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Najm and Sheikh Imam: the rise and decline of political song in Egypt.

The article focuses on the artistic and innovative aspects that were produced by the Egyptian political and musical duo, the colloquial poet Ahmed Fouad Najm and his friend Sheikh Imam Eissa, the composer and singer. This duo constituted a very important artistic phenomenon that developed and crystallized during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. The study discusses the progress of Najm/Imam's political song during that period, its rise and radicalism as a result of its association with the rise of the students' leftist movement and the mass movement in general in Egypt, and the decline of this song at the beginning of the 1980s until the final separation of the duo. Folk motifs played a crucial role as a tool of artistic expression in Najm/Imam's political song. The article also analyzes the poetic devices, including the use of folk motifs, as well as the lyrical innovation in Najm's poetry in a comparative context with other colloquial poets such as Fouad Haddad, Salah Jahin, and Abdel Rahman Al-Abnoudi, in addition to the innovations made by Sheikh Imam in the political song.

Dalia Said Mostafa graduated from the Political Science Department at the American University in Cairo. She received her M.A. in Gender Studies from Exeter University, U.K. She worked in several development organizations including UNICEF and Save the Children Foundation. At present, she is pursuing her second Master's degree in the English and Comparative Literature Department at the American University in Cairo. She also works as a translator and researcher.
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Article Details
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Author:Mostafa, Dalia Said
Publication:Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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