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Egyptian culture is an important part of every day life. The arts, music and film-making are all highly celebrated, and there have been famous Egyptians from each field.

Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz is Egypt's most famous writer. Born in 1911, Mahfouz has published more than 30 novels and short story collections. He has also written numerous screenplays and a few plays as well. In 1988, Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was the first Arab writer to do so. Other famous Egyptian writers are:

  • Kamel Keilany - Known for childrens literature

  • Taha Hussein - Celebrated for intellectual enlightenment

  • Youssef El Seba'ie - Noteworthy Novelist

  • Ihsan Abdel Qoddous - Prominent Journalist and Novelist

Traditional Egyptian music is very rhythmic. It uses downbeats and upbeats, and even includes notes that are not normally found on the music scale. These notes are called microtones, and are the sounds that would be half-flats or half-sharps on the chromatic scale. Each Arabic tone is divided into thirds, giving them a distinct and unusual sound, as compared to western music.

Umm Kulthum

Probably the most popular singer of Arab classical music was Umm Kulthum. Arab music does not usually contain many chords, and one song could last close to an hour if the virtuoso singer was emotionally tied to their work.

Other famous Egyptian singers are:

  • Amr Diab - Pop Singer

  • Angham - Taarab Diva

  • Hakim - International Pop Star

Cairo Opera House

The Cairo Opera House is a cultural center in the capital city of Egypt. It opened in 1988, replacing the Royal Opera House that had been destroyed by a fire. The Opera House also contains a museum which showcases costumes, jewelry and props from many shows, as well as treasured info about the Opera House itself. In addition to the museum, the Cairo Opera House is a cultural extravaganza. There are theatres, art displays, music shows and many other types of performances scheduled regularly.