- Salah Jahin
name = Salah Jahin
birthdate = birth date|1930|12|25|mf=y
deathdate = death date and age|1986|4|21|1930|12|25|mf=y
occupation = poet, lyricist, playwright and cartoonist
Mohammad Salah eddin Bahgat Helmy, known as "Salah Jaheen" or "Salah Jahin" (ArB|صلاح جاهين; IPA2|sˤɑɫɑːħ ʒahiːn) (
December 25 1930– April 21 1986) was a leading Egyptian poet, lyricist, playwrightand cartoonist.
Life and career
Jaheen was born in Shobra district,
Cairoon 1930 to a middle-class family. He studied law in Cairo University. In 1955, he started working for the Egyptian weekly magazine "Rose al-Yousef" as a cartoonist. A year later, he moved to the new magazine "Sabah el-Khair" for which he became the editor-in-chief, then he joined Al-Ahram.
Fuad Haddad, Jaheen had a great role in development of Egyptian colloquialpoetry. In fact, the term "shi'r al-ammiya" or "Arabic colloquial poetry" was only coined in 1961 by a group of young poets includiing Salah Jahin, Abd Al-Rahman Abnudi, Fuad Qaudand Sayyid Higabwho called themselves "Jama't Ibn Arus" cite journal|last=Radwan|first=Noha|title=Two Masters of Egyptian Ammiyya Poetry|journal=Journal of Arabic Lierature|volume=35(2)|pages=221–243|date=2004-08-01|accessdate=2006-10-02 ] . Before that, poetry in colloquial Egyptian Arabicwas regarded as a folkloricand low art produced by and for the uneducated masses, while the term "Shi'r" ( Arabicfor poetry) was restricted to poetry written in standard Arabicor "Fusha".
He wrote several plays for the
puppettheatre. He was also known for his nationalist and patriotic songs that marked the revolutionary era of Gamal Abdel Nasserrole, many of which were performed by the famous Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez. The poet was highly inspired by the 1952 Revolutionand was sometimes known as the semiofficial poet of the revolution cite book|last=Armbrust|first=Walter|title=Mass Culture and Modernism in Egypt|publisher=Cambridge University press|date=1996|pages=60|id=ISBN 0-521-48147-3 ] . However, after Egypt's defeat in the 1967 warand Gamal Abdel Nasserdeath in 1970 he suffered from a severe depression.In one interview, he said that with the death of Nasser in 1970 and the sudden shift in political orientation he felt increasingly like Hamlet, with Sadatembodying the treacherous Claudius.cite web|url=http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/479/cu4.htm|title=April memories, April tunes|publisher= Al-Ahram Weekly|date=2000-04-27|accessdate=2006-10-02 ] .
In addition to political poetry, Jahin's poems frequently contain metaphysical and
philosophicalthemes, questioning the purpose of human life, the nature of good and evil, human and divine will and the limits of human pursuit of freedom and happiness .
In 1965, Jaheen was awarded the Egyptian Order of Science and Arts of the First Class. He died in 1986 at the age of 55.
As a poet
In 1963 Jaheen wrote his
quatrainsor rubaiyatin which his expressed his beliefs, emotions and views of life , existence, good and evil. Each verse ended with one ironic expression "Agabi" or "how strange !". Quatrains are sometimes argued as the greatest popular poetic achievement in Egypt in the last 50 years .
In Egypt's Name
In 1971, Jaheen wrote "Ala Esm Masr" or "In Egypt's name", an
epic poemnarrating the history of Egypt, from the pharaoic era till present. Each verse ended with the same expression "Ala esm Masr" or "In Egypt's name" but each time holding a new meaning. In this poem Jaheen repeatedly expressed his love for his country. In one stanza, he says:
:"History may say what it wishes in Egypt name :Egypt, for me, is the most beloved and most beautiful of things. :I love her when she owns the earth, east and west. :And I love her when she is down, wounded in a battle. :I love her fiercely, gently and with modesty. :I hate her and curse her with the passion of the lovesick. :I leave her and flee down one path, and she remains in another .:She turns to find me beside her in misfortune.:My veins pulsating with a thousand tunes and rhythms.:In Egypt's name."
His other books of colloquial poetry include:
*An al-qamar wa al-teen (1961).
*Qasaqis Waraq, (1966).
*Dawawin Salah Jahin, (1977).
*Angham Siptambirriyah, (1984).
As a cartoonist
Jaheen is the founder of the modern Egyptian cartoon school. Among his known cartoon series were Hashish addicts, Vigor Coffee-house and the Government Departments in which he introduced a theme called the "fahhama" or "the understander", an imaginary device clamped on the skulls of various cartoon characters, which intended to make the incomprehensible comprehensible thus drawing attention to the absurdities of modern life .
Jaheen's cartoons usually had political and social goals, directing the attention of the public and the government to mistakes that needed correction. For several years, Jaheen's cartoons at
Al-Ahramwere widely viewed by its readers and were considered "news in brief" giving a gist of what preoccupied people most [ cite journal|last=Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot|first=Afaf|title=The cartoon in Egypt|journal=Comparative Studies in Society and History|volume=13(01)|date=1971-01|accessdate=2006-10-02] .
Jaheen wrote the
lyricsof many songs, mostly patriotic songs that were performed by Abdel Halim Hafez. His songs include: "Soura" or photo, "ehna elsha'b" or "we are the people", "Khaly elselah sahy" or "oh weapon, be ready" , "Ya ahlan belma'arek" or Welcome battles" and "El-mas'oulia" or "Responsibility". He wrote for the puppet theatre, including the famous operetta"El-leila el-kebira" or The Big night. Jaheen also worked as a film producer, scriptwriterand an actor. His scripts included : "Awdat al ibn al dal" or The return of the prodigal son ; directed by Youssef Chahine, "El less wal kilab" or " The Thief and the Dogs" movie, ,"Shafika we Metwali" or "Shafika and Metwali", "Khally ballak men ZouZou" or "Be careful, she is Zouzou" and "Amira Hoby Ana" or Amira My Sweetheart. In the latter two, the famous Egyptian actress Suad Husnisang some of his most beautiful songs: "Ya wad ya te'eel", "Khally ballak men ZouZou" or Be careful, she is Zouzou, "El-hayah ba'a lonha bamby" or "Life has turned pink" and "El-donia rabe'" or "It's spring time". He also wrote the script and lyrics for the "Riddles"-a television series with a riddle in each episode presented during the month of Ramadanin the Egyptian and Arab televisions- for several successive years and for the television serial"Howa w heya" or "He and She" portrayed by Ahmed Zakiand Suad Husni.
*cite web|url=http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Arts&Culture/Literature/Poetry/ProminentPoets/070902020000000007.htm|title=Salah Jaheen|work=Egypt State Information Service|accessdate=2006-09-30
* [http://www.arabworldbooks.com/authors/salah_jahin.htm Salah Jahin form arabworldbooks]
* [http://www.salahjaheen.com/ Official website] (under construction).
*cite news|url=http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2001/531/cu1.htm|title=Salah Jahin: Balzac holding Rodin's chisel|date=2001-04-26|publisher=
*imdb name|id=1549769|name=Salah Jaheen
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