|When a gentle breeze blows through your hair, I can hear the sound of admiration for you. You are like a star that transforms boulders into moons.
Mohamed Mounir is the star of the Egyptian pop scene. Born in Aswan, far from the capital, he became one of the founders of authentic Egyptian pop music who bridged the gap between Oum Kalthoum and the Bee Gees in the 1980s. He drew on the spirituality and melancholy of his Nubian homeland - the kingdom of the black pharaohs which Nasser flooded for the Aswan Dam - abandoned traditional costume for casual clothes and produced danceable music for Cairos youth. Twenty years have passed, and Mounir has managed over and over again to stay at the top of the Egyptian charts by remaining receptive to new influences and open to a diverse range of world music. Last summer, for example, he teamed up with the Austrian world music yodeler Hubert von Goisern to give a concert for 15,000 enthusiastic listeners in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut. Mohamed Mounirs songs range from rapid beats which reflect life in modern Cairo to sensitive love songs and reinterpretations of religious Sufi songs based on the Madih, chants in honor of the prophet and his descendents.