From the list on popular culture along the Nile.
Who am I?
I am a writer and an Arabic to English translator, with a PhD in Arabic Theatre from the University of Edinburgh. In recent years, I have gravitated towards the history of popular culture and the demi-monde in the Middle East. The stories of singers and dancers say much more to me than the conventional subjects of histories of the Arab world – politicians, soldiers, etc. Through them, we can see the Middle East in a way that we seldom see in the West means much more to a lot of the people who live there.
Raphael's book list on popular culture along the Nile
Discover why each book is one of Raphael's favorite books.
Why did Raphael love this book?
The essential biography of Umm Kulthum for the English reader. Danielson tells the story of the Arab world’s most famous singer, one of the greatest performers of the 20th century. This book charts her life from the small village in the Nile Delta where she grew up to the heights of global superstardom. It also paints a picture of the world that she moved through, which intersected with the world depicted in Midnight in Cairo. This is a necessary read for anyone interested in Arabic music.
The Voice of Egypt, 1997
Why should I read it?
1 author picked The Voice of Egypt, 1997 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Umm Kuthum was a celebrated musical performer in the Arab world, and her songs still permeate the international airwaves. This, the first English-language biography, chronicles her life and career. In particular, it examines her popularity in a society which discouraged women from public performance. The text examines the careful construction of Kulthum's popularity; from childhood her mentors honed her abilities to accord with Arab and Muslim practice, but ultimately, she created her own idiom from local precedents and traditions, and developed original song styles from both populist and neo-classical traditions. Danielson seeks to show how Umm Kulthum's music and public…
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