US navy rendition of patriotic song in Arabic tickles Egyptians

Published December 15th, 2016 - 12:58 GMT
The band performing the nationalist Egyptian song (Youtube)
The band performing the nationalist Egyptian song (Youtube)

A video of the US Navy band singing an Egyptian patriotic song to the country’s military chief of staff has surprised social media users after it resurfaced on Wednesday.

The footage shows members of the “Sea Chanters” band performing “Feha Haga Helwa” (“There is Something Nice In It”) in Arabic during Egyptian Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy’s visit to America last May, 

The song is introduced by the band who suggest it is a pleasure to perform the song which “celebrates the beauty, enticing culture and sweet spirit found throughout the land of Egypt”.

The video has had over 10,000 views since it was shared at the end of November on the US Navy band’s Youtube channel.

Egyptians have generally responded positively to the clip of the song, which comes originally from the 2010 comedy film “Assal Eswad”:

One commenter on Youtube, Nour Hammam said: “Amazing. All the love and respect  for you from Egypt”. Another, Hala Bee, commented: “Lovely  people… Great effort not only learning the lyrics but also singing with such warm feelings relating to words you don't, perhaps, understand.”

The American version of the song was also circulated on Egyptian social media:

Surprised Egyptians commented:

They are a pleasing level of lovely. And, truly, there are lovely things [in this song].

Really lovely, I hope they will come to Egypt soon. One is so happy to hear someone who is not Egyptian, but loves our country, and sings to it. May our Lord protect you, Mother of the world, and take revenge on those who seek to destroy you. Truly, there are many beautiful things in it, not just one thing. Blessings to Egypt, Mother of the world.

Hegazy’s visit, at the invitation of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, came during a period of cooling in US-Egyptian relations. This follows President Obama’s  temporary decision to suspend arms sales to the country in 2013.

This might all be about to change, however. US President-elect Trump suggested, at a meeting with Egyptian President Sisi in September, that “the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on.”


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