CAIRO- 8 July 2020: Famed Egyptian megastar Mohamed Mounir was keen to denounce sexual harassment.
Mounir wrote on his Twitter account, "Neither the culture of Egypt nor its men identify with word sexual harassment, and throughout our history the Egyptian man has been a parable in defending and honoring the dignity of women. I apologize on behalf of all the honorable men of Egypt for all the daughters of Egypt."
Mounir released his latest song "El-Nas fe Belady” to celebrate June 30 revolution. The song is written by late veteran poet Abdel Rahman el-Abnoudy and dedicated to the Egyptian nation.
Mounir is an iconic singer who was born in Aswan, and came to Cairo with his family after the immigration of the Nubian people during the High Dam construction. He graduated from the photography, cinema and TV department, Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University, and started his musical career in the late 1970s.
He started his career by singing with his brother Fouad, who supported Mounir throughout his journey. Mounir had his real debut when he met prominent Egyptian poet Abdel-Reheem Mansour and Nubian musician and singer Ahmed Mounib.
The meeting heralded cooperation between international jazz legend Yehia Khalil, Mounir, Mansour and Mounib, who changed the shape of Egyptian music and constructed an influential chapter in Arabic music history.
Mixing Nubian music with the scale of fifths, which is also known in Arabic as “Al-Selem Al-Khomasy”, made Mounir the first Arab singer to introduce jazz music to Arab listeners. Mounir's “Shababik” was listed as one of the best Arabic/African music albums.
Singing in a mixed Egyptian/Nubian accent is one of the definitive features of Mounir's musical style. Mounir also sang in a pure Nubian accent in the song "Shamandoura," and in a Moroccan accent in "Hikmet Al-Aqdar".
Believing in the cultural role of music and cinema, Mounir acted in many films and series such as “Al-Youm Al-Sades” [The Sixth Day] and “Al-Maseer” [The Fate], both directed by veteran late Egyptian director Youssef Shahin. He also played the role of the singer in “Al-Malek Howa Al-Malek” play.
The last role Mounir played on screen was in 2016's “Al-Moghani” [The Singer]; a documentary series tackling Mounir’s own biography.
Peace, love, hope, Egypt, and childhood are the main themes of Mounir's songs.
“Al-Ard Wal Salam” [The Land and Peace] was Mounir's spiritual album, released in 2002; the album brought him CNN’s Prize of Peace. Mounir also won MEMA in 2008 for Best Singer.
It is worth mentioning that Mounir won the Platinum Award for Best Arab Egyptian singer from the international music production company Universal and was awarded the Diamond Award by BAMA Awards.
His song "Yasmina," which featured Adel al-Tawel and Ich Und Ich band, sold 700,000 copies in Germany, while “El-Laila Ya Samra” was listed as one of the best 50 African songs of the 20th century by BBC.
Furthermore, Mounir sang the official theme song of one of the most famous Egyptian cartoons ever, "Bakkar."
Acting spontaneously on stage, and using remarkable casual outfits are the distinguishing features of Mounir's live concerts.
Cooperating with a number of leading artists, Mounir released “Aa'lam Gadeed” [New World] with Hamid al-Sha'ery, "Belad Tiba" [Tiba Lands] with Anoushka, "Leh ya Donia El-Wahed" [Why Life] with Khaled Aggag, and "Al-Qahera" with Amr Diab.
In 2017, Mounir cooperated with Adel al-Tawil in "One World". The German Ministry of Education has decided to teach the song to 4th, 5th and 6th grade students in German schools.
''One World'' tackles refugees’ crisis, and was released in four languages, Arabic, English, French and German. The aim behind this decision is teaching the children the idea of accepting others and how to be able to live together peacefully, despite coming from different backgrounds.
Mounir, dubbed the king, previously expressed his great pleasure as a result of this decision.
In general, the king explained that this decision proves the importance of music and art in enlightening societies and countering terrorism. He added that this is the true role of art in dealing with extremism in all aspects of life.
"One World" is a trio by King Mounir, German-Egyptian singer Adel Tawil and world Music Award winner Youssou N’Dour. The song was dedicated to the refugees. Mounir previously announced that he had been preparing for this song from a long time.
Mounir’s career comprises more than 30 albums, including "Momken" [Maybe], "Wist Al-Dayra" [In the Center of the Circle], "Shababik" [Windows], and "Etkalemi" [Speak Up]. He is still capable of introducing innovative music and performing live, and he is still enriching the music scene locally and internationally.
Born in Aswan, Mounir inherited a sense of love and belonging for the Nile. Even when he moved to Cairo, he took the Nubian culture with him.
Many of Mounir's songs have an orchestral backing, enhanced with magnificent tunes of the Oud. Songs such as "Borg Hamam" (Pigeons Tower, 1995) and "Shababek" (Windows, 1981) best demonstrate this unique aspect of his music.
Using oriental drum beats, Mounir performs dynamic songs based on folk tunes, such as "Al-Nawasy" (Sidewalks, 2001), in which the drum beat is reminiscent of the familiar beats of "Al-Zar". He also produced notably oriental-sounding songs such as "Eqrar" (Endorsement, 2004).
He frequently enriches his music with rock tunes, especially in live concerts. One of the best examples is his song "El-Kon Koloh Beydor" (The Universe is Spinning, 1981) or "Ezai" (How, 2011.)
Mounir added female vocals to paint the music with more emotional and attractive colors in his song "Sheta" (winter) in 1995.