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Watani Al Akbar

009_05 / 30 November 2015


Watani Al Akbar (My Greater Homeland)

Single-channel video

11 mins 49 secs


This is a ventriloquist intervention in the 1960 operetta ‘Al Watan Al Akbar’ (‘The Greater Homeland’). Originally composed by Mohammad Abdel Wahab and sung by leading Arab singers of the time, Abdel Halim Hafez, Sabah, Fayza Kamel, Shadia, Warda and Nagat. It is considered to be the anthem of Pan Arabism as advocated by Gamal Abdel Nasser, then president of Egypt.


In this video, Urok Shirhan takes on the voices of the operetta’s protagonists. 


Read Urok Shirhan in conversation with Stephanie Bailey here.

About the author

Urok Shirhan

Urok Shirhan (b. 1984) studied Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and holds an MA in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths' University of London. She was a participant in Ashkal Alwan's Home Workspace Program in Beirut (2012-2013) and is currently a resident researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht (2015-2016).