|The Sphinx: Egypt's symbol.|
|Warda: Al-Maoued |
Warda Al-Ghazaieryah (also spelled Wardah Ijaziria/ El-Djazariya - وردة الـجـزائـرية:
|The Rose of Tarab: Warda.|
|Warda kick-starting a footie match in Lebanon, late 50's.|
|With her brother and his wife.|
The story is a bit sad, but one should really leave bygones to stay bygones. Her story started in 22nd July, 1932 (most websites refer to that date as either 1938/1939, or 1940 all of which are wrong dates for her birthday). She was born in Puteaux; a French town where her parents took refuge at from the Second World War erupting at their homeland Algiers. Her father was an Algerian expatriate (Si Mohammed Fotouki, also named El-Hadj Fotouki), who was born in Souk Al-Ahras region that borders Tunis. Amazighs call this town Taggast.
|Singing in Syria, circa 1958.|
|In Algiers singing live mid-50's.|
|At her early days.|
|Warda in the 50's.|
|Rare picture of her in Cairo.|
|With Riyadh Assunbathi: her first mentor. Crying?|
|Warda (second R) with some friends|
in Cairo, around the early 70's.
|With Sabah (L) and Shadia (R),|
the Rose sits in the middle.
|At Al-Watan Al-Akbar's rehearsals,|
|Abdel Halim, Shadia, Warda, Fayza Ahmad 1962.|
|With her son Riyadh.|
|At her wedding with |
her 1st husband Qasiri.
For the next nine years she stayed silent as her husband asked her never to sing again dimming her lights for a good decade, but her life blossomed during that time with two smaller 'wardas', or roses: her children Riyadh (named after her first mentor Riyadh Assunbathi), and Widad. In 1972, she came back to Cairo at the same time when Umm-Kalthoum was an old woman, Layla Murad wasn't active, Souad Mohammed was a married mother, Shadia and Sabah were busy with films, Fayza Ahmad was still burrowing her pathway in the singing concerts around Cairo, and Najat was solemn in her moody songs. As a female tarab singer, her place was beckoning her awaiting for her voice to come back singing two songs: El-Eioun Essoud 'The Black Eyes', and Wallah Zaman 'It's Been So Long', followed by her third film Sawt El-Houb (Sound of Love) which was filmed in 1973.
The Youm Kippour War was a loss to both sides, Egypt (above), and Israel (below).
|The best musical duo that came from Egypt: Warda & Baligh.|
|The genie Baligh Hamdy:|
Warda's second husband.
|Happyily married couple.|
|With her famous lower-lip bite... with Mohammed Abdel-Wahab.|
|Wahab, his wife, and Warda, 1957.|
|Warda with composer Mohammed El-Mouji.|
|Omar Baticha, Warda, & Sharnoubi|
in a studio in the early 90's.
|Baligh & Warda in a|
studio, late 80's.
Warda had collaborated in the late-80's with new composers like Ammar Al-Sharaei who wrote for her many tunes, Mohammed El-Mouji (he worked with her for the album Zahabyat Warda, or her Golden hits remade in the mid-90s), then finally Salah Al-Sharnoubi who wrote 'Batwanness Beek' (With You, I Am Not Alone), and 'Harramt Ahebbak' (I Vowed Never To Love You Again), among many other wonderful neo-romantic songs, composing most of her sixth film's music (Lieh Ya Dunya - 1994), only for them two to fall at odds in 1996 and just like the case was with her ex-husband Baligh, they got back the next year to work together for her 1997 album 'Hubbak Mawasem' (Your Love Is Like The Seasons). Well, her career was pretty much like the seasons: always changing and finding herself hopping from this composer to that one until she stopped singing after her last album in 2001 (Ana Liea Mien Gherak) because she felt a bit ill, coming back only in the same year to sing a cassette written to her by Jamilah Bouhreid's brother (she used to sing about her in the 50's) falling into a musical coma again after an open-heart surgery followed by a liver-transplant surgery in the same year that has left her very weak.
|In her latter days, 2011.|
She went back to Algiers to recuperate and came back to T.V. in 2004 to be honoured by some Arab pop singers like the Kuwaiti Abdallah Al-Ruweishid, and Egyptian pop singers Angham, and Ihab Tewfic in a Lebanese satellite channel programme called Nawart El-Dar where she was filmed in her Algerian home taking care of her garden, kittens, and a pet parrot she nicknamed Pavarotti. After a strenuous bout in a musical wedding party for Amir Abdel-Migeed's wedding (a well-known composer) in one of Cairo's biggest five-star hotels, she fell seriously ill and was diagnosed with liver cancer. Admitted later to a hospital in Paris she went under chemo-therapy for months, but she stopped it because she lost almost 35 kilos of her body weight and most of her hair, and was forced to apologize from singing live at many festivals during her therapy and treatment phase because she grew weaker, and was unable to withstand the pressure of the stage act anymore, in addition to her looks after the chemo. Her career was signaling its last days, sadly... still she was optimistic and never was seen during those gruesome days without her pretty smile.
|Warda: the Rose of Arabic Popular Music and Tarab's best.|
Warda died after giving 40 years of her life straight out for nothing but music. She's to be remembered for this alone and will forever be regarded as one of the Arab world's best female singers who entertained millions (and still does, trust me...) for half a decade. Her career was if anything... the stuff of true legends. She sang at the Olympia theatre in Paris with Charles Aznavour 'La Bohéme' and after that she sang in 1995 at the Palais de Congres de Paris where many Egyptian and Arabic singers also had their epitome careers' moments at this old theatre's stage. Her life was a personification of that word, and she was known never to sleep the night before any concert. Also, one thing that was known about her was her infatuation with cats: she had all kinds of these moggies! Ces't La Vie de Bohéme.
Her career can be divvied up into four stages: 1952-1955, 1955-1963, 1972-1992, and 1992-2010. Today we're going to get a listening opportunity to some of her best works from each of these four stages in (wait it) twenty two albums! and one bonus plus two singles that are all available to download from the links below. This is nothing compared to her extensive discography which I shall add more in future posts into this blog as time allows it. In the meantime, enjoy DL-ing these songs by the Arab world's Rose: Warda Al-Ghazaieryah (or, Al-Arabiyah as she might have liked it better).
Rest in beautiful peace, Warda.
Warda - Khaleek Hina.
|Arabic Calligraphy art with her name in A-Thuluth script.|
|Warda in the mid-80's.|
|The Symbol of Arab Music at her best.|
|Warda the 'old' Rose.|
That's my tribute for Warda Al-Ghazaieryah guys... I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did myself.
If you need more of her stuff, you can click the link below for some of her films (full versions watchable on the 'Tube), and some of her best songs caught live on video. Dig.
|Singing live, late 70's.|
-Watch all of her Films here.
Thank you for your time.
See ya soon.