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Biography

Sayed Darwish (Arabic: سيد درويش; March 17, 1892 – September 15, 1923) was an singer and composer who was considered the father of Egyptian popular music. He was born in Alexandria on March 17, 1892. He put music to the Egyptian national anthem, Bilady, Bilady, Bilady, the words of which were adapted from a famous speech by Mustafa Kamil.

Darwish died of a heart attack from a cocaine overdose in Alexandria on September 15, 1923 (aged 31). Coincidentally, on the day of his death, the national Egyptian leader Saad Zaghloul returned from exile; the Egyptians sang Darwish's new song "Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" which was to become the national anthem in 1979.

Egyptians consider Sayed Darwish to be among their greatest musicians and their single greatest composer. In addition to the songs mentioned above, he composed "Shed el hezam" ("Pull the Belt"), "Malo'ouna," "Ana Haweit," "Oum Ya Masry" (Rise You Egyptian), and "Salma Ya Salama."

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