Umm Kulthum-‘Star of the East’

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

umm kulthum iiI have been studying Egyptian travel books dreaming of a vacation to these distant lands. Fortune came my way when I noticed the beloved singer of Egypt, Umm Kulthum, in my travelogue, with her trademark sunglasses and spirited songs that made Egypt so proud. Her popularity can be tied into the rise of Abdul Gamer Nasser, who became the second president of Egypt from 1956-1970. Umm Kulthum *(spellings can vary) would give a concert the first Thursday of every month, and the streets of Cairo would empty as people gathered around their radios.

Umm has her own museum on the southern tip of Rawdah Island in Old Cairo. Her songs are long, almost jam sessions *(my narrow western view), where she does a call and response with the orchestra, it seems. Umm has influenced many famous artists. Namedropping would include: Jah Wobble, Bob Dylan, Nico, Bono, Salvidor Dalí, Maria Callas, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Led Zeppelin. Umm Kulthum has been given the name ‘Star of the East,’ for ways she unified the Egyptian people. Have a nice Friday!umm kulthum

What quality do you think Umm had that so galvanized the Egyptian people?