Egypt mourns the death of musical legend Ammar El-Sherei
Iconic musician and composer Ammar El-Sherei passed away on Friday due to heart failure. The 64-year-old had fought a long battle against illness.
El-Sherei had been in intensive care at Cairo's El-Safa Hospital for over two weeks after having cardiac surgery in London, Al-Ahram Arabic reports.
He was due to complete sound tracks for a number of television series when his health deteriorated. He was scheduled to have another operation in the USA or London.
President Mohamed Morsi had said the state would pay El-Sherei's medical expenses.
El-Sherei was born blind on 16 April 1948 in the village of Samalot, Upper Egypt. He studied music at school then attended a special university programme for blind people funded by the culture ministry.
After graduating in 1970, he became an accordion musician. Then in 1975 he became a composer.
El-Sherei continued to pursue his musical education throughout his life. He was an assistant professor at the Academy of Arts, as well as a composer, songwriter and performer. He held three doctorate degrees, including one from the Sorbonne in France.
He played the piano, harp, accordion and oud, focusing on the latter in recent years. He composed over 150 music pieces for television and radio, including the famous Raafat El-Hagan TV series, starring Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.
He also composed music for the theatre during the 1980s.