Hamid El Shari

Hamid El Shari was born in the Libyan city of Benghazi, studied aviation in England, studied music in Cairo, and settled permanently in Egypt in 1974, after witnessing Colonel Gadaffi's public burning of western musical instruments. A refugee from his own country's hostile anti-modern policies, he steadily made a name for himself as Egypt's leading champion of westernized synthesizer pop, known as Al-jil (generation music). More a deft blending of sounds than a simple music importation, Al-jil has all the dance appeal an array of samplers and synths can serve up, tempered by a distinctively Middle Eastern melodic sound. His 1988 hit single, "Lolaiki," recorded with Ali Hamaida, is said to have sold more than a million cassettes between 1988 and 1899. Although the establishment turns its nose up at Al-jil, it clearly has a wide and enduring appeal. ~ Leon Jackson

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