Sounds of Arabia is a year long program of performance focusing on Arabic music organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and held at the Emirates Palace Auditorium. This monthly event showcases an elite selection of classical and contemporary Arab performers and their event this month will be dedicated to Um Kalthoum with Amal Maher and the Um Kalthoum Orchestra for Arabic Music playing tribute to her songs and music.
To those that don't know Um Kalthoum, she is one of THE most distinguished and well known singers in the Arab world. Known as the Star of the East and Diva of the Arabic Song, she was hugely popular during her singing career from the 1920s till her death in 1975.
Her songs were epic - some of her concerts would consist of a song that would last of an hour or longer. She was loved by the rich and poor and even after her death, is still very much revered. There really hasn't been another like her since she passed away - and probably never will.
To honour her and to celebrate love on Valentine's day, here's Um Kalthoum's song Inta Omri (You are my life). Strong lyrics, sung with strong emotions and dignity - I hope you can take the time to listen to it (the song is 40 minutes long and broken into six different clips). Even if you don't understand Arabic or the lyrics, try to enjoy this moment from the past, where song lyrics were like poems that transcended class, age and culture amongst the Arab world. I hope you enjoy this and love to all.
Extract from the song (English translation added below):
انت عمري اللي ابتدي بنورك صباحه
قد ايه من عمري قبلك راح وعدّى
يا حبيبي قد ايه من عمري راح
ولا شاف القلب قبلك فرحة واحدة
ولا ذاق في الدنيا غير طعم الجراح
ابتديت دلوقت بس أحب عمري
ابتديت دلوقت اخاف لا العمر يجري
You're my life, that started its morning with you
How much from my life before you has gone by
Oh my darling how much from my life before you has gone by
Neither has the heart seen, before you, one joy
Neither has it tasted in life besides the taste of hurt
I started now only, to love my life
I started now to fear, to fear that life would run by
Sounds of Arabia - Amal Maher and Um Kalthoum Orchestra for Arabic Music
Thursday, 25th Feb at 8pm
Emirates Palace Auditorium
Learn more about Um Kalthoum