Hamed Sinno

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Hamed Sinno
Sinno in Ehden, Lebanon, 2017
Sinno in Ehden, Lebanon, 2017
Background information
Born (1988-04-25) April 25, 1988 (age 35)
Beirut, Lebanon
  • Singer
  • songwriter

Hamed Sinno (Arabic: حامد سنّو; born April 25, 1988) is a Lebanese-American[1] musician. They were the lead singer of the alternative rock band Mashrou' Leila until the group disbanded in 2022.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Sinno was born to a Lebanese father who had lived in the United States and a Jordanian mother who had lived between Morocco and Rome.[4] They have American citizenship.[5]

Sinno grew up in an Anglophone household. They attended an American school and graduated "not knowing how to properly speak Arabic", mostly learning Arabic as they wrote songs.[4] Sinno did not learn to read music nor did they have formal musical training. However, they sang in the school choir.[5]

While studying at the American University of Beirut, Sinno came out. There Sinno also began to experiment with subversive graffiti as a form of self-expression before getting involved with Mashrou' Leila.[6]


Sinno co-founded Mashrou' Leila in 2008 while studying graphic design at the American University of Beirut, when responding to an open jam session call put out by Andre Chedid, Omaya Malaeb, and Haig Papazian.[7]

According to Sinno, their parents initially disapproved of their career in music, fearing for their financial prospects and physical safety due to the band's controversial reputation.[5]

In media[edit]

Sinno has been featured on the cover of several magazines, including France's Têtu, Jordan's My.Kali, and UK-based Attitude.[8][9][10] They also appeared on the cover of the Middle East edition of Rolling Stone magazine as part of Mashrou' Leila.[11]

Hamed Sinno et un de ses fréres, a 2017 painting by Iranian artist and visual activist Alireza Shojaian.

Sinno figured in a painting by the Iranian artist Alireza Shojaian dubbed Hamed Sinno et un de ses fréres. In the painting Sinno is depicted pinching the nipple of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of funerary rites. Anubis sports a rainbow colored Usekh collar alluding to the pride flag.[12][13] The work references and draws inspiration from a painting by an unknown painter, titled Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses sœurs, that depicts the mistress of Henry IV of France.[14][15] The collaboration with Sinno was a statement against systematic state-led persecution of LGBT minorities in Egypt. Shojaian painted the piece after the September 22, 2017, Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo, during which the pride flag was flown. The Cairo pride flag incident resulted in the arrest of a number of concert-goers, including Sarah Hegazi,[12][13] who subsequently took her own life after having experienced traumatic incarceration and mistreatment in Egypt.[12] Shojaian paid tribute to Hagazi in a 2020 interview.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Sinno is gay and non-binary,[16] and advocates for LGBT rights in the Middle East and around the world.[17][18] They lectured at and graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.[19][20][21] Sinno uses they/them, she/her, and he/him pronouns.[22]


  1. ^ Paula Monroy (Reporter) (December 5, 2015). Hamed Sinno on Mashrou' Leila's new album 'Ibn El Leil' and their artistic freedom. CUTV.
  2. ^ "Lebanese Rock Band Mashrou' Leila's Long-Awaited First US Tour Ended with Sweet Success". VICE. November 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila quits after years of harassment over sexual orientation – Al-Monitor: Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East". www.al-monitor.com. September 25, 2022. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "A Conversation With Mashrou' Leila". Maison MIM. October 16, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Queer Desire Has Always Been There (Ep. 116: Kurt Cobain)". Matt Baume. June 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "ON HAMED SINNO". My.Kali. December 2, 2012.
  7. ^ شخصية: حامد سنو، مجلة موالح 1 ديسمبر، 2012.
  8. ^ "Hamed Sinno, un artiste libanais en Une du magazine gay Têtu". The Huffington Post. September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  9. ^ "Spotted: Hamed Sinno on the Cover of MyKali Magazine". Beirut.com. November 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "Mashrou' Leila frontman Hamed Sinno on LGBT lessons row: 'There are schools of Islam that are OK with being gay'". Attitude. March 28, 2019. Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "Rolling Stone Mideast choose first regional artists for cover". Al Arabiya English. April 4, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d Zaramella, Nicole (June 22, 2020). "Alireza Shojaian, the Painter of Middle Eastern Queer Men". Il Grande Colibrì. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Vartanian Collier, Lizzy (September 18, 2018). "Pinched and Prodded". Khabar Keslan. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  14. ^ Annegret, Erhard (September 21, 2018). "Lebenskünstler in prekärer Lage, ringen die Libanesen dem Leben so vieles ab – auch für Kunst reicht ihr Mut" [Artists living in a precarious situation, the Lebanese wrestle so much from life – their courage is also sufficient for art]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Fawaz, Jad (September 26, 2018). "Beirut Art Fair takes on a queer flair". Medium. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Haider, Arwa (July 7, 2023). "Singer-songwriter Hamed Sinno put poetry into Amazon posts". Financial Times. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  17. ^ "Mashrou' Leila's gay frontman confronts homophobia in Lebanon". Canadian Broadcast Corporation. October 22, 2015.
  18. ^ "Gay Lebanese singer with Freddie Mercury edge fronts band". Reuters UK. October 28, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "In Conversation with Hamed Sinno". dartmouth.edu. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  20. ^ "Writing Pop Songs with Hamed Sinno". Crowdcast. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  21. ^ HAMED SINNO: The Long-Awaited Mashrou' | Sarde (after dinner) Podcast #84
  22. ^ "Hamlet (@hamed.sinno) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com. Retrieved July 28, 2023.

External links[edit]