Singing outside the box | الغناء خارج الصندوق

I often ask myself a question many are afraid to ask: “When was the last time you did something brand new?” And this is the concept behind my artistic work. I consider myself an independent artist. Art is not the only thing I do and I don’t make a living out of it. I like doing a variety of artistic projects because they make me happy and convey messages I believe in. I was visiting Princeton University in the USA and I entered the university church. I started humming “O virgin Mary” and uploaded the video to my page, like anyone would. And that was it. My return to Egypt coincided with the Feast of the Virgin, and I thought, if I decided to sing in a church here, would that even be possible? I received a lot of criticism, mainly from Muslims who consider themselves religious or guardians of the faith. I’m proud to be the first veiled Muslim to dare film myself singing hymns inside a church. But I also want people to know this isn’t the only thing I do. I have many other artistic projects that can be considered the first of their kind. The idea behind the “Honking Classics” project is to present classical singing, a capella style, but with popular, down-home lyrics. This style of making music with your voice is called a capella. We’re trying to convey the idea that classical singing is not limited to a small and elite class of intellectuals. On the contrary, anyone can listen to it and enjoy it. We meet at home, either my home or someone else’s, and try as much as possible to learn from each other. I always dream of a safe space in which anyone with new and innovative ideas can bring them to light.

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