It is the end of 2012 and I’ll just use the occasion to put together a top ten list of favorite music videos or musical scenes from film shot on location in Cairo. In some of these clips Cairo is unrecognizable, particularly those from the 60s where the city appears to have functioning public transport, low-rise low-density neighborhoods, far less cars and more trees than one can ever imagine this city having.
Opening sequence of the musical film “Love in Karnak,” 1967. مقدمة فيلم غرام في الكرنك
The opening sequence of this dance/musical film about Reda Dance Troupe going on a trip to Luxor takes us around Cairo starting at residential districts (note the amount of large stand alone modern houses with gardens) to historic residential areas such as the Citadel (with astonishingly well kept houses, stone paved street! and lush trees at the foot of the Mohamed Ali Mosque!), then proudly showcasing Cairo’s fast modern trams, tree-lined streets, the Cairo Tower, Cairo University, Downtown and the Ramses Statue outside the Central Station. The conclusion of the clip is a dance in the main hall of the train station following the far more sensitive renovation it underwent at the time compared to last year’s disaster.
Soad Hosny in the final scene of the 1972 film “Take Care of Zuzu” سعاد حسني في المشهد الاخير من “خلي بالك من زوزو” سنة 1972
The final scene from the popular musical drama “take care of Zuzu” takes place in Giza’s Orman garden which is located opposite the Giza Zoo near Cairo University. Many of the film’s scenes are shot on campus at the university, including some of its most memorable musical sequences.
Child actress Fairuz، “karawan al fann” in the 1954 film “Gold” فيروز مع انور وجدي كروان الفن في فيلم “ذهب” 1954
A favorite film from 1954 featuring child prodigy Fairouz (not the same as the famous Lebanese singer). Although I can not confirm where this scene is shot, I suspect it is in the recently developed Dokki area which was planned for low-rise single family houses (hard to believe it considering what Dokki has transformed into, although some of the original houses still remain).
YAZ (Yasmine Hamdan), Get it right, 2009. ياسمين حمدان (ياز) من البوم Arabology و اسم الاغنية “جيت ات رايت”، 2009
YAZ a project between Yasmine Hamdan and Mirwais, shot its video for “Get it Right” in Cairo at several locations (I think it is supposed to be Cairo in 2019, which looks like today, which is perhaps an intended reality check that things will probably stay the same for a while). The video shows locations all across the city including downtown, anonymous unoccupied desert developments, and the pyramids. The video is directed by Stéphane Sednaoui (who made some of the 90s more memorable videos by artists like Red Hot Chilly Peppers, Fiona Apple, Bjork and Tricky), he is the descendant of the famous Sednaoui family from Egypt which owned the department store chain of the same name across Egypt in the first half of the 20th century (he managed to squeeze in the sign of the store in one of the shots).
Abdel Halim Hafez, “Ahbik” from the 1967 film “Maboodat al gamaheer”عبد الحليم حافظ، “احبك” من فيلم معبودة الجماهير.
Totally over the top Abdel Halim Hafez singing on a bike riding through Cairo’s downtown then on to a residential quarter in the old town, then on to his apartment where he finishes the epic 8-minute love song in his bed.
Ahmed Zaki from the 1993 film “Mister Karate”احمد زكي من فيلم مستر كاراتيه
Not really sure what is going on here, but Ahmed Zaki is clearly excited and this is 90s and this is Zamalek.
Deeb, “Maw3ood,” 2012. ديب، موعود
Deeb samples Abdel Halim Hafez, raps in Heliopolis and Tahrir Square in 2012 Cairo.
Amr Diab “De7ket Oyoon 7abibi,” 1993. عمر دياب، ضحكة عيون حبيبي
Some more 90s with Amr Diab. The entire video is shot on the now gone Bulaq Bridge which looks here like it was in pretty good shape. The bridge connected Zamalek with Bulaq where today the 15th May Bridge crosses over Zamalek’s main street 26th of July (request from those in power: no more dates for naming streets and bridges).
Hany Adel and Amir Eid “Sout al Horeya.” هاني عادل و امير عيد “صوت الحرية،” 2011
Speaks for itself.
Karim Shukry “take me back to Cairo,” 60s. كريم شكري “تيك مي باك توكايرو” من الستينات
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- arabista said: Great post…only wish you could include links to some of the key scenes from these movies.
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