Umm Kulthum

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A naturally occurring talent can be an invaluable asset through life and posthumously for an individual. One such person is Umm Kulthum; a celebrated Egyptian singer who lived through the 20th century until 3rd of February 1975 to become one of the most famous Arab vocalists in history. This paper aims at discussing the life and times of the star who is still honored today in the Arab world, even more than forty years since her death. Additionally, this paper looks at her contribution to Egypt at her time and at contemporary times.
Early life
Umm was born in the village of Tamay e-Zahayra near the city of al Sinbillawayn in the Nile Delta south of Cairo into a poor family. Her birth date is not clearly known. Umm had
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Her performances had a political inclination as well, stirring emotions in favor of a revolution. It later came in 1952. Umm strategized to grow even more by instructing her poet Ahmad Rami to write a national song in favor of the new Abd al Nasir administration. Other pieces supporting the government were drafted as well documenting the Suez Canal and the High Dam among others. Monthly concerts grew into a pan Arab event drawing millions of listeners to her broadcasts; even drawing some businesses such as taxi cabs to a standstill just to listen to her performances. Aside from her pioneering religious pieces, Umm was also a performer of Tarab music; which was more urban but still maintained its traditional feel. This performance succeeded mainly as a result of audience participation. It was believed that Umm cast a spell on the crowds. In the 1960s, Umm collaborated with the majestic Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab, a favorite of the government at that time and they would jointly perform for Abd al-Nasir. This musical alliance saw the release of one of Umm’s most famous hits, the Inta Umri meaning ‘You are my life.’ She would perform this song end to end repeatedly as the crowds could not get enough of her. In 1967, Egypt was at war and lost. National pride was low and the patriotic Umm launched a series of concerts motivating people across the Middle East countries in her
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