Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Leila Mourad | Voice of the Egyptian Revolution

Just reupped this game-changing 25-song Bodega Pop exclusive album here.

There was a time when it looked like Leila Mourad was on her way to become the most famous Egyptian singer of all time. She was, in fact, selected as the official singer of the Egyptian revolution in the early 50s--but rumors about her having visited Israel effectively put an end to her career. Born Jewish (Iraqi-Jewish father, Polish-Jewish mother), she converted to Islam and, though she was well-loved in Egypt, she simply slipped out of the limelight, never to sing publicly again, retiring at the age of 38.

She began her career when she was 15 years old, recording "The Day of Departure" for the film al-Dahaya (The Victims) in 1932, which was otherwise silent. 

I honestly don't recall where I found the three CDs that make up this album, although I assume it was most likely in Bay Ridge. I may be in the minority, but I love her voice--which is among the most expressive I've ever heard--even more than that of the far more famous Oum Kalsoum.

Here she is in all her glory:

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