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Sudan Mourns the Death of Sudanese Singer Mohammed El Amin

Sudanese singer Mohammed El Amin, one of the most influential artists of the contemporary Sudanese artistic heritage, has passed away at the age of 80 in Virginia, the US on Sunday, 12 November 2023. He was hospitalised in Alexandria Hospital for undisclosed reasons.

His death was announced by the Embassy of Sudan in Washington, DC, the capital of the US.

Also known as Wad El Amin and Bashkatib, Mohammed El Amin Hamad Al Neel was known for his style of singing, his playing of the oud and his often outspoken lyrics. Born in Wad Madani in Al Gezira State in 1943, El Amin started singing and learning to play the oud at the age of 11, and wrote his first compositions at the age of 20. Throughout his career, he mostly wrote his own lyrics, but also sang the words of well-known Sudanese poets such as Fadlallah Mohamed and Mahjoub Sharif.

According to The African Institute, El Amin’s music career started playing with Blue Nile Police musical band, which led him to study musical notation with the musician Mohammad Adam Al Mansoori. El Amin participated in many music festivals in the Arab world, Europe, and the US, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Moscow, the Netherlands, Germany and more. He also participated in the festivals of The Capital of Arab Culture – in Qatar in 2010 and in Manama in 2014.

Throughout the years, El Amin received many music awards and honours, including the Medal of Literature and Arts from the Presidency of the Republic of Sudan, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nileen in 2010, the Medal of Merit in 2014, the European Union Medal in 2016 and more.

El Amin was also known for taking a political stance in his music. After the successful revolution of October 1964, he composed the song, “The Epic of October”. Several times, his patriotic and critical songs evoked the suspicion of the military dictatorships of the day, and he was jailed by Nimeiri’s regime in the 1970s. To avoid further trouble, he moved to Cairo, Egypt after the military coup in 1989. In 1994, he returned to Khartoum and has kept a low profile, despite his great popularity that has led him to appear in concerts in the UAE, Europe, China or the US.

Sudanese around the world are mourning the death of El Amin, including the de fact ruler of Sudan General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan. Sudan is currently in the midst of a war, which erupted in 15 April 2023 between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by the de facto ruler of Sudan General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by the leader of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti). At least 9,000 people have been killed and more than 7 million have been displaced. At least 3 million people have been internally displaced, and at least 4 million have fled the country to neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Chad, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Many of Sudan’s greatest singers have recently passed including Abdel Karim Al Kabli in 2021, Hamad Al Rayah and Abdel Aziz El Mubarak in 2020, and Mohammed Wardi in 2012.

Many took to social media to mourn the loss of Mohammed El Amin, including popular Sudanese singer Huda Arabi, and journalists Ismail Kushkush and Dalia Eltahir.

Source: 500 Words Magazine