2012 Middle East Tour / Egypt (Nov.4-10)
2012 Middle East tour was a great success but at the same time, we were caught in the political crossfire since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out. But Rock Of Asia released its 1st album on Mar.11, 2011 and then came Earthequake and Tsunami. There were songs about fisherman losing a family and goddess of the sea on the album which theme was ocean. The 2nd album is totally political featuring a song named after the book by Mosab Hassan Yusef and "Astral" which is about the ordeal of Israel/US vs Palestine. So it was meant to be. As soon as we arrived in Palestine, Israel bombed Gaza, killing the Hamas commander. Rock Of Asia must be a prophet of some kind.

Nov.6th / JEN Open Salon at the Embassy of Japan, Cairo

 We were welcome by the hundred Egyptians, the Embassy of Japan and the media on the first day of the Middle East tour even though Daisuke missed the gig (he missed the flight from NY). We performed a short set but the 2 of the young talented musicians from the Arab joined and made it very special (pictured above, Somer on Oud and Fareed on Tambourine).

The event was organized by JEN (Japan Egypt Network), the organization of young Egyptians who are learning Japanese or are interested in Japan. The event started with the welcome speech by the Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Okuda and was followed by a song by JEN members. We became friends with many of them.

Many of these pictures were taken by Ms. Hiroshima of Embassy of Japan who is pictured here, the 2nd lady from left.

And the young Egyptians of JEN, of course. We got reunited with them on the JEN event on Nov.10th at Japan Foundation office.

Newspaper" Daily News" in Cairo next morning. The interview with Nikki took place right after the gig.

Nov.7th / El Sawy Culture Wheel, Cairo

The turnout was smaller than the Embassy gig, but we were greeted by the cheerful music fans.Unfortunately we do not have any picture from this gig, but Egyptian Gazette had a great article about our show.

Daisuke flew from New York and arrived just before the gig. He still managed to play a shakuhachi solo and entertained Egyptian crowd. There was a bit of booking problem there, but the staff of Culture Wheel were very kind.

Nov.8th / Cairo Opera House, Cairo
The prestigious Opera House show was a tremendous success. And it had a highlight of a young Egyptian, Mr. Mohammd Sabir joining us on the stage. He was featured on "El Condor Pasa" playing an Oud and "Ueo Muite Arukou" singing together. And Dr. Karam Khalil, the vice president of Japan Society for Arts and Culture in Egypt.

It all started with him that Nikki knew him in Japan when he was stationed in Tokyo. Nikki asked if  Rock Of Asia could play in Cairo and he said they could invite us. It took 1 year to plan and materialize and everythng went very smoothly.

Million thanks again to Dr. Karam, his assistant Ms. Tomizawa and the president of Japan Society, Madam Dahlia.

YouTube Clips

Ueo Muite Arukou

El Condor Pasa


Kojo No Tsuki

Nov.10th / Japan Foundation, Cairo

The last gig in Egypt was at the Japan Foundation Office, downtown Cairo. It was a JEN gathering and our appearance was decided at the last minute, but all the people welcomed us with open heart. Special thanks to JEN and Japan Foundation, Ms. Sato, Mr. Takahashi and Mr.Murakami family. This was a workshop and meet & greet rather than a concert, we had fun and so did everybody else. We were also impressed by the 2 Japanese volunteers from JICA, they did a very illustrated comedy play in Arabic, so professionally done (Mr.Goto and I can't remember the lady's name..).

It was an appropriate way to say goodbye to our friends in Egypt.

                              Middle East Tour / Israel Middle East Tour / Palestine                                       


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