From left to right: Ahmed El-Mogy, Karim Hosni, Egyptian singer Dalia El-Guindy, Poet Ahmed Hadadd, Hassan El Manialawe,Yussif El-Shereey and Hussien El Melegy performing in El-Sawy Culturewheel in Cairo's Zamalek district, Egypt, Saturday 11 July 2015 (Photo: Hala Safwat)
The evening featured poetry pillars Fouad Haddad, Salah Jaheen, Beiram Al-Tonsi, Badia Khairy, Amin Haddad, Ahmed Haddad and Bahaa Jaheen. The musical performance cleverly stitched this mélange of lyrics with a crosscutting theme of hope and tolerance, the essence of Egypt's multilayered culture.
Prominent poet Ahmed Haddad, alongside Egyptian singer Dalia El-Guindy, musician and vocalist Yussef El-Shereai, musician and vocalist Hassan El-Manialawy, musicians Hussein El-Melegi, Ahmed El Mougy and Karim Hassan owned the stage as they played the lyrics, and recited the poems that roamed between the serenity brought about by a sip of tea with mint down to the many pretentious men of faith.
"The evening was a tribute to Salah Jaheen and Fouad Haddad, both being the grandparents of Ahmed Haddad, therefore it was called 'Tislam we Teeish' a message from grandchildren to their grandparents, ensuring the continuity of the message," singer Dailia El-Guindy told Ahram Online.
Egyptian singer Dalia El-Guindy performing in El-Sawy Culturewheel in Cairo's Zamalek district, Egypt, Saturday 11 July 2015 (Photo: Hala Safwat)
Haddad's concept in his latest performance is to connect with the poetry and music icons of Egyptian social history and their joy of life and its simplicity.
Opening up with an old time favorite, Ya Halawt El-Donia (O the beauty of life), lyrics Beiram El-Tounsi, and music by Zakaria Ahmed, ending with Shika Bika (A famous song sang by Egypt's sweetheart Souad Hosni, lyrics Salah Jaheen and music by Kamal El-Taweel) the message of hope and wit was loud and clear and made the audience chant along with joy.
"Since we performed in Ramadan, we aimed to present the famous old songs and poems side by side with new poems and songs that are all interconnected," Haddad added.
Among the highlights of the evening was song Nawet Agani (I decided to sing) with lyrics by Bahaa Jaheen and music by Omar Khayrat; the song was particularly well received by the audience. Haddad's poem Kafek, a tribute to Salah Jaheen, was equally applauded; and Allah Mahaba (God is love) was an instant hit as it defied terrorism and the misconceptions of religion.
Egyptian singer Dalia El-Guindy and Poet Ahmed Hadadd performing in El-Sawy Culturewheel in Cairo's Zamalek district, Egypt, Saturday 11 July 2015 (Video: Courtesy of Sarah Shady )
"For a long time I wanted to recite other poems that are consistent and along the same line of thoughts with my poems," Haddad commented.
"Songs and poems were tied together to send a message to the audience about 'Egypt, life, love and radical people who says that singing is 'religiously prohibited ', and so we sang to defy those people," El-Guindy added
Ahmed Haddad is a published vernacular poet and an independent Egyptian filmmaker. His lyrics were sung by famous young singing troupes such as Eskenderella, Fairouz Karawya, Ahmed Ali El-Haggar and many others. In 2012, the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) awarded Haddad with the Cairo International Book Fair's Best Book Award for his colloquial poetry collection Beshweish (Slowly), which represents one of the six such volumes published by the young poet.
From left to right: Egyptian singer Dalia El-Guindy, Poet Ahmed Hadadd, Hassan El Manialawe, Yussif El-Shereey and Hussien El-Meligy performing in El-Sawy Culturewheel in Cairo's Zamalek district, Egypt, Saturday 11 July 2015 (Photo: Hala Safwat)