****The best Arabic singer of all times****
OM KOTHOUM WAS BORN IN A SMALL RURAL VILLAGE TO A POOR FAMILY.HER BACKGROUND TYPIFIED THAT OF THE MASHAYIKH AND DIDNT DIFFER SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THAT OF MANY OF HER CONTEMPORARIES.
The "Golden Age" of Umm Kulthum
Om Kolthoum's musical directions in the 1940s and early 1950s and her mature performing style caused this period to be popularly called the "golden age" of Om Kolthoum. In keeping with changing popular taste as well as her own artistic inclinations, in the early 1940s she requested songs from composer Zakariya Ahmad and colloquial poet Bayram al-Tunisi cast in styes considered to be indigenously Egyptian. This represented a dramatic departure from the modernist romantic songs of the 1930s. The result was a populist repertory that had lasting appeal for the Egyptian audience. Later in the decade, Om Kolthoum engaged the young composer Riyad al-Sunbati to set a number of qasa'id by Ahmad Shawqi. The result was stylistically different from Zakariya and Bayram's songs but, as neo-classical works based on historically Arab poetic and musical practices, they were also viewed as indigenously Arab and were very well-received. These songs established al-Sunbati as the foremost composer of qasa'id of his generation and returned Om Kolthoum to her genre of choice.
visit the museum of...
visit the museum of cairo,tahrir square;
and also the pyramids of giza,even if it has become a huge tourist trap;
also the old cairo,the khan of khalilis I was at the post-office,trying to read a phone-book in arabic,to find the address of an old friend;a nice old guy wanted to help me,and finally we went together to al-maadi(southern suburbs),and we went to a false address,but the family we met there invited us for dinner,although we did not know them
Walk to Khan el Khalili
Allready before we reached Khan el Khalili, we got the feeling to be in an oriental town. The streetlife was very vivid. There were a lot of stalls and markets with all kinds of goods for sale, from cloth, plastic to exotic looking and smelling fruits and spices. We enjoyed to walk around and to get used to the city-life in an easy and natural way.
Egypt is supposed to be one of the most modern country in entire Middle East & Africa.Contrary to the belief the all women here use veil( Hizab), I found almost every where married and un married work freely with or without the usual head scarf, speak English, mix freely and speak very politely. Most of the Egyptian women are very beautiful, smart, and can easily be compared with women of any other part of the world.
See the picture of Rania, our Cairo city guide, who speaks very good English, just like the Europeans, married to a senior govt.servant, smokes frequently, wears European clothes, very friendly, people just love her as guide. She has very vast knowledge on Egyptian Civilisation. Read about her more.
Confusion with dress codes for women
Most of the foreigners get completely confused about the different ways Egyptians dress, Especially females in Cairo.
There are 4 Cases:
Case 1: Long dress in popular areas.
-In the streets of popular areas and some touristic areas, most of the women are either veiled or wearing long clothes even in summer.
Well simple wear long clothes.
Case 2: Long dress in modern areas.
-In the streets of some other areas you will find women wearing either trousers or long dresses.
Wear the same, as long as it is light dress during summer because it is hot.
Case 3: Whatever you want in the evening.
-In some other areas, and the hang outs in the evening, you will find many sleeveless and "soiree" dresses.
Well simple as well, you can wear whatever you want in these places.
Case 4: Whatever you want in the morning.
-In the hotels, day use places, you normally find people wearing shorts, light T-shirts and so on. Also in many areas where many foreigners and modern class Egyptians are living.
By the way outside Cairo in the Meditteranean sea and red sea, the dress code is very natural and no need to worry much about it... Come on it is sun, sand and sea, No compromise on that;)
Which areas in Cairo That are compatible to each of the four previaopusly mentioned cases:
-Case 1: Long dress in popular and touristic areas.
Areas of: Old Islamic Cairo, Old Coptic Cairo, The Pyramids, Shoubra, Downtown (Tahrir Square), Attaba, Ramsis, Fagala, Azhar, Sayeda Zeinab, Dead city , Imbaba+ Any other area you did not hear about (Just in case, in order to respect local sensitivities)
-Case 2: Long dress in modern areas.
Areas of: Mohandeseen, Agouza, Giza, Dokki, Nasr City, around the trade center of Cairo.
-Case 3: Whatever you want in the evening.
Areas: All evening spots (Pubns, Bars, Discos and some hang out cafes)
Case 4: Whatever you want in the morning.
Areas: Zamalek, Maadi, Heliopolis, Garden city, Setta October and some parts of Mohandeseen and Dokki.