Born: Dec. 31, 1898
Died: Feb. 3, 1975
Beloved Egyptian singer
Umm Kulthum was a beloved Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress. She was known as the Star of the East and 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.
In 1944, Umm Kulthum was granted the highest level of orderOrder 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 cancelled 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 died on February 3, 1975, after more than a decade of health problems.