Oum Kalsoum - Ifrah Ya Qalbi

Variant spellings:
Om Kalsoum, Oum Kaltsoum, Umm Kulthum Oum Koulsoum etc...

The Star of the East
The Diva of Arabic Song

"During the 1950s and 1960s Umm Kulthum expanded her role in Egyptian public life. She granted more interviews during which she spoke about her life, repeatedly identifying herself as a villager, a fallahah or peasant, who shared a cultural background and essential values with the majority of the Egyptian populace. Her interviews were full of stories of her family, her neighbors, and the familial qualities of village life.

She cultivated the position of spokeswoman for various causes. She advocated governmental support of Arabic music and musicians, she endowed a charitable foundation and, most importantly, after the Egyptian defeat in the 1967 war, she began a series of domestic and international concerts for Egypt. She travelled throughout Egypt and the Arab world, collecting contributions and donating the proceeds of her performances to the government of Egypt. These concerts were much publicized and took on the character of state visits. Umm Kulthum was entertained by heads of state, she toured cultural monuments, and, in interviews, repeated her views concerning the importance of support for indigenous Arab culture. More than a musician, she became 'the voice and face of Egypt'."

(Excerpt from Virginia Louise Danielson's Shaping tradition in Arabic song: The career and repertory of Umm Kulthum.)

Um Kalthoum was born in 1904 and died in 1975. She was unquestionably the most gifted singer and musician of this century in the Middle East. She was continuously popular for over 50 years and her songs are still played nightly on any number of Arabic language radio stations.
Om Kalthoum's repertoire is said to consist of about 280 songs on various themes: love, patriotism, nature, religion ... in both classical and colloquial Arabic. Although some of her songs were specific to certain events, most are still as popular as they were the day she first performed them.
1          Min Elli A'al                                6:41
2          Nahj Elborda                              21:43
3          El Bood Allemni el Sahar            6:55
4          Ifrah Ya Qalbi                              5:38
5          Afdihi in Hafidza Al Hawa         7:03
6          Khallil Demoue Leeni                 6:46
7          Matrawak Dammak                     5:51
8          El Chakke Yehyi el Gharam        7:12
9          Wehakkak Ental Mona Waltalab 3:53

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