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Sayed Darwish
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    (March 17, 1892-September 15, 1923)
    Born in Alexandria, Egypt
    Singer and composer
    Composed 26 operettas
    Wrote the music for the Egyptian national anthem 'Bialdy, Bilady, Bilady' ('My Country, My Country, My Country')
    Considered the father of Egyptian popular music
    Some of his songs were plagiarized from his mentor, Othman Al-Musoli.
    As a performer, he had poor stage presence.
    His sudden death was attributed to everything from a heart attack to a drug overdose to being poisoned.
    He was more famous after his death than in his lifetime.
    After his father died, he worked as a bricklayer to support the family.
    He combined Western instruments and harmony with classical Arabian music and Egyptian folksongs.
    He was arrested several times for criticizing the British occupation of Egypt in his songs.
    His songs were frequently sung by the Arab Spring demonstrators who overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

Credit: C. Fishel

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