Video: Coptic Upper Egyptian improvises songs praising Prophet Mohamed using jerrycan, aluminum bowl



Wed, 08 Dec 2021 - 06:14 GMT


Wed, 08 Dec 2021 - 06:14 GMT

Emad Janet Rizkallah sings - YouTube still

Emad Janet Rizkallah sings - YouTube still

CAIRO - 8 December 2021: A Christian man from Minya, Upper Egypt, has surfaced on social media for his improvised chants that glorify Islam’s Prophet Mohamed.


Emad Jaber Rizkallah roamed towns and villages with a jerrycan and an aluminum bowl, his instruments, since he was 15 to sing and improvise chants praising the Prophet in an age-old folkloric fashion and make a living that way. 


“I am Coptic but I live alongside my Muslim brothers and neighbors, who have helped me, and there is no difference between us. We have lived and grown together and still share our food. I find nothing wrong in praising [the Prophet]. Folk songs belong to everyone and are not exclusive to to anyone,” Rizkallah says.


He also sang at weddings and in monasteries to glorify Christian figures in the very same way, using his own unique primitive tools because he could not afford expensive instruments or hiring a band. 


His improvised poems are always different because he never memorizes or repeats them, especially that he is illiterate.



He always had an audience and people who supported him. But in recent years, he has not been able to go on such journeys. 


Friends and neighbors, however, tried to help him by posting videos of him on social media. 


“I find great support from our neighbors in Sandafa village, Minya. They introduce me to people and try to take my art far and beyond because they believe in my talents and the voice that God gave me,” he says.


In Egypt, there have also been Christian mesaharatis, a traditional job on the verge of extinction where a man roams the streets just before dawn in the holy month Ramadan with a small drum and calls on people to wake up, eat an energizing meal because they begin fasting until dusk.




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