Egyptian rapper performs in Denmark

Ahram Online, Sunday 1 Sep 2013

Egyptian rapper Shaheen El-Abkary performs in Copenhagen as part of youth development programme

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Shaheen al-Abkary (Photo: Adham Youssef)
Turning Tables, a non-profit organisation in Denmark, is working on youth empowerment through exposure to global cultures, including workshops in DJ-ing, electronic music, and rap, hosted by Egyptian rapper Shaheen El-Abkary.
 
El-Abkary performed his latest creations in Copenhagen as part of the programme on Saturday 31 August .
 
Shaheen is a renowned Egyptian rapper, known for his use of satirical lyrics to criticise and praise subjects of his choice. A former member of the Alexandria based Y-Crew Family, one of Egypt’s prominent rap groups, Shaheen was featured in 2010 Egyptian independent film Microphone, directed by prominent filmmaker Ahmed Abdalla.
 
Shaheen discovered his passion for Rap at an early age, after listening to Tupac and other old-school rappers. In 2007, at the age of 15, he joined Y-Crew.
 
Shaheen uses rap to satirise issues within Egyptian society in order to provoke a reaction, be it laughter or tears. His latest single, 'Mashy I am leaving', engages some of the problems Egyptian youth suffer from, including unemployment and marginalisation. In the song, he represents the sound of a desperate Egyptian young man who is planing to emmigrate to another country. In the song, Shaheen showcases his own desperation for a better future, and provides justifications for why a young man might consider leaving his homeland.
 
The song was dedicated to the United Nations International Youth Day and its theme - Youth Migration - for a year, in collaboration with the Egyptian Foundation for Youth and Development's Underground Project.
 
Another song that uses the same satirical style is 'Feeha w Feeha', in which Shaheen discusses a number of contradictions within Egyptian society.
 
Shaheen will be one of 20 rappers from the Middle East joinining 20 rappers from Denmark in a a 9-day training course in Copenhagen, organised by RAPOLITICS, a non-profit organisation based in Denmark. This 'RAPLAB MENA' seminar, which is due to take place from 9-18 September will bring together 40 'raptivists' from various countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Denmark, to play and record music, as well as discuss future dreams and opportunities.
 
The musicians will engage in dialogue with danish youth organisations, rappers and associations, and participate in a workshop with high school students.
 
According to RAPOLITICS, "The overall goal (of the programme) is to give the 40 raptivists an opportunity to learn, teach and communicate their ideas about youth, culture and music to a broader audience."
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