Al Massrieen

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Al Massrieen (المصريين) (also spelled El Masryeen) is an Egyptian pop music group that was active during the 1970s and 1980s. They draw influence from disco, funk, psych rock and jazz music.[1]

History and musical style

Music composer Hany Shenoda founded Al Massrieen (literally "The Egyptians") as what he called an "Epop or Egyptian pop" group in 1977.[2]

Encouraged by his discussions with the writer Naguib Mahfouz, Shenoda saw the group as a way to modernize Egyptian music without covering foreign songs.[3][2] The group's use of the Arabic language and Egyptian-focused themes along with electronic instruments and foreign-influenced rock rhythms resulted in a style that was distinct from the film-oriented orchestral sounds and Arabic pop that was more popular professional music industry at the time.[4] Shenoda later recalled that "Our music is revolutionary in its tune, in its arrangements, and, of course, in its lyrics. We transformed Egyptian music from being monophonic music, where the singer and the orchestra would play the same note, to polyphonic music that makes the keyboard, the bass, etc etera, play different notes. This is the change we made and that was the base we gave to modern Egyptian music."[4]

They released six albums in their initial formation, distributed primarily through cassettes and eight-track tapes.[4] Their albums included "Mashia el sanyoura" (The passing senorita), "Bahebak la’" (I love you not), "Banat kateer" (A lot of girls), "Horreya" (Freedom), "Ebdaa men gedid" (Start all over again) and "Haz al adala mayel" (Good people have bad luck).[2]

Their music found popularity on television, as their track "Longa 79" was the theme song to a soccer program Camera in the Field and later became an Egyptian soccer anthem.[4] As they became more popular, their style became influential within other Egyptian media, music, and television.[4]

Some critics argued that their group was too "un-Egyptian" in their embrace of international and foreign musical styles, an accusation that the band responded to in the song "Mickey Mouse."[4] Shenouda recalled that people also criticized the band for being “harmful to the idea of Orouba” or "Arab unity” as they were seen to identify more with their Egyptian identity instead of pan-Arab identity.[5]

The original lineup was active until 1988, when their final album was released on the day of the death of Egyptian President Sadat. The group had started to drift apart due in part to the departure of singers Iman Younis and Mona Azis as well as the deaths of bass player Tahssin Yalmaz and singer Mamdouh Kassem.[2]

In 2009, the group reunited after singer Iman Younis called into a radio program that Shnouda was participating in to talk about possibly reuniting. The group reformed with the addition of Ayman Saridar and Fady Al-Alfy and began performing again.

In 2017, many of their tracks from the 1970s and 1980s were compiled by the German label Jakarta Records/Habibi Funk in their compilation album Modern Music (2017).

Legacy and influence

Al Massrieen has been described as one of Egypt's first pop groups as well as a representative of a "turning point" in modern Egyptian music.[2][5] Their song "Longa 79" was once an Egyptian soccer anthem. It is also the opening theme for the television series Ramy.[6]


Original lineup

  • Hany Shenoda (هاني شنودة)
  • Mona Aziz (منى عزيز)
  • Iman Younis (إيمان يونس)
  • Tahsin Zalmaz (تحسين يلمظ)
  • Mamdouh Qasem (ممدوح قاسم)
  • Omar Fatih (عمر فتحي)

Later members [7]

  • Ayman Saridar
  • Fady Al-Alfy


  • بحبك لا
  • بنات كتير
  • حرية
  • إبدأ من جديد
  • فرقة هاني شنودة, المصريين
  • حظ العدالى
  • Habibi Funk 006: Modern Music (2017)