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Aghadan Alkaak (shall I See You)

12" Vinyl
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Aghadan Alkaak (shall I See You)
Aghadan Alkaak (shall I See You)


"All Arabs agree," reads The Rough Guide to World Music. "Om Kolthoum is indisputably the Arab world's greatest singer."

Om Kolthoum was an internationally famous Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress ave from the 1920s to the 1970s. Known for her extraordinary vocal ability and style, She was one of the greatest and most influential Arab singers of the 20th century and is arguably the single most prominent Arab woman in contemporary Arab history. When she died in 1975 at the age of 70, 4 million people poured into the streets of Cairo to mourn her passing.

Her songs deal mostly with the universal themes of love, longing and loss. They are nothing short of epic in scale, with durations measured in hours rather than minutes. A typical Umm Kulthum concert consisted of the performance of two or three songs over a period of three to four hours. In the late 1960s, due to her age and weakened vocal abilities, she began to shorten her performances to two songs over a period of two-and-a-half to three hours. These performances are in some ways reminiscent of the structure of Westernopera, consisting of long vocal passages linked by shorter orchestral interludes. However, Umm Kulthum was not stylistically influenced by opera, and she sang solo most of her career.

Om Kolthoum has been a significant influence on a number of musicians, both in the Arab World and beyond. Among others, Jah Wobble has claimed her as a significant influence on his work. Bob Dylan has been quoted as saying, "She's great. She really is. Really great. Maria Callas,[9]Marie Laforêt,[10] Bono,[10] Robert Plant,[11] among many others are also known to be admirers of Kulthum's music. Youssou N'Dour, a fan of hers since childhood, recorded his 2004 album Egypt with an Egyptian orchestra in homage to her legacy.[12] One of her best-known songs, "Enta Omri", has been the basis of many reinterpretations, including one 2005 collaborative project involving Israeli and Egyptian artists. She was referred to as the Lady by Charles de Gaulle and is regarded as the Incomparable Voice by Maria Callas. She is also notably popular in Israel among Jews (of Mizrahi/Arabbackground) and Arabs alike, and her records continue to sell about a million copies a year. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated Oum Kalthoum Street in 2015. In 2001, the Egyptian government opened the Kawkab al-Sharq (Planet of the East) Museum in the singer's memory. Housed in a pavilion on the grounds of Cairo's Manesterly Palace, the collection includes a range of Umm Kulthum's personal possessions, including her trademark sunglasses and scarves, along with photographs, recordings, and other archival material.


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