Afifa Iskandar's Google doodle - Google
CAIRO – 10 December 2019: Google celebrates what would have been the 98th birthday of late acclaimed Iraqi singer Afifa Iskandar dubbed the “Iraqi Blackbird” with a Google doodle.
Iskandar was considered one of the best female singers in Iraqi history.
Iskandar was born in the Iraqi city of Mosul on December 10, 1921. She started singing at the age of 5. When she was a teenager, Iskandar performed her first concert in a small cabaret in the city of Erbil, where she sang in "Al-Maqam al-Iraqi".
In 1938, she travelled to Egypt to work with late acclaimed Syrian singer and belly dancer Badia Masabni in her famous casino, along with late famed Egyptian belly dancer and actress Taheya Karioka, and late great Egyptian musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab.
Iskandar performed many concerts around the region. She also used to perform for Iraqi monarchs and government leaders. Additionally, Iskandar performed concerts in the U.S. and Europe, presenting her unique form of music.
Her ability to sing in A;-Maqam al-Iraqi made her unique when compared to her contemporaries in the Middle East. Al-Maqam al-Iraqi is a 400-year-old style weaving sung poetry together with traditional instrumentation.
In 1979, she decided to retire on the aftermath of the country’s political change.
Despite her retirement the acclaimed Iraqi Blackbird's passion for singing remained very strong, the matter that drove her to perform for friends and loved ones in private gatherings.
Among her most famous songs are "Ya Aqqid al-Hajibayn" and "Ikhlas meni."
As a result of her strong passion with poetry, she built up an extensive catalogue over the course of her career.
She died of cancer on October 21, 2012 in Baghdad, but her music lives on through her immortal songs.