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Egyptian Music and the Uprising

November 16, 2011

Today I gave a guest lecture entitled “Music and the Egyptian Revolution” for Prof. Tom Garcia’s MUS 186 “Global Music for the iPod Generation” here at Miami.

The idea was to give a little account of traditional Egyptian music, and the shebabi and sha’bi music of the Mubarak era, then discuss some of the ferment since then. I created the lecture on Prezi, so you can access it here.

My resources are listed below:

Additional Music that didn’t make the lecture (but probably should have):

Ramy Donjewan’s “No SCAF Rap
Ramy Essam’s Irhal (Leave!)


Aidt, Mik. 2011. Musician in the firing line of the Arab Spring. http://www.freemuseorg

Al Yafai, Faisal. 2011. A song to start something. The National.

Armbrust, Walter. 1996. Mass culture and modernism in Egypt. Cambridge University Press.

Colla, Elliott. Sentimentality and redemption: The rhetoric of Egyptian pop culture Intifada solidarity. In Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture. Rebecca L. Stein and Ted Swedenburg, eds. Pp. 338-363.

Colla, Elliott. 2011. “The Poetry of RevoltJadaliyya, 6 June.

Colla, Elliott. 2011. “Th e Imagination as Transitive Act: An Interview with Sonallah Ibrahim,” Jadaliyya, 6 June.

Danielson, Virginia. 1997. The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century. American University in Cairo Press.

El-Saket, Ola. 2011. The Shaabi music breakthrough. El Masry Al-Youm Oct. 22

Gilman, Daniel J. 2010.  After Umm Kulthūm: pop music, postcolonial modernity, and gendered national subjectivity in Cairo. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. University of Texas.

Gilman, Daniel J. 2011. ‘Martyr Pop’ – Made in Egypt Norient 19 May.

Hirschkind, Charles. 2006. The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics. Columbia University Press.

Saeed, Saeed. 2011. Songs of revolt are never lost in translation. The Nation

Stein, Rebecca L. and Ted Swedenburg, eds. 2005. Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Swedenburg, Ted. 2010. Fun^Da^Mental’s “Jihad Rap”. In Being Young and Muslim, Linda Herrera and Asef Bayat, eds. Pp. 291-309.


Freemuse. This blog on global music freedom and censorship has a section on Egypt.

Hawgsblawg. Ted Swedenburg’s blog about Middle Eastern music, kufiyas and other stuff.

TripleW A web site featuring alternative music by Middle Eastern bands.

See also:

Underground Music and the Tunisian Revolution (a presentation+blog+video looking at the role(s) of underground music in Tunisia from independence to the Arab uprisings.)

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