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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Tahrir sit-in transforms into Egypt music festival after hours

In the early hours of Sunday, Egypt's revolutionary musicians performed for the thousands of protesters spending the night in Tahrir Square

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Jul 2011

During the second night of the Tahrir Square sit-in, musicians entertained the 20,000 protesters, some of whom had brought their children. From around 1am on Sunday morning, artists whose names became associated with the revolution during its early days performed songs the protesters had memorised from previous sit-ins in the square. These ranged from popular folk songs by Sayed Darwish and Sheikh Imam Eissa to the national anthem.

Ramy Essam performed a new song that summed up the sit-in’s purpose with the line “I’m in Tahrir because I don’t feel any change.” The crowd joined in as Essam sang his famous songs El Homar (The Donkey), El Madina (The City) and Mish Hanimshi (We Won’t Leave).

The Port Said band El Tanboura performed some of their folkloric songs that are associated with the period between 1956’s tri-partite war on Egypt and the 1973 victory over Israel. Among their songs was Ghani ya semsemia le rosas el bondokeya (Sing Semsemia (oriental harp), to the Rifle Bullet). Some of the original lyrics to the song were modified to fit the revolution taking place in Egypt today, focusing on such terms as social justice, equality, humanity and freedom.

The songs of Sayed Darwish and Sheikh Imam Eissa were performed by the Artists For Change collective, which was formed at the outset of the revolution.

Tonight from 6pm, Ramy Essam and Eskenderalla are scheduled to play to the crowds in the Tahrir as the sit-in enters its third night.

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