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Ramy Essam at Rudolstadt-Festival 2018 in Germany
Ramy Essam (Arabic: رامي عصام, pronounced [ˈɾɑːmi ʕeˈsˤɑːm]; born 1987 in Mansoura) is an Egyptian musician. He is best known for his appearances in Tahrir Square in Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Ramy is one of the few singers in Middle East to sing hard rock.
In 2011, Ramy was considered the voice of the Egyptian revolution. During the height of the uprising, Ramy performed in front of millions of people in the Tahrir Square. His song Irhal, in which then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was urged to resign, gained popularity among the demonstrators. It became internationally known through YouTube, and is referred to as the anthem of the revolution. In 2011, it was selected by Time Out as the third-most world-changing song of all time.
Ramy's songs were banned in Egypt and he was unable to perform public shows. Since late 2014, Ramy has been living in Finland and Sweden, which gave him again the chance to create and perform freely to spread his message as an ambassador of the Egyptian revolution.
During 2016 and 2017, Ramy toured throughout Finland with the theatre monologue RAMY – In the Frontline, which also gathered 5 stars reviews at the Fringe Festival Edinburgh.
- Manshourat (2011)
- El Masala (2012)
- Mamnoua' (2014)
- Segn Bel Alwan (featuring Lebanese rapper Malikah) was released in 2016. The song highlighting women’s situation and the issue of gender equality in his home country, became a big hit and one of the most streamed videos in Egypt in the weeks after its release.
- Ramy collaborated with UK artist PJ Harvey on "The Camp", a single released in June 2017 to benefit displaced children in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley fleeing the Syrian Civil War.
- In 2017, Ramy released his album "Resala Ela Magles El Amn" ("A Letter To The UN Security Council") on Universal Music MENA. The album is a mix of re-recorded older tracks and new compositions. The lyrical topics range from depictions of daily hardships of normal people, the struggle for social justice and women´s rights, environmental issues and criticism of the regime.
- On February 26th 2018, Ramy released a song and music video called Balaha, criticizing the authoritarian regime was immediately condemned in the Egyptian conservative media, and it annoyed supporters of the regime, being the only revolutionary act during a silent era.
Awards, nominations and honors
- #3 on the list "100 Songs That Changed History", Timeout Magazine
- "Freedom To Create" prize winner, 2011
- Music Rights Champion, 2016, International Music Council
- Spirit of Folk Award, 2017, Folk Alliance Festival, US
- "Ramy Essam | Freemuse". web.archive.org. 2017-03-19. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Soueif, Ahdaf (2012-01-19). Cairo: My City, Our Revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 147–. ISBN 9780747549628. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Ramy Essam, Ramy Essam at 60 Minutes - CBS News تعذيب رامى عصام 9 مارس, retrieved 2018-12-08
- Världskänd musiker får fristad i Malmö ‹See Tfd›(in Swedish)
- "RAMY - IN THE FRONTLINE". Teater Viirus (in Finnish). Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- "BBC World Service - The Documentary, Dying for a Song". BBC. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Peisner, David. "Ramy Essam Needs To Stay Famous So He Doesn't Get Killed". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Ramy Essam, RAMY ESSAM ft. MALIKAH - SEGN BEL ALWAN رامى عصام - سجن بالألوان (OFFICIAL VIDEO), retrieved 2018-12-08
- Eede, Christian (7 June 2017). "New PJ Harvey & Ramy Essam Video". The Quietus.
- Ramy Essam, Ramy Essam - Balaha | رامى عصام - بلحه, retrieved 2018-12-08