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Amar Ezzahi (January 1, 1941 – November 30, 2016) was an Algerian singer and mandole player. He was the figurehead of Chaabi, the traditional music of Algiers.

Amar Ezzahi
Amar Ezzahi et Boudjemaâ El Ankis (cropped 2).jpg
Amar Ezzahi in 2015.
Amar Ait-Zaï

January 1, 1941
DiedNovember 30, 2016(2016-11-30) (aged 75)
Algiers, Algeria
Resting placeEl Kettar Cemetery


Early lifeEdit

Amar Ezzahi was born as Amar Ait-Zaï in Ain El Hammam, a village of Kabylie, Algeria, on January 1, 1941.[1][2][3] He grew up in the Casbah of Algiers.[2][3] He was orphaned as a child.[1]


Ezzahi was a singer and mandole player.[1] He started recording songs in 1963.[2][3] In 1976, he recorded two albums.[1] He only gave one concert on February 10, 1987 in Algiers.[1] Instead, he performed in open spaces like cafes and terraces, mostly during family gatherings.[1] Moreover, he shunned the media and turned down copyright checks.[2] He was the figurehead of Chaabi, the traditional music of Algiers.[2]

Personal life and deathEdit

Ezzahi lived an ascetic life: he was not married, and had no children.[2][3]

Ezzahi died on November 30, 2016.[2][3] Upon his death, Azzedine Mihoubi, the Algerian Minister of Culture, visited his house to pay homage to him.[2][3] His funeral was held in a mosque the following day, on December 1, and he was buried in the El Kettar Cemetery.[2][3]

A celebration in honour of Ezzahi, with performances by Abdelkader Chaou and Kamel Aziz, was held at the Arab World Institute on December 3, 2016 in Paris, France.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Labesse, Patrick (December 2, 2016). "Le chanteur algérien Amar Ezzahi est mort". Le Monde. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Narduzzi, Guillaume (December 1, 2016). "Décès d'Amar Ezzahi, icône de la chanson populaire algéroise". Le Figaro. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Le chanteur algérois Amar Ezzahi s'est éteint". Le Parisien. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.