Salah Jahin

Salah Jahin

About Salah Jahin

Salah Jahin (Cairo 1930 – 1986) was an Egyptian poet, journalist and caricaturist for the newspaper al-Ahram. In 1963 Jaheen wrote his quatrains or rubaiyat in which he expressed his beliefs, emotions and views of life, existence, good and evil. Each verse ended with one ironic expression "Agabi" or "how strange !". Quatrains are sometimes argued as the greatest popular poetic achievement in Egypt in the last 50 years. He opted for the Egyptian dialect, to compose a poetry full of simplicity and hope in the revolutionary ideals of Nasser's Egypt. He wrote several poetry collections and plays like The Word Salam, 1955; Complaint for a channel, 1956; Of moon and Mud, 1961; Quatrains, 1963 and Melodies of September published in 1984.
With Fuad Haddad, Jaheen had a great role in development of Egyptian colloquial poetry. In fact, the term "shi'r al-ammiya" or "Arabic colloquial poetry" was only coined in 1961 by a group of young poets including Salah Jahin, Abd Al-Rahman Abnudi, Fuad Qaud and Sayyid Higab who called themselves "Jama't Ibn Arus". Before that, poetry in colloquial Egyptian Arabic was regarded as a folkloric and low art produced by and for the uneducated masses, while the term "Shi'r" (Arabic for poetry) was restricted to poetry written in Modern Standard Arabic (commonly known as "Fu???", meaning most eloquent).

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