A blind oud player from humble beginnings, Sheikh Imam’s destiny changed drastically when he met a dissident poet called Ahmed Fouad Negm, and they formed a duo. Together, they would go on start a new era in Egyptian popular music. Their songs would shake regimes, travel the world on cassette tapes, and transcend their own time to become part of the soundtrack to Egypt’s revolution decades later.
Today, the story of Sheikh Imam: the Egyptian singer who became an icon of dissent.
This episode was produced by Nadeen Shaker, Heba El-Sherif and Alex Atack, and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking was by Deena Sabry and sound design, music and mixing by Monzer El Hachem. Voice over by Eihab Seoudi, and translation help from Maha El Kady. Cover art by Ahmad Salhab.
The songs you heard on this episode were composed and performed by Sheikh Imam and written by Ahmed Fouad Negm and Zein Alabidin Fouad. Lyric translations were by Ahmed Hassan and Elliott Colla.
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You can find a transcript for this episode at our website, kerningcultures.com/kerningcultures.
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