Egypt (to 1958)


While widely thought to have been composed by Guiseppe Verdi, the anthem first used by the Khedive of Egypt was composed by an Italian, Giuseppe Pugioli. Pugioli (who came to Egypt late in 1871) composed the tune as a way for the soldiers to mark time in step. One day, the Khedieve Ismail Pasha stopped by the barracks when the soldiers were practicing their marching to the beat of Pugioli’s tune. The Khedive was immediately interested in the tune and asked to have it arranged for a brass band to play. It was then decided to make it the Khedivial Anthem. (This was possibly sometime shortly after Pugioli’s arrival in Egypt.)

After the monarchy was deposed in 1952, it was still used as the national anthem, only the title was changed to reflect the country’s new status as a republic. In 1958, Egypt entered into a union with Syria known as the United Arab Republic; the anthem of the UAR was this anthem, followed by the Syrian anthem.

Despite the Italian nationality of the composer, the anthem is very typical of others used in the area at the time, a classic example of the “Arab fanfare” style of anthem.

Special thanks to: Peter van der Meulen for some of this information.