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Geertjan's Blog

  • May 2, 2009

Sameer Sabry

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I had the unlikely honor of attending a performance by Sameer Sabry, on Thursday 30 April, in the Alexandria Center of Arts, in Fouad Street.

For a quick intro to Sameer Sabry (from 30 years ago, although his current live performance, if somewhat slower, is not all that different), click the link to YouTube below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w2QdKARX0c

Yes, he's an implemention of the Julio Iglesias interface. But his performance on Thursday was really amazing. An absolutely unforgettable experience. Sameer (also known as Samir) Sabry is a very well known actor in Arabic movies from the '70's and '80's, in particular. He is much loved. In Dutch terms, "hij werd op handen gedragen", i.e., he was almost literally carried on the hands of the people in the audience, that's how much he was loved by them. :-)

I was there, at the Alexandria Center of Arts, only because I had got lost a few days before, while trying to make my pilgrimage to the poet Cavaffy's apartment, which is in the same area. I asked for directions at a big white building, which turned out to be the Alexandria Center of Arts, and got a free tour around the whole building into the bargain. The tour ended with an invitation to the next performance, which was the Sameer Sabry show.

I went there with Mahmoud, my Arabic teacher of the moment (who I met randomly at my local coffee house [run by the wonderful Hannafy] around the corner from the Cecil hotel). He was great company, especially because the show started an hour later than planned, because there were so many people in attendance. Literally, every single seat in the theater was occupied and there were people standing around the sides as well. As far as I could see, everywhere I looked I saw Arabic faces yearning for Sameer's appearance. And, at the very least, the whole upper class of Alexandria seemed to be there, all with special seats assigned to them, protected carefully by the smartly suited attendants. Luckily Mahmoud and I had Sherif, the guy who had shown me around the building, as our guardian angel, otherwise we'd never have had good seats to begin with.

Then, eventually, once everyone and their uncle (none of whom, other than myself, were European, so that I ended up having a very unique experience, from the perspective of a 'tourist' from Europe) was seated, in the rather wonderful theater of the Alexandria Center of Arts (seriously, stop by there in Fouad Street if you get a chance, i.e., the same street as the Alexandria Opera house, also known as the Sayed Darwish Theater, and have a look at all the things going on in there, it is a massive building once you're inside of it), the show began. Dancers, musicians (two keyboards, a drum set, bass guitar, and other smaller drums), and... Sameer Sabry himself. He was fantastic. (Even though, or because, he didn't have the lamp post from the YouTube clip above with him!) Not only a really wonderful voice (Mahmoud whispered to me, at some point, that you could 'almost drink it', because of the velvety sound of it all), but also a great personality. At some point he stepped off the stage and mingled with his many adoring fans. (Seriously, one guy two seats to my right had an envelope containing a number of photos showing Sameer Sabry in his youth, which reminded me a lot of Omar Sharif.) He danced and sang with them, at length, before returning to the stage and finishing his show, singing many songs from his most famous movies.

Though I understood almost nothing of what he was singing, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I felt enriched at the end of it. Sameer Sabry is a really wonderful performer!

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Comments ( 4 )
  • Dominique De Vito Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Well, the first seconds of your video are awesome.

    I guess you may like also this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYxPpx1yCY4 - from this movie, a spy funny comedy: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464913/

    Quite not exactly the same spirit, because the movie is a parody, but a quite funny video.

    I think the original song is an Algerian song, but it's famous in France due her singer, Dalida: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRx5Zl070xQ&NR=1


  • Ahmed Gaber Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Welcome back to Egypt Gj,

    I think you will have nice time here with the variety of Artists and Art Schools in Alex.

    You're R Lucky man, But you know, Sameer Sabry has honor that you write about him in this Great Blog!

    ave nice time in Egypt Gj, and I'm looking to meet you while you here (ISA)!


  • guest Sunday, May 3, 2009

    hola soy de republica dominicana estoy utilizando netbeans platform porque cuanto abro un topcomponent dura mucho para abrir

    it lasts a long open topcomponent nebeans

    is very hard the first time to open a topcomponent

    the secord open is very quick.


  • Hermine Monday, May 4, 2009

    Mooi verhaal Geertjan! Die andere link van die zingende Ud-speler vind ik ook mooi trouwens.

    Hermine


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