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على اسماعيل Aly Ismail. Adrift on the Nile

Al-hashish is forbidden while alcohol isn’t? Why? Both are bad for the health? Both are intoxicating?

Aly Ismail (1922-74) was one of greatest musicians in Egypt and the Arab world. Here is the wonderful theme tune to the 1971 Egyptian film “Adrift on the Nile” based on the novel by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, which addresses the decadence of Egyptian society of the early 1900s.

Composer Ismail has been decorated and honored in Egypt abroad for his music. He composed for The Reda Troupe and conducted the orchestra, often arranging folk music in an orchestral score and has been able to blend oriental with the classical and achieving a rare universality, that was achieved by Oum Khaltom who also sang to specifically orchestrated folk music. Ismail was husband to Nabila Kandeel, a song writer in her own right. The plot follows a simple Egyptian worker, Anis, who cannot tolerate the hypocrisy of the Egyptian government (for whom he works at the Ministry of Health).

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