'Bless your hands' (Teslam El Ayadi)
If there is one song that is immediately associated with the military coup of 3 July 2013, then it is “Teslam El-Ayadi” ("Bless Your Hands" or "May the Hands be Safe"). This song — or “operetta” — was written by singer Mostafa Kamel and widely played in the months following the 3 July 2013. It is a tribute to the army for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood government but also celebrates the military more generally.
It invokes the familiar tropes of Egyptian military supremacy: the sand of (liberated) Sinai, Egypt’s brave soldiers ('the best soldiers on earth') rallying under the war flag or standing on the borders risking their lives to defend Egypt. It salutes the heroes of the 1973 Egypt-Israel war and the “son of a man” who honoured his pledge to “cut off the arm of anyone who touches the Egyptians,” i.e. Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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Mostafa Kamel, “'Bless your hands' (Teslam El Ayadi) ,” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed August 5, 2021, https://egyptrevolution2011.ac.uk/items/show/173.