Egyptian musicians shine at World Cup 2022 closing ceremony

Soprano Farrah El Dibany and hip-hop star Wegz proved their pedigree on the global stage

Farrah El Dibany sings the French national anthem prior to the final between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium. Getty Images
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Egyptian music artists took centre stage at the closing ceremony of the Qatar World Cup on Sunday.

Performing as part of the pre-match festivities were Egyptian soprano Farrah El Dibany and hip-hop star Wegz.

The former sang the French national anthem with the Les Bleus players lined up on the pitch of Lusail Stadium, with French President Emmanuel Macron watching from the stands.

After making an impression on Macron during a concert at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris last year, where she sang songs by Fairouz and Dalida, El Dibany was tapped to sing the French national anthem at Macron’s re-election victory event, after she was awarded the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government.

French President Emmanuel Macron greets Egyptian opera singer Farrah El Dibany following his victory in France's presidential election in April this year. AFP

Her World Cup appearance marks another step in a burgeoning career.

Born in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria, El Dibany was the first Arab opera singer to study at the prestigious Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin.

In addition to building a steady touring career, including a well-received solo concert at Dubai Opera in 2020, El Dibany was also awarded France’s Chevalier (Knight) honour, a medal that recognises significant contributions to the field of arts.

Wegz's appearance at the World Cup final was a bittersweet coronation.

While the occasion was the biggest show of his career and capped off his remarkable rise in becoming one of the region's biggest music acts, his performance was reportedly not broadcast live on channel beIN Sports.

Instead, it was live-streamed on Wegz's Instagram account. That said, he put on a spirited set and performed the official World Cup song Ezz El Arab (Arab Glory), the video for which was filmed in Qatar.

Earlier this month, Wegz was the latest Arab artist to appear on the Spotify digital billboard in New York's Times Square.

Other Arab artists performing during the World Cup final ceremony included Qatari singer Aisha, who joined Nigerian Afro-pop star David for Hayya Hayya (Better Together) and Emirati singer Balqees, who sang Light The Sky alongside Iraq's Rahma Riad, and Morocco's Nora Fatehi and Manal.

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Updated: December 19, 2022, 8:50 AM