Global Politics

Egyptian Singer Fatma Zidan Optimistic About Egyptian Presidental Elections

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Egyptians head to the polls next week to vote for president. It will be Egypt's first open presidential vote since Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down last year. Thirteen candidates are on the ballot – ranging from former Mubarak regime officials to Islamists. Egyptian expatriates got a jump start – they started casting their absentee ballots last week. Among them – singer Fatma Zidan. She was born in Egypt, but has lived in Denmark for the past few years. Zidan's won numerous Danish music awards – including Best World Music Track in 2008, for this song Yoma. Fatma Zidan was at home in Copenhagen in 2011 while watching the protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. She thought the push for change in Egypt was long overdue. ZIDAN: "I can remember from 10 years ago, I was asking myself, why we don't do anything? Why nobody do anything? Why are we sitting what's going on around us and we don't react? I think that's kind of our mentality that we always think it's going to be okay. And sometimes we don't see what's going on because we don't want to see. " And even now Zidan says Egyptians need change desperately. ZIDAN: "We have a lot of problems, people die from problems, people are depressed. they don't have money, they don't have work. The young have no future, their future is nearly ending." But Zidan is hopeful that next week's presidential election will begin to usher in the kind of change Egypt needs. ZIDAN: "We have to have a good future then we have to do a lot of things to Egypt to come up again because Egypt deserves that." And even though she lives in Copenhagen with her Danish husband and young son, Fatma Zidan is trying to do her part. She travels to Egypt every couple of months to visit family – and help with projects that focus on problems like elderly housing and garbage clean-up. And then of course, there's her music. Her latest album is called "Hawel."

  • Fatma Zidan (Photo: April Peavey)

  • Fatma Zidan Hawel

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