Ahmed Mounib is an authentic voice from Nubia. The region, known as the golden land, used to span from Aswan, in upper Egypt, into the northern part of Sudan. Its ochre-colored sand and magnificent sunsets viewed from the banks of the Nile endowed the handsome and genuinely friendly people with an innate artistic sensitivity. By nature, the Nubian way of life is musically rich in the expression and rhythms of everyday life. There are songs for birthdays, deaths, weddings, harvests, the seasons, all the sensory experiences.
As a young child, thirsting for the nourishment of his native culture, he drank in the warm feelings and easy-going tempo of his people from the water wells of his Nubian village. Mounib introduced us to his culture’s tears and joys, and along the way introduced a generation of Egyptian singers and music lovers to a thinking, honest, and dance-able music.
His genius was in marrying the traditional rhythms and music of Nubia to an Oriental sound, hitting the music scene in Cairo with a promise to be something different in an era of music doldrums. In the 70’s and 80’s, it was Ahmed Mounib’s music that breathed fresh energy into Egyptian hearts.
In the last decade of his life, Ahmed Mounib began to record his own music, and a new love affair with Egyptians of all ages began. After his untimely death in 1990, his sons formed a music publishing company to produce previously unreleased music.
The newest album from Mounib Music, Esma Wi Naseeb, has an intimate, very personal quality. Perhaps because the music was not recorded in a studio, but in Mounib’s home, surrounded by friends and family — the listener has a sense of being in the same room with the artist.
Chronology of Events
Born 4 January in the Nubian village of Thomas Wa Afiya, a region stretching between Esna and Kom Ombo in upper Egypt which was a resettlement community created by the Egyptian government for the Nubian people displaced by the permanent flooding of their homeland as a result of the Nile High Dam at Aswan.
The family moved to Alexandria, where he spent his youth.
In Alexandria, he formed his first group and began his career as a musician playing and singing for private parties.
At the age of 22, he returned to his village, Thomas Wa Afiya, to immerse himself in his native culture. He stayed there for 4 years.
Moved to Cairo and lived in the Nubian neighborhood of Abdeen. He opened a small bookshop, but got bored with being a merchant. Joined the folk music group Zachiraya Hagawi.
Formed the Mounib Group, the first pure Nubian sound to hit the Cairo music circuit, while working in a bank to support his family.
His music began to reach a broader audience through the Egyptian Radio Broadcast program Minwahee el Ganoub. Every Thursday afternoon at
4 pm, Nubians sat by their radios and heard their music, their language. Collaborating with the music historian and poet, Mohi El Din Sherif, who had the idea to use Nubian folk songs as a basis to introduce the music of his culture, Ahmed Mounib looked at music trends, and translated El Din Sherif’s ideas into an accessible, popular music form.
Mounib and El Din Sherif, along with Hamza El Din, created a NGO, the Nubian Union. They made parties for the Nubian community, and for the first time, added an oriental dimension to Nubian music, to make the new sound familiar to Egyptian tastes.
Begins writing music for Mohamed Mounir, then an unknown singer, with lyricist Abdel Rehim Monsour.
Mounir album Alimouny Anik is released. Requests for new compositions from song writers and young singers came pouring in.
Died 27 February in Cairo, Egypt
Edited by LiNk0o on 14 Jan 2009, 21:17
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