- Published: Monday, 29 January 2018 14:25
OUM KALTHUM AND MOHAMED ABD EL WAHAB
A dramatic high point in the production of new love song was collaboration with Mohamed Abd-el Wahab. He began his career in musical theater in 1917 and became highly regarded as singer and composer. They became aquainted during 1920´s. Abd el Wahab starred in a number of successful films during the 1930´s and 1940´s, for which he also wrote music. He was viewed as prestigious and innovative composer. His speciality was to combine wide variety of styles, mixture between Arab and Western music.
The two artists different artistic objectives discouraged collaboration. Abd el Wahab was interested in modern music, experimenting with other styles and influenced by West, while Oum Klathum wanted to work with old arab music roots. From time to time the two were in direct competition. Both ran for president of Musicians Union in 1940´s and early 1950´s.
It is believed that egyptian president Abd el Nasir was very important in the connection of the two artist, that he alone cherished so much. In 1960 both of them received Order of Merit by Egyptian governement. Slowly Abd el Naser and other mutual friends of the artists persusaded both of them to colaborate together. Agreement was formaly reached when Oum Kalthum and Abd el Wahab were performing together for a concert in honor of Egyptian National Day.
Their first success was Enta omri (You are my life), premiered in 1964. The song quickly became one of her most popular and famous songs. Nine more songs followed. All of the songs they did together were acompanied by huge press coverage. Not only in trade publication and fan magazines but also in the daily newspaper.
WORKING FOR HER NAITON
Abd el Wahab songs for Oum Klathum contribuated greatly to the flavour of modernity that dominated her repertory during the last fifteen yeras of her life.
In 1967 Egypt was defeated in war, therefore huge economical, social and cultural crises began in the country.Oum Kalthum decided to help Egypt. She began to raise money for Egypt with the concerts inside the country as well as with concerts abroad. She had concerts in different arabic countiries (Libia, Sudan, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain and so on). The only non arabic country that she performed at was France – her concert in Paris, 1967.
With all of this concerts she contribueted more than 2,5 milion dollars to the governement. Aided by diplomatic passports granted her by Egyptian governement in 1968, her trips took on the characterisitc of state visits. These concerts contributed greatly to Oum Kathum´s stature as a cultural leader. More than a musician, she became the voice and face of Egypt.
THE FELLAHIN ARE MYSELF
When Oum Kalthum talked about herself she linked herself to her roots. Especially in the last 15 years of her life. She said, »The Fellahin are my self. They are my youth. They are my life. They are the broad foundation from which I emanated.«
She presented herself as an ordinary, dignified Egyptian who had become educated and elegant. Her insistent identification with villagers and fellahin bacame an essential component of her public identity.
On January 21st 1975 she suffered another kidney attack. On February the 3rd, 1975, she died of a heart failure. On the day of her funeral, Egyptian people filled the streets of Cairo. They say it was 4 million people on the street that day. People later observed that her funeral had been larger that the one of the president Naser.
In Cairo, ob Rhoda Island, there is a Umm Klathum museum. You can see her scarfs that she always wore on concerts, her luxury dresses, grampohnes and audio-visual displays.