CAIRO – 7 April 2019: ET commemorates Abdel Halim Hafez in conjunction with his 42nd death anniversary revealing numerous secrets about his life.
Iconic Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez passed away March 30, 1977, leaving behind a legacy of unforgettable songs that captivated millions of fans worldwide. Hafez enjoyed a unique character and a special way in running his business.
Upon achieving fame, Hafez discovered his infection with bilharzia. He had serious problems in his throat and stomach. Hence, he had to eat only boiled food and limit his working hours to four hours a day to avoid exhausting his vocal cords.
Despite following all the medical instructions, Hafez suffered unbearable pain for more than 20 years. His doctor Hisham Essa's nonstop and various treatment trials went in vain. His disease was fatal and incurable at that time.
Hafez knew this bitter fact deep down and tried as much as possible to cope with his disease, devoting his life to art, achieving unprecedented fame and success and immortalizing his works. Yet, he was unable to escape nightmares that were all about death. For this reason, Hafez used to sleep in the morning and in the presence of his nurse, maid or sister Alliya out of his fear to die alone in the evening.
The Nightingale, as his fans used to dub him, enjoyed a conservative and religious background. He used to contemplate in the beautiful nature around him in his birthplace, Halawat village, and praise God for his infinite gifts. Hafez believed that he was doomed to struggle to death and accepted it out of his belief that it was God's will.
His last visit to Mecca
Four months before his death, Hafez went to Mecca to make Umrah. Hafez spent holy moments there repenting and asking for God's forgiveness and mercy. One month after his journey to Saudi Arabia, Hafez travelled to London for the last time to conduct a liver surgery that was supposed to put an end to his pains. Hafez died after one hour of bleeding.
His unconditional love for Cinderella
Hafez and Soad Hosni's marriage is still debated; yet, the Egyptian singer's adoration to Hosni is true and genuine. Hafez rejected to announce his love for her in public because he was afraid that such a step might affect his popularity especially among his female fans.
After a while Hosni could not stand Hafez's insistence to deny each piece of news written about their relationship. What's more, he belittled Hosni's talent and beauty in one of his interviews to distract the public away from his intimate relation with Hosni, according to Janjah Hosni, Hosni's sister.
His distinct relation with the Diva
Some people may not know that Samira Said was once a talented student of Hafez. Said used to see the Nightingale in Morocco where the later used to hold an annual concert. At that time, Said was a little girl who made lots of national concerts and dreamt of being a famed singer. Hafez gave her a hand and allowed her to participate in one of his concerts in Casablanca.
"I learned lots of lessons from him. Hafez was witty, sentimental and down to earth. He wisely knew how to choose his lyrics and how to conduct his special music. Hafez was like a professor who knows how to run his business. May God bless his soul. I adore this man," Said revealed in an interview on CBC's TV channel.