In 1992 on the hundredth anniversary of the founding of al-Hilal, celebrations commemorating this event were held in Egypt which included an exhibition at Dar-al-Hilal attended by the Minister of Culture and notable literary figures; the issue of a stamp; the minting of a one Egyptian pound coin featuring Jurji Zaidan; and the presentation of a plaque commemorating this event to the Zaidan family.
As part of the hundredth year anniversary celebrations of the founding of Dar-al-Hilal the Ministry of Information produced an Opera commemorating the life of Jurji Zaidan entitled” Hilal Masr” ( The Crescent of Egypt). The Opera was performed in 1992 at the Cairo Opera and attended by the President of the Republic, members of the Government, notable literary figures and members of the Board of Dar-al-Hilal.
The libretto of the Opera was written by Abdel Salam Amin, the music was composed by Farouk al Sharnoubi and it was produced by Mohammed Fadel. The lead role of Jurji Zaidan was played by Mahmoud Yassin. To quote from the Introduction to the Opera: “ Hilal Masr depicts musical scenes representing selections from our cultural history, rich in varied literary and intellectual contributions that stamped our cultural milieu, and which were represented with great objectivity in al-Hilal – whose hundredth anniversary we celebrate today.”
The performance of the Opera was preceded by speeches from noted literary figures and journalists assessing Zaidan’s varied contributions to the Nahda of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Prelude with Speeches
Opera on the Life of Jurji Zaidan
Photos from the Al-Hilal Centennial Celebrations