FILE- Farid Atrash
CAIRO – 15 April 2019: In honor of the iconic Syrian singer and actor Faridel Atrash, Egypt Today commemorates his life and career on the occasion of his 109th birthday.
Born on April 15, 1910, into a Druze family in southern Syria,Atrash'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 playoud. 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 the Egyptian National Radio. Following many failed attempts, he finally succeeded and released his first single “Ya RetnyTair” (I Wish I Could Be a Bird).
Referred to as the “King of Oud”, Atrash composed a number of iconic songs for leading signers like his sister Asmahan, Fayza Ahmed, Fatheya Ahmed, Shadia and Sabah.
He presented more than 220 songs like “GameelGamal” (So Beautiful), “Esmaa’ Lama Aaolak” (Listen to Me), “Wahdany” (I am Alone) and “Ziena”.
Having acted with Egyptian cinema icons like Shadia, Lobna Abdel Aziz and Samia Gamal, Atrash was in more than 30 films, including “Intesar El Shabab” (Youth Victory), “Habib El Omr” (My Love), “Resalah Min Emra’a Maghola” (Message from an Unknown Woman) and “Montaha El Farah” (Extremely Happy).
Many don’t know that Atrash was the one who taught great late Egyptian actress HendRostomhow to dancein the movie “EntaHabeeby” (You’re My Lover), where he used to dance behind the camera while Rostom mimicked his moves.
One of the immortal duets in the history of the Egyptian cinema was “Ya Salam Ala Hobiwe Hobak” (Our Love is Exceptional), mainly because it was sung by two of the most popular singers – Shadia and Atrash. The song satirically describes fake love relationships. Performed in “Enta Habiby” in 1957, it was composed by Atrash and written by FathyQoura.
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.