Ahmed Adaweyah

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Ahmed Adaweyah
Native name
احمد عدوية
Born (1945-06-26) June 26, 1945 (age 73)

Ahmed Adaweyah (Arabic: احمد عدوية‎) is an Egyptian singer of sha'abi music. He has starred in 27 Egyptian films. Adaweyah was born in a working class area near Maadi in the mid 1940s and started his career as a cafe waiter, while he also performed songs using the language of the streets of Cairo, 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).[1] 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.[2]

In 1990, Adaweyah was drugged and attacked by a jealous Kuwaiti husband.[3] Officials claimed that he was found comatose after an overdose of heroin administered by person(s) connected to the jealous husband.[4] Adawiyya recovered sufficiently to sing again, although he is partially paralyzed. He has since appeared on various music programs. In 2018, he released a new song "Helw Wasl". Ukrainian dancer Allah Kushnir appears in the music video for the song.[5]


  1. ^ Jackson, Leon. "Biography: Ahmed Adaweyah". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  2. ^ Sayed Mahmoud, “Singing in the Shadow.” Al-Ahram Weekly Online. 16-22 October, 2008. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/Archive/2008/918/sc2.htm
  3. ^ 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')."
  4. ^ Youssef M. Ibrahim, "Egyptian Drug Arrest" Kuwaiti Sheik. New York Times, April 15, 1991. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/15/world/egyptian-drug-arrest-kuwaiti-sheik.html
  5. ^ Helw Wasl" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-SAdD9lTmw