Music of Tahrir Square

    Long queues lined up for hours at the entrance of Tahrir Square, drawing the boundaries between two parallel worlds. Following some search procedures, protestors were led into a utopian world that lasted for 18 days. Meanwhile, protesters inside Tahrir Square welcomed the in-coming demonstrators with the song “welcome, welcome revolutionaries;
2015-03-29

Shady Lewis

ُ Egyptian Writer and Psychologist


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    Long queues lined up for hours at the entrance of Tahrir Square, drawing the boundaries between two parallel worlds. Following some search procedures, protestors were led into a utopian world that lasted for 18 days. Meanwhile, protesters inside Tahrir Square welcomed the in-coming demonstrators with the song “welcome, welcome revolutionaries; welcome, welcome free people.” They chanted while banging casseroles and clapping with hands solidified by January’s cold and the revolution’s heat. 
The music of these reception ceremonies have become a slogan for Tahrir square’s utopia. Thus, Rami Essam’s songs, which had poor musical qualities but boasted sarcastic lyrics and were easy to  repeat, became a symbol of Tahrir’s spontaneity, alongside Mustafa Said’s painfully heavy classics and the heritage of Sayed Darwish and Sheikh Imam, revived by the Egyptian band Eskenderella.
Tahrir Square’s music underscored the magnitude of that exceptional moment. When the choir of the Kasr el Dobara Evangelical Church took to the stage in Tahrir to sing “blessed be Egypt” (a hymn sung by Muslim protestors  as animatedly as their Coptic comrades), it looked as if this marked a break-up with a long history of sectarian rift. It also looked to have liberated the public space from the shackles of power and the suffocating identities.

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