Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 27 May 2020

Ali Ismael: Egypt's Musical Maestro


Egypt's cinema was prolific from the 1940s to the 1960s, a time when the stars of the silver screen captivated a generation of movie-goers.

But the films' soundtracks were just as much a part of the appeal of these Arab cinema classics, and the man behind the vibrant rhythms of more than 350 movies was the legendary composer, Ali Ismael.

It was through playing the saxophone in the nightclubs of downtown Cairo that Ismael found his niche, and where he met the Greek film composer, Andre Ryder, who got him into movies.

An ardent supporter of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ismael also wrote many patriotic songs.

Leave My Sky flew the flag during the Suez Crisis in the 1950s, and his music filled the airwaves during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Flags of Victory also inspired Egyptian forces when they reclaimed Sinai in 1973, and the song, Fida'i' or 'Warrior, also composed by Ismael, later became the Palestinian national anthem.

Ismael's life and career were cut short in 1974 when he suffered a sudden, fatal heart-attack aged only 51. His military funeral was widely covered by the press and also shown in cinemas.

Until today, his legacy remains as a prolific composer who brought joy to millions and whose songs became Arab classics.

In this rich and colourful documentary, Al Jazeera World tells the multi-layered story of the musician's relatively short but successful life and career. Combining high-quality performances with incisive interviews, the film pays tribute to an Egyptian musical icon, whose popularity and cultural influence were felt by an entire generation across the Arab world.

Ali Velshi discusses why "we are not back" from the effects of the coronavirus even though President Trump is misleading the public that we are. Aired on 05/15/2020.
When league football was paused in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Tranmere Rovers chairman, Mark Palios, devised Project Malthus, his plan to keep the League One club alive. As he waits for fellow clubs to vote on the outcome of the season, which could mean their relegation, he explains why football needs to get serious about its messy economic situation, and why a club like Tranmere needs to look after its community during the coronavirus pandemic.
George Floyd protests against the killing of this unarmed black man while in police custody have seen reports of police shooting at media and otherwise inhibiting the press. MSNBC's Ali Velshi recounts to Joy Reid, ‘I think there was undisciplined behavior by the police and the national guard separate and apart from whether there were provocateurs in the group.'
Grammy nominated recording artist Bun B speaks on his distant musical ties to George Floyd who rapped on a few mid ‘90s DJ Screw mixtapes. Screw's iconic Houston collective, the Screwed Up Click, introduced the "screwed" sound to hip-hop and is still heard today through artists like Beyonce, Travis Scott, Drake and more. (June 3)

Share Video:

Embed Video: