50 People Shaping the Culture of the Middle East


El Tanbura, Egypt

El Tanbura, Egypt

Master musicians from Port Said make up the Egyptian folk band El Tanbura. While preserving the traditional tunes of their region, the group also had a big role in the revolutionary music that invigorated crowds — young and old — in Tahrir Square. Founder Zakaria Ibrahim, who runs a center that manages other folk groups and runs training schools, has noted their particular folk form has a history of being populist resistance music. As they continue regular local performances and travel to festivals, Zakaria advocates that social change can occur through the arts.

Credit: El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music

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