same words. In 2010, the Ministry of Al-Awqaf, the religious arm of the government began implementing what is known as the Adhan Unification Project: a legislated end to Cairo’s many mosques sounding their unique and individual adhans, in favor of a single muezzin's voice broadcast live from a radio station, transmitted through wireless receivers to each of the city’s 4,000 officially recognized mosques.
This has been a huge change to the daily flavor of Cairo, and an even bigger one in the lives of thousands of individual muezzins whose posts and spiritual futures were suddenly in jeopardy. And then the Revolution happened. We follow five individual muezzins and the Deputy Minister of Al-Awqaf from 2009, before the passing of the new law, through initial installation of the receivers in 2010. We then follow their continued installation up until the Revolution, the fall of the Mubarak regime, and the election of President Mohamed Morsi in 2012. A point in history when the muezzins of Cairo and the people of Egypt found themselves in a state of limbo -- and of new hope.
A Long Road
We began shooting Voices and Faces of the Adhan: Cairo in late 2008, and principal photography is now finally complete! Our four-year journey has been nothing short of amazing.
Our super talented crew, made up mostly of volunteers, have been working to produce, direct, interpret, shoot, edit, build the website, write the music, organize and market events, hold fundraisers, write grants, and more.
Along the way we have been super fortunate to receive various press in print and radio. Interviews on NPR's Worldview, CBC's As It Happens, Gapers Block, and Reel Chicago, amongst others. Great turnouts at project presentations at universities and museums all over the country. Partnerships with organizations like Past Preservers and University of Cambridge's World Oral Literature Project. As well as support from organizations such as Hartley Film Foundation, National Geographic's All Roads Film Project, and the Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund.Now that we've captured our movie, it's time to get down and dirty - and this is where you come in!
Where Your Pledge Money Goes
Movies are expensive! We are getting great deals because everyone involved loves our film. Your contributions will go toward paying for:
- Translation of 200+ hours of footage - Jason Lyle Reeder: $1,300
- Logging and organizing footage: $3,000
- Editing the film - Scott F. Busch: $10,000
- HD Color Grading: $4,000
- HDcam-SR Master: $600
- HDcam-SR Tape Stock: $300
- QC HD Master: $100
- Sound Design/Mix: $3,000
- Subtitling in English and Arabic: $1,000
- Kickstarter incentive fulfillment: $2,470
TOTAL NEEDED: $25,770
Pictures of Rewards
Help us make magic happen by making sure VOICES AND FACES OF THE ADHAN: CAIRO gets completed!
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