Nassar Nye #1593

                                      #1593 Nassar Nye 1


This is part 1 of a 6 part interview of Sa’idi Nye musician Abdul Nassar Hassan Abu Zeid.


He lives in El Qurna which is on the West Bank of Luxor in Upper Egypt.


  • 0:12 Nassar fell in love with the sound of the Nye and enjoys playing both Sufi and secular music. (The singer in Sufi music is called a Munshid.) He would learn the music by listening, and practicing at home.
  • 0:55 He liked the sorrowful sound of the nye. He made his own nye from a plastic insulation pipe.
  • 1:54 After a year with the plastic tube, he found the original nye to be better. He started to ask where to get a real nye. People steered him towards the real nye and he bought one.
  • 2:44 He taught himself by listening to singers and nye musicians.
  • 3:20 He listened to singers such as Abdul Halim Hafez, Um Kulthoum, Warda, whom he considers the foundation of Arabic music in Egypt.
  • 3:58 When he works, the client chooses what type of music will be played; it may be Sa’idi, or maybe Sufi. He, as a nye musician has to know how to play all of these.
  • 4:47 Artists do not play only one instrument. A nye player can also play other instruments such as the kamanga (violin) or oud, or other. Usually they play two or three instruments. So they can play these at a hafla (party), or zikr or madh (Sufi).
  • 5:30 Artists learn more every day, they listen and learn while working.
  • 6:17 The party with normal songs is different from the religious songs (enshad), in both melody and rhythm. The singer has a different style.
  • 7:31 Q; What age did he start playing professionally? A. He started at 12 or 13 years old. And now he is teaching his son. Although he said before that he did not belong to a musician family, he mentions here that his father also played the nye. It was not his father’s main
    job. He worked as a guard in the Antiquity authority. As for Nassar, he crafted replicas of antiques to sell as souvenirs.

Location Gezira Garden Hotel top floor celebration area, in the West Bank of Luxor, with the permission of owner Mr. Gamal. With interview assistance by Saad Hassan impresario and Wael Mohamed Ali translator. Aszmara as research assistant. Video by Sahra C Kent. May, 2018

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