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Dina El Wedidi Named as One of Time Magazine's '10 Next Generation Leaders 2019'

She's the only Egyptian and Arab on this year's edition.

Dina Wedidi

Known for a powerful voice and seamlessly blurring the lines between folkloric genres and modern, Western ones, Dina El Wedidi has just been featured as the only Egyptian and Arab on Time Magazine's 2019 edition of '10 Next Generation Leaders'. Dubbed as 'Egypt's Voice of Hope', Time magazine described El Wedidi's music as powerful enough to inspire change, particularly praising her contribution to the Nile Project - a collaborative musical and environmental project between African artists along the Nile valley, aiming to preserve the Nile's waters for current and future generations.

El Wedidi had joined a traditional music troupe in Cairo upon graduating with a degree in Oriental Literature in 2008. By 2011, she had parted ways with the group with which she delved deep into Arabic and heritage sounds, and launched her own band. Her 2014 debut, Tedawar w Terga' (Turning Ba), was an instant hit for its modern spin on popular folk tales and Arabic poetry. Her 2018 album was a unique project which incorporated real life sounds we're all but familiar with. “I sampled Egyptian trains at different stations, the sounds the seats and broken windows make, to create harmonies, melodies and rhythm,” said El Wedidi to Time magainze.

“Egypt, and what Egypt means to me, is comprised of a lot of different things,” previously said El Wedidi to SceneNoise. “My music is influenced by the area I’m in – I could easily find joy in the busyness and chaotic noise of home; I have no problem with these things. Some of these things could even make me go home and write music, like certain smells in the streets, and other things that might appear to be qabee7a (ugly); for me, I use them as a source of inspiration.”