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“Sada el Balad” visits Abdel Halim Hafez home on his 42nd death anniversary

Saturday 30/March/2019 - 02:15 PM
Abdel Halim Hafez
Abdel Halim Hafez
Edited by: Yara Sameh

Today، Saturday، 30-3-2019، marks the 42nd death anniversary of the late Egyptian legend singer and musician Abdel Halim Hafez. 

The camera of “Sada el Balad” news website visited the home of the late Egyptian legend singer and musician Abdel Halim Hafez. 

Sada el Balad obtained private pictures from his room، which became a visiting place for his fans and audiences in Egypt and many Arab countries. 

Although many years have passed since his departure، his family remains keen to preserve the furniture of his room and all its devices، including television، telephone، and piano، as well as his awards and certificates of honor he has received from many countries and festivals.

Noteworthy، Abdel Halim Ali Shabana، commonly known as Abdel Halim Hafez (June 21، 1929 – March 30، 1977) was an Egyptian singer، and is among the most popular Egyptian and Arabic singers of all time. In addition to singing، Halim was also an actor، conductor، business man، music teacher and movie producer. 

He is considered to be one of the Great Five of Egyptian and Arabic music (along with Umm Kulthum، Mohammed Abdel Wahab، Shadia، and Farid Al Attrach). His name is sometimes written as 'Abd el-Halim Hafez. He is known as el-Andaleeb el-Asmar (The Dark-Skinned Nightingale‎).

He is also known as an icon in modern Arabic music. He has sold over 80 million records to date. To this day، his music is still enjoyed throughout the Arab world. 

During his career، he was very popular and always performed in sold-out arenas and stadiums. Despite his popularity، he rarely released a studio album since he worked purely as a live singer. He also played many different instruments very well، including the oboe، drums، piano، oud، clarinet and guitar. He was involved in all aspects of the composition of his songs. Halim introduced many new instruments to the Arab World. He was known for his deep passion in his songs and his highly unique and rare voice. He always sang from true and honest feelings deep inside. Halim performed in almost every country in the Arab World as well as outside the Arab World، including several concerts in Europe. Moreover، he sang uplifting patriotic songs for not only Egypt، but for many other countries in the Arab World such as Lebanon، Syria، Tunisia، [Algeria] and Morocco. He used to encourage and help many young artists and actors to pursue successful careers. 

In the Arab world، Halim is known as the "King of Arabic music"، "The voice of the people"، "The son of the revolution"، and "King of emotions and feelings". His patriotic songs were the most frequent songs sung by the crowds during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. One of the revolutionaries in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 quoted that "the nightingale's songs inspired us during the January 25 revolution"، he added "Although، he died 35 years ago، his songs will surely continue to inspire his fellow Egyptians for many generations to come". His albums and CDs have sold more copies since his death than any other Arab artist ever. His way of singing، the popularity of his songs and his behavior made him a role model for almost every modern Arab singer. Egyptians and Arabs of all ages are a fan of Halim. Halim is still remembered in the hearts of many people، even years after his death. He is widely considered among the most influential performers in the Arab World. The two composers Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Mohamed El Mougy both said، "Halim is the smartest person I ever knew". Mohammed Al-Mougy also added، "Halim is very original in all of his work".

Personal life
At the age of 30، Abdel Halim contracted schistosomiasis —a rare parasitic water-borne disease —and was afflicted by it for most of his career. Despite this، he remained positive and continued composing and performing his songs. Nevertheless، he was always there for his country despite his illness. 

Although Abdel Halim never married، it was rumoured that he was secretly married to actress Soad Hosni for six years. This has never been proven to date. People who were close to both singers denied this rumor. 

Throughout his life Halim often gave money and food to charities، and directly to the poor. Halim frequently volunteered at orphanages and hospitals all over the Middle East to donate money، teach music، and to help those in need. In 1969 Halim built a hospital in Egypt. He treated the poor، the rich، and presidents equally in the Arab World. 

Abdel Halim established strong friendships with many contemporary presidents and kings of the Eastern world، including Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt، and King Hassan II of Morocco. He also had very close friendships with most Egyptian poets. He has been in close relation with the Nasser regime. He sang directly to the Egyptian president in several occasions. Consequently، he has been accused by many to be a "servant" of the regime. Regardless، he is still an icon that unites all Arabs.

Abdel Halim died of liver failure as a complication from Schistosoma Mansoni (reference St. George's University School of Medicine) on March 30، 1977 (a few months before his 48th birthday) while undergoing treatment for Bilharzia in King's College Hospital، London. His death brought sadness and shock waves throughout the entire Arab world. As a result، his funeral in Cairo was attended by millions of people – more than any funeral in the history of the Middle East، other than that of President Nasser. He had many more dreams and goals that he wanted to achieve and surpass and could have، but his early death prevented him from doing so. Some people committed suicide once they heard of Halim's passing. It has been reported that at least four women committed suicide by jumping off the balcony during his funeral march. He was buried in Al Bassatin Cemetery in Cairo.

Abdel Halim Hafez's song Khosara received notice in the Western world in 1999 when producer Timbaland used elements from it for Jay-Z's recording "Big Pimpin'." Two complete bars from "Khosara" were rerecorded، not sampled، and used without permission from the song's producer and copyright holder، Magdi el-Amroussi. Jay-Z's use of an interpolation، rather than an actual sample، may allow him to avoid paying royalties for the use of the song. 

Over 300 of his songs were recorded and he starred in sixteen classic and successful films، including "Dalilah"، which was the Middle East's first color motion picture.

Along with Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Magdi el-Amroussi، Abdel Halim was one of the main founders of the famous Egyptian recording company Soutelphan، which continues to operate to this day as a subsidiary of EMI Arabia. The company was founded in 1961.

A feature film about his life، "Haleem"، was released in 2006، starring Ahmad Zaki in the title role، produced by the Good News Group. In the same year a soap opera "Al-andaleeb hikayt shaab" was produced in Egypt with Shadi Shamel starring as Abdel Halim. Shamel won the lead role in a televised competition. 

Abdel Halim was very successful in composing rich and meaningful Egyptian songs for the world to enjoy. 

Some of Halim's most popular songs are:

Ahwak (I adore you)، Ala Ad El Sho' (As much as the longing)، Ala Hesb Wedad (Wherever my heart leads me)، Betlomooni Leih (Why do you blame me)، El Massih (Christ)، Fatet Ganbena (She passed by us)، Gabbar (Arrogant)، Gana El Hawa (The mood struck us)، Sawwah (Wanderer)، Maw'ood (Destined)، Zai El Hawa (Like love)، his last song Qari'at Al Fingan (The coffee fortune-teller)، and the posthumously-released Habibati Man-Takoon (My Beloved Who Is She).

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