Farid Al Atrash – Egypt Today
CAIRO – 29 January 2018: The book signing ceremony for “Farid Al Atrash el Alamy...Nabeget Asro” (The International Farid Al Atrash…A Brilliant in His Era) will take place on Tuesday, January 31 at the Cairo International Book Fair.
The book is written by Lebanese writer Mahmoud el-Ahmadia. Ahmadia announced that the book tackles how the great musician Farid Al Atrash managed to transfer his oriental music abroad. The ceremony will witness the screening of a documentary about the most important stages in Atrash’s life, in addition to poems recited by a group of Egyptian poets.
Born in 1910, Atrash was born into a Druze family in southern Syria. His family participated in the resistance against the French occupation of Syria.
Due to the danger of war in Syria, Atrash immigrated with his mother, his brother, Fouad, and his sister, Asmahan, to Egypt. There, he learned, from his mother to sing and play the oud instrument. Then, he joined the High Institute of Music in Cairo.
Having a great passion for music, Atrash collaborated with Lebanese actress and belly dancer Badia Masabni. Shortly after, he attempted to perform on Egyptian National Radio. Following many failed attempts, he finally succeeded and released his first single, “Ya Retny Tair” (I Wish I Could Be a Bird).
Referred to as the “King of Oud”, Atrash composed a number of iconic musical compositions for leading signers, including his sister Asmahan, Fayza Ahmed, Fatheya Ahmed, Shadia and Sabah.
His music catalogue is comprised of more than 220 songs like “Gameel Gamal” (So Beautiful), “Esmaa’ Lama Aaolak” (Listen to Me), “Wahdany” (I am Alone) and “Ziena”.
Acting with Egyptian cinema icons like Shadia and Samia Gamal, Atrash was in more than 30 films, including “Intesar El Shabah” (Youth Victory), “Habib El Omr” (My Love), “Resalah Min Emra’a Maghola” (Message from an Unknown Woman) and “Montaha El Farah” (Extremely Happy).
Most don’t know that Atrash was the one who taught the great late Egyptian actress Hend Rostom dancing in the movie “Enta Habeeby” (You’re My Lover), where he used to dance backstage behind the camera while Rostom mimiced his moves.
One of the immortal duets in the history of the Egyptian cinema was “Ya Salam Ala Hobi Wi Hobak” (Our Love is Exceptional), mainly because it was sung by two of the best Egyptian singers – Shadia and Atrash. The song satirically described fake love relationships. Performed in “Enta Habiby” in 1957, it was composed by Atrash and written by Fathy Qoura.
Atrash died in Beirut in 1974 at the age of 64. He will always be remembered as one of the Arab world’s greatest musicians.
The 49th annual Cairo International Book Fair was launched on Saturday and will run until February 10. The fair is participated by 17 Arab countries and 10 other countries from around the world.
Late veteran writer Abdel Rahaman el-Sharakawy was chosen to be the fair’s “Person of the Year” because of his work on the renewal of religious discourse, as well as his renowned theatrical writing.
The 49th edition hosts a berth of new activities for the first time, such as theater events, cinema halls and fine arts halls, in addition to increasing the number of books dedicated to children.