Ahmed Adaweyah

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Ahmed Adaweyah
احمد عدوية
Born (1945-06-26) 26 June 1945 (age 75)
Minya Governorate, Egypt
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active1969–present

Ahmed Adaweyah (Arabic: احمد عدوية‎) is an Egyptian singer of sha'abibaladi music. He has starred in 27 Egyptian films.


Adaweyah was born in Minya Governorate in 1945 to a livestock dealer and lived with 14 siblings,[1] He later moved to Cairo and started his career as a cafe waiter, while he also performed songs using the language of the streets of Cairo in 1969, full of working class slang and double entendres. His recordings outsold many others and were circulated via audiocassette in the streets. Among them, "Salamit Ummih Hassan" referred to Egypt (as Umm Hassan) and its defeat in 1967; "Zahma ya Dunia, Zahma" lamented the crowded and hectic conditions in Cairo, "Ya Bint Sultan" became a favorite song performed for dancers. Like many sha'abi (meaning of the "people", or working class) singers, Adaweyah was capable of delivering a strong mawal (vocal improvisation).[2] Despite the disapproval of the music establishment and the exclusion of his songs from television or radio, they became popular as they spread on audiocassettes. He advanced to singing in five-star hotels and the best nightclubs of the time.[3] He also had some copyright issues with his song "Alsahu Aldahu Ambu" with other performers.[1]

In 1989, Adaweyah was drugged and attacked by a jealous Kuwaiti emir, Talal bin Nasser.[4] Officials claimed that he was found comatose after an overdose of heroin administered by person(s) connected to the jealous husband.[5] Adawiyya recovered sufficiently to sing again, although he is partially paralyzed. He has since appeared on various music programs. In 2009, he had a duet with Ramy Ayach, singing "Alnas Alrayiqa".[1] In 2018, he released a new song "Helw Wasl". Ukrainian dancer Alla Kushnir appears in the music video for the song.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Adaweyah married in 1976, he has a daughter, Warda, and a son, Mohammed, who is also a singer.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "عدوية.. تاريخ الشارع المصري في أغاني شعبية "رغم أنف المثقفين"". sasapost.com (in Arabic). 9 December 2016.
  2. ^ Jackson, Leon. "Biography: Ahmed Adaweyah". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  3. ^ Sayed Mahmoud, "Singing in the Shadow". Al-Ahram Weekly Online. 16–22 October 2008. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2008/918/sc2.htm
  4. ^ Andrew Hammond Popular Culture in the Arab World: Arts, Politics, and the Media 2007 9774160541 "On the streets a rhyming phrase was coined, Ahmed Adawiya, ba'd al- 'amaliya (Ahmed Adawiya, after the operation')."
  5. ^ Youssef M. Ibrahim, "Egyptian Drug Arrest" Kuwaiti Sheik. New York Times, 15 April 1991. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/15/world/egyptian-drug-arrest-kuwaiti-sheik.html
  6. ^ Helw Wasl" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-SAdD9lTmw
  7. ^ "قصة أحمد عدوية تعود للأضواء: غيرة أمير كويتي وهيروين وإخصاء وزوجة تؤكد على رجولته". elfann.com (in Arabic). 19 May 2019.