December 7 marks the anniversary of the death of the musician Ammar Al-Shariei, who left our world in 2012, leaving his great music a witness to his creativity, which gave another dimension to many films and television series, and reached the stage. He was one of the most important soundtrack makers in the Arab world. Despite his death, the melodies of his artworks remained stuck in the memory of the Egyptians, who memorized and recited them by heart.
Al-Shariei was known to have a great talent that would not be repeated, which qualified him to put his name among the great musical artists in Egypt and the Arab world. His blindness was never an obstacle to his great ambitions, so he set an example in the struggle to reach his goal. With his great musical abilities, he was able to combine originality and modernity, to present a new type of music that expressed previous generations, and was a beacon to future generations. Therefore, many considered him the mayor of musicians, and his fans called him “the diver of the sea of tune.” On the anniversary of his death, we review with you the most important stations of his life and artistic achievements.
His Birth & Early Life
Ammar Ali Muhammad Ibrahim Ali al-Sharei was born on April 6, 1948 in Samalut, Minya Governorate. The origins of his family go back to the Hawara family in Upper Egypt. His father was a member of the Egyptian Parliament after the July 23 revolution. His older brother, Mohamed, was the former Egyptian ambassador to Australia. As for his paternal grandfather, Muhammad Pasha al-Shari’i, he was a deputy in the Egyptian Parliament during the reign of King Fuad I. His maternal grandfather, Murad Bey Al-Sharei, was one of the pioneers of the 1919 revolution
Ammar Al-Sharei came to Cairo at the age of five, and joined a school for the blind, where he received oriental music sciences from a group of senior professors, as part of a program prepared by the Ministry of Education specifically for blind students wishing to study music. In 1970, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Department of English, Ain Shams University.
Ammar Al Sheraei grew up loving music since he was three years old. And he was firmly established in it, whether by scientific study of music science, or practical practice by playing the accordion, piano, lute and keyboard. During his studies, he became acquainted with the musician Kamal Al-Taweel and the musician Baligh Hamdi. After graduating from university, he worked as an accordion player in some bands. Then he started playing the keyboard and became one of the most prominent players of his generation.
After that, he turned to composing and composing music, and his first composition was the song “Amskwa El Khashab” by Maha Sabry in 1975. Which was a huge success. Al-Sharei’i began composing the series’ sequences when director Nour El-Demerdash assigned him to put the soundtrack for the series “Bint Al Ayam”, to be the beginning of the use of the oud and the soundtrack that expresses the dramatic content in the Egyptian series.
His music career
Ammar Al-Sharei’s melodies exceeded 150 tunes for most male and female singers in Egypt and the Arab world. He was distinguished for setting the soundtrack for many works of art, most of which gained great fame, and many of them won awards at the local and international levels. The number of his cinematic works exceeded 50 films, his television works 150 series, more than 20 radio works, and 10 musicals. He also sang with his voice in a number of artworks, including: The songs of the film Al-Innocent, internal quartets in the series Al-Ayyam, Raya and Sakina, the beginning and end sequences for the movie Execution Brigade and the series Asfour Al-Nar .
Among his most famous musical works in cinema are: Innocent, the beginning, love in the dungeon, please give me this medicine, kracon on the street, dreams of Hind and Camelia, the arrest of Bakra and Zaghloul, the execution battalion, the day of dignity, and Halim.
Among his most famous musical works in cinema are: Al-Ayyam, Baba Abdo, Adeeb, Tears in Rude Eyes, Raafat Al-Hajan, Fatima, Arabesque, The White Flag, Shahd and Tears, Zizinia, The Egyptian Nun, A Woman from the Time of Love, Umm Kulthum, Hadith of the Morning and Evening, Abu Al-Ela Al-Bishri, Another Half of Spring , Dream of the South, Opera Aida, Sheikh Al Arab Hammam, Hadaeq Al Shaitan, Nightingale, Mahmoud Al Masri, Raya and Sakina, Ahlam Adaiya and a girl from Shubra.
Among his most famous musical works in theater are: Rabaa Al-Adawiya, Al-Wad Sayed Al-Shaghal, for the sake of your eyes, it is truly a respectable family, and Love in Prison.
Ammar Al Sheraei was known for his interest in discovering and nurturing new talents, including Hoda Ammar, Reham Abdel Hakim, May Farouk, Amal Maher, and Ahmed Ali Al Hajjar. In 1980, he formed the “Friends” group, which included three distinguished singing talents, Mona Abdel Ghani, Hanan and Alaa Abdel Khaleq, and had great resonance during this period. She presented many songs that discussed the problems of society and its most important issues.
He also took great interest in children’s songs, and made songs for childhood celebrations under the patronage of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak for 12 consecutive years. From 1991 to 2003, he developed the music and tunes for the October celebrations held by the Egyptian Armed Forces in cooperation with the Ministry of Information.
His innovations and artistic achievements
Ammar Al-Shariei composed a concerto for the oud and orchestra and a sequence on well-known Arabic melodies, and played them with the Amman Symphony Orchestra in 2005. In cooperation with the Japanese company Yamaha, he participated in the development of three-quarters of a ton of electronic machines. He also participated, in cooperation with the American company Emultur, in the production of samples of traditional and popular Egyptian and Arab instruments.
He also created many new rhythms and genres. He reworked and distributed many of the tracks and songs. He contributed with the American Dancing Dots Foundation to the production of a program entitled Good Feel, which presents musical notes in Braille for the blind.
Awards and Honors
Ammar Al-Shariei has received many awards and honors at the local and international levels, among which are:
- Prize of the Valencia Festival, Spain, 1986, for the music of the film The Innocent.
- Prize of the Vivier Festival, Switzerland, 1989.
- Honorary Medal of the First Class from Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultanate of Oman, 1992 and 2005.
- The First Class Honor Medal from King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
- Several awards from the Egyptian Society of Film Writers and Critics, the Catholic Center for Cinema and the Radio and Television Festival for soundtracks from 1977 until 1990.
- The Golden Horse Award for the best composer on Middle East Radio for seventeen consecutive years.
- The State Award for Excellence in Arts from the Supreme Council of Culture, 2005.
His Personal life
Ammar al-Sharei’i remained apprehensive about the idea of marriage throughout his youth, and made a decision not to engage in marriage, until Mervat Al-Qaffas hosted him on her “European Program” show in 1988, when he was forty years old. He felt love towards her and asked to marry her. After a friendship that lasted 3 years, he proposed to her and they got married in 1991. In 1998, they had their only son, who they named “Murad”.
Ammar Al-Shariei suffered from heart disease in his youth, and in 2011, after his participation in the January 25 revolution, he fell into severe fatigue and suffered a health crisis, after which he was transferred to the hospital. Where he had a heart catheterization and surgery to remove water from the lung. He remained in the hospital for several months until he suffered a heart attack and left our world on Friday, December 7, 2012, at the age of 64 years.