‘Music is louder than bombs’

Tamer Hosny’s concert leaves fans spellbound as he weaves sentimentality and social activism into his much-awaited performance in the city

By Mohamad Kadry

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Published: Sun 18 Jan 2009, 9:14 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:30 PM

By international standards, audiences in Dubai are somewhat tame, but that all changed once Egyptian heartthrob Tamer Hosny took to the stage.

Performing in association with the Dubai Shopping Festival, fans came out in droves to party with the young star who gave audiences a reason to celebrate during tumultuous times.

‘Music is louder than bombs’ was the night’s theme, a reference to Hosny’s decision to donate the concert proceeds to the people of Gaza. Giant Palestinian flags hung centrestage as the singer wore a wrapped kefaya, or scarf, around his neck in addition to the dozens thrown to him from the excited crowd.

Opening the night was Dubai’s top record spinner, DJ Cowboy, as he mixed the world’s top hits with Arabic rhythms. Young and old were present, crowds hyped up in anticipation of Egypt’s favourite son.

Hundreds line-danced to some of Hosny’s classic songs supported by onstage Arabic percussionists, a testament to his versatility as contemporary pop artist as well as classic local musician.

Opening the night with ‘Aktar Haga’ (The Most), fans got funky to hits including ‘3ada 3alaya’ (Passing Me By) and ‘Ana Mosh 3aref Atghayar (I Don’t Know How to Change). But as he slowed things down with one of his most popular hits to date, ‘Nour Ayni’ (Light of my Eyes), thousands swayed back-and-forth in a trance, singing along lyrics as Hosny pointed his mic towards the crowds.

With such diversity in the crowd, from multi-national Arabs to Westerners, what was Tamer Hosny’s real appeal?

“He is a real guy,” Fatima Darwish claimed. “When you see him in the video clips and on stage, he gives you the impression that he could easily be your neighbour or classmate. This is why he is loved by everyone from little children to the elderly.”


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