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A new day dawns for Egypt

Egyptian and international artists pay tribute to the 25 January Egyptian Revolution

Farah Montasser, Monday 14 Feb 2011
A new day has come to Egypt

On 11 February, the 18th day of the revolution, Egyptians saw an end of the 30 year-old authoritarian regime. "The youth of Egypt have inspired us,” said US President Barak Obama.

More and more people have united since 25 January and built a powerful front, armed with hope and belief to fight for their freedom. Inspired by this, Egyptian musicians, along with some international artists, have dedicated their artistic talent in support of the cause for change and reform.

Ahmed Mikky, an Egyptian rapper/actor/director, along with Mohamed Mohsen and Shady Essaeed, produced the first song in the early days of the revolution entitled 25th of January, marking the first day the protests spread through Egypt. 25th of January gives a broader picture of the youth and their insistence for change though the government tried to stop them.

Members of Egyptian bands, Wust El Balad (Downtown) and Cairokee have joined forces to write and produce Sout El Horreya (Sound of Freedom), a tribute to the Egyptian revolution. In the name of young people, they too call for change, freedom and reform.

Sout El Horreya includes Hany Adel, lead singer of Wust El Balad band, and Amir Eid Hawary, lead singer of Cairokee, on guitars and Sherif Mostafa on keyboards. 
Young Egyptian directors Moustafa Fahmy, Mohamed Khalifa and Mohamed Shaker have also contributed to the song. All footage included in the video clip are live shots from demonstrations and the Tahrir community throughout the 18 day long revolution.

Aalo Magnoun (They said he’s crazy), a song that was featured in a very popular commercial last Ramadan (the Islamic holy month) has been rewritten by the Egyptian band Taxi. The lyrics now apply to the recent events and mock those who did not believe that Egypt can change and how the 25 January revolution made it happen.

Wael Eskandar is another young example of talents inspired by this revolution. He has written and sang a new patriotic anthem entitled Citizen’s Anthem. Eskandar says, "These are the things we are all fighting for freedom, democracy and a better life."

Bahibek Ya Belday (I Love You My Country) has a special message as it is addressed to all the mothers of the martyrs from their sons and daughters. From the other world, they say not to cry or despair; they send kisses to their mothers and greetings to the country. The song says: “My body has burns, bullets and metal… With a flag in my hand, and they call me a martyr. I leave this world and I see you, Egypt, beautiful.”
The chorus of Bahibek Ya Belady has some significance as well for it is one of the late Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi’s masterpieces. Hamdi is known for famous compositions, including Oum Kalthoum’s El Hob Eih (What love is), Faydah Kamel’s Leih Laa (Why No), Ma Thbinish Be Al Shakl Dah (Don't Love Me Like That) by Fayza Ahmed and the song Tkhounoh (Betray My Heart) by Abdel Halim Hafez.

Among the many international artists Wyclef Jean, who helped his country Haiti after the earthquake, wrote his recent “Freedom” dedicating it to Egypt. Using footage from the Egyptian revolution, he sits back in his recording studio with the Egyptian flag behind him and sings “I see the youths 
with the scars on their faces…
These are the scars of courage…The people have taken over…
 They are the survivors.” He also provides a prayer and sings, “And Allah has not forgotten you
for he is grateful and the Lord will never forget you. He will grant you your freedom.”

Grammy award-winning R&B singer Alicia Keys also wrote a heartfelt letter to the Egyptian people showing her admiration, respect and support. During her last three week visit to Egypt, back in 2006, Keys realised there was a growing movement against the government.

Inspired by this, Keys has named her son Egypt and on her blog, she admits that she will always have a special place in her heart for the people she met during that time. She says, "Now when I look at my son, I realise that his name represents more than the will to be free - it stands for the fight for change, and the courage to shout! We can hear the voice... and it is ours."

Indeed the Egyptian revolution has won  yet a lot is still to come. Wycleff Jean says, “One love to Egypt.”




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