In the time of Mubarak's dictatorship, around 2010, some of youth in Egypt, who are in the urban slums, have created a new type of music, which is fusion of electro, hip-hop and Egyptian traditional music "Shaabi". This new music genre are called "Mahraganat", which translates from the Arabic as "festivals", and rapidly in fashion among uncertain youth with the poor, working and lower middle class in the tumultuous society of post-Mubarak Egypt. Mahragant lyric basically talk about their everyday life and discontents against society with biting sarcasm and a big sense of humor, not about politics and love.
Egyptian weddings have traditionally been connected with shaabi music performed by local bands and belly dancers for entertainment. But recently, Mahraganat musicians, who were basically make up of some singers and performers and DJ, are replacing them. On the provisional stage at the alleyway of neglected Cairo neighborhood, singers and a DJ warm up the wedding party with their music and performance. They often have changed the lyrics of their songs to reflect the married couple. As the night go on, some fans of musicians and audiences start to dance to their music. Some of them strip their to the waist, are intoxicated by alcohol and smoking. Their performance will often last all night.
Mahragant are being very much in the public eye now. In recent years, we have been able to listen their music everywhere at streets in Egypt. This new music genera have been blaring over the sound systems of thousands of tuk tuks (auto rickshaws), microbuses, motor bikes and taxi. In Addition, mahraganat will attract attention as new and original music genera by European and Arab counties and some of them have been invited and performed in these countries. But as well, it is difficult to say that Mahraganat and its musicians have been popular with many people in Egypt even now. For some of Egyptian, it is seems that mahraganst and its musicians are vulgar, coarse and the sound of underclass. Hamasa(27) , who is a mahraganat musician based in Ain Shams City, one of the main city of mahraganat, said " There is nobody in my city who don't know about me and my colleagues, because we are very popular in this city as mahraganat musicians. But I have never said the people about my work and mahraganat out of my city. I am surely proud of my work as a mahraganat musician. but as well, I have grasped that some of Egyptian disapproved of our music and life style."
It has been over three years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the country's longtime dictator. Now, half of Egypt's 85 million people are under 25. It is estimated that poverty and near-poverty among youth was 51.3 %. In addition, 29% or approximately 5.8 million of the country's youth are unemployed even now. Egyptian youth is far from the ideal that the most of youth had imagined during the days of the revolution.
DJ Samaka (25), who is one of the famous mahraganat DJ based in Ain Shams City, also said, "During the revolution in 2011, we had never gone to Tahrir square and participated in revolutionary events. Even then, we were playing and creating mahraganat for uncertain youth. I have never been interested about politics, revolution and democracy. Our voice is not there, including newspapers and TV. Our real voice and candid opinion are always in this music and on the street"