Umm Kulthum – Egypt Today Umm Kulthum – Egypt Today

Remembering the iconic Umm Kulthum

Sat, Feb. 3, 2018
CAIRO – 3 February 2018: Umm Kulthum was a beloved Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress. Egypt Today is remembering the iconic singer on her death anniversary; the Star of the East is considered one of the greatest singers in Arab history.

More than three decades after her death, Umm Kulthum remains beloved across the Arab world. Umm Kulthum's voice was quickly identified as unique, strong and vibrant and instantly recognizable.

Her famous songs include: “Enta Omri” (You are the love of my life), “Al Atlal” (The ruins), “El hobb Kolloh” (all the love), “Ya Zalemeny” (You were unjust to me), “Ya Mesharany” (You keep me awake all night), “Hayart Albi Ma’ak” (You confused my heart) amongst others.

In 1944, Umm Kulthum was granted the highest level of Order of the Virtues, ‘Nishan el-Kamal,’ by King Farouk. After Egypt’s 1952 Revolution, the new military leadership attempted to prevent her from singing because of the award, but Gamal Abdel Nasser, a fan of Umm Kulthum, intervened and reversed the decision.

After the 1967 War, in which Israel occupied parts of Egypt, Umm Kulthum composed a series of nationalistic songs that fueled nationalism and pan-Arab sentiment. She also gave many performances in various Arab countries to raise money for the Egyptian army.

Umm Kulthum still lives on in the hearts of all her fans and her brilliant voice still rings in their ears. Her fans gave her the title Kawakab Al-Sharq (Star of the East). Umm Kulthum was considered the greatest Arab singer of the 20th century.

Her valuable belongings and old records and tapes were moved to the Umm Kulthum museum at Manasterli palace in December 2001. The museum is wonderful tribute to the singers life.

Umm Kulthum’s spirit is felt in every corner. People have reported hearing her voice in the museum despite none of her songs being played at the time. Only there, can one know the story of this dazzling Egyptian woman sticking to her silk scarf, which she could never do without during performances.

Umm Kulthum died on February 3, 1975, after more than a decade of health problems.
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