Songs from North Africa

by Daisy Oweipublished on 25th June 2021

Al Jazeera investigates the Songs from North Africa. Music offers insights into the songwriter, the performers, the audience and their cultures. In this film, we delve into the stories of four songs from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Sudan.

From Morocco comes an expression of mourning and loss – Younes Megri is a renowned regional name whose most famous song was picked up by a western pop group. The Algerian song is from the legendary Hamid Cheriet, aka ‘Idir’, who sang in the Amazigh language and achieved a global fan base.

The patriotic Tunisian anthem was written by Mohamed Jamoussi, who was close to the country’s first Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba. And from Sudan is a people’s song about heroism that dates back to a major flood on the Nile in 1946. All are part of the long North African tradition of songwriting and performance. We speak with a range of musicians, historians and commentators who explain these songs’ fascinating contexts and histories.

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