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Mohamed Abdel Wahab

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Mohammed Abdel Wahab (Arabic: محمد عبد الوهاب‎), also transliterated Mohammed Abd el-Wahaab (March 13, 1902 – May 4, 1991) was a prominent 20th-century Arab Egyptian singer and composer. He composed the “Ya Beladi” (also known as “Libya, Libya, Libya”) the National anthem of Libya used by the Kingdom of Libya from 1951 to 1969 and again by the post-Gaddafi transitional government in 2011. He also composed the national anthem of Tunisia, “Humat al-Hima.”

Born in Bab El-Shaariyah area of Cairo, Egypt (where his statue stands), Abdel Wahab played oud before the Prince of Poets, Ahmed Shawqi. Abdel Wahab acted in several movies. Mohammed Abdel Wahab was a very close friend to singer Abdel Halim Hafez.

Despite the fact that Abdel Wahab composed many songs and musical pieces of classical Arab music, he was always criticized for his orientation to Western music. In fact, he introduced Western rhythms to Arab songs in a way appropriate to the known forms of Arab songs. For example, in 1941, he introduced a waltz rhythm in his song “Al Gondol,” and, in 1957, he introduced a rock and roll rhythm in Abdel Halim Hafez’s song “Ya Albi Ya Khali”.
Abdel Wahab played oud before the prominent Arab poet, Ahmed Shawqi, and acted in several movies. He composed ten songs for Umm Kulthum (أم كلثوم). He was the first Egyptian singer to move from silent-era acting to singing. He was interviewed in one of the most famous program named “ALNAHR ALKHALED” the immortal river. This show was a great success briefing his great biography from him personally.

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