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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Hany Shaker re-elected head of Egypt's Musicians Syndicate

The well-known singer has said music lessons in schools are on the agenda for his second term at the helm

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Aug 2019
 Hany Shaker
File photo: Hany Shaker has performed at Al Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharja, UAE, 25 January 2018 (Photo courtesy to Shaker)
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Singer Hany Shaker was re-elected head of the Musicians Syndicate on Tuesday, defeating former syndicate head Mostafa Kamel in a two-man race.

"Finding job opportunities for the general assembly members is my priority, in addition to reforming the health care and pensions systems," Shaker told Al-Ahram Arabic during the voting.

"I will speak directly with the education minister to ask him to pay more attention to music and singing classes in schools," he added.

A total of 2,157 music syndicate members voted out of 4,620 eligible members.

Contentious history

The position as head of the syndicate has often been the locus of a power struggle.

The syndicate was formed in 1942 on the initiative of Oum Kalthoum with the aim of tackling the problems faced by musicians and singers.

 

Kalthoum led the syndicate for seven consecutive terms, defeating rival Mohamed Abdel Wahab, a famous composer.

After the 2011 revolution, a long feud ignited between singer Iman El-Bahr Darwish, who held the position in 2011, and his successor, Mostafa Kamel, with accusations and legal action on both sides and debates over who had the right to the position.

Shaker's background

Shaker, a singer, composer and actor, has had a long career.

Born in 1952, he started playing the piano during his school years, then joined the Cairo Conservatoire in the early 1970s after he finished school.

He had a hit song, Helwa ya Donia, in 1972, which was written by composer Mohamed El-Mougi.

Shaker then joined Abdel-Halim Hafez's choir, featuring on songs Soura and Bel Ahdan.

He has worked with composers including Yehia El-Mougi, Baligh Hamdy, Ammar El-Shereei and Mounir Mourad.

His debut film performance was in the eponymous 1966 film about the famous singer Sayed Darwish, directed by Ahmed Badrakhan, in which he played a young Darwish.

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