The singer in this clip is Warda and the song is the hugely popular, “Harramt Ahebak” (حرمت أحبك I Give Up (on) Loving You). What do we know about the wonderful voice that belonged to Warda al Jazairia? Warda was born in 1939 in France to Algerian/Lebanese parents and started singing at a very young age. In 1958 her father’s café was closed down by French authorities following a charge of harbouring arms for terrorists and her family moved to Beirut which was her mother’s home town. Warda’s voice soon came to the notice of Mohamed Abdel Wahab and she was invited to come to Cairo. There she came to the attention of Riad Sombati best known for composing songs for Omm Kulthum. The rest, as they say, is history…. ‘Warda’ means ‘rose’, ‘al Jazairia’ means ‘the (f) Algerian’ and one of Warda’s epithets was ‘The Algerian Rose’. Warda was married to composer Baligh Hamdi (1932-1993) for about 10 years. In 1960 Warda was part of the group of famous Arab singers including Shadia, Sabah and Abdel Halim Hafez who sang ‘Al Watan al Akbar’ (الوطن الأكبر The Great Homeland) a pan-Arab song written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab to celebrate the 1958 union of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic. Background: The union of Egypt and Syria only lasted until 1961 when Syria withdrew from the union following a coup in that country. There were other coups in Syria in 1963 and again in 1966. It was the 1966 coup that bought the Assads (père et fil) to power.
This is Egyptian dancer Fifi Abdu performing during a concert headlined by famous Arabic singer Warda al Jazairia (1939-2012). This part of Fifi’s performance is folkloric. She wears a red striped galabeya and uses zills (sagat) as well as assaya (cane).
The two dancers in this clip are Najwa Sultan (نجوى سلطان) and Azza Sharif (عزة شريف) in a scene from the 1977 film ‘Ah Ya Leil Ya Zaman’ (آه يا ليل يا زمن).
The singer with the gorgeous voice is the late Warda Al Jazairia who played the leading role in the film. Adel Adham and Samir Ghanem are the two men sitting on the pink sofa in the clip.
The song in this clip, ‘Leil Ya Layali’ was composed by Baligh Hamdi who was Warda’s second husband. Warda plays Faten, the daughter of a rich man, who learns on his death that all his assets have been lost and she blames the man who tells her the bad news. She travels to Paris, finds work as a dental nurse and turns to singing. As a singer, she is (of course) a great success and falls in love with the dentist who’s already married. Long story short, the dentist goes back to his wife and Warda’s character continues with her singing career.
TheCaroVan’s YouTube channel is no more. The channel featured short clips of bellydancers from the Middle East and occasionally singers, usually in scenes or clips taken from old Egyptian and Lebanese movies some as far back as the 1930s. Full movies were never uploaded.
TheCaroVan YouTube account has been terminated after receiving copyright demands from companies and copyright organisations who claimed the ownership of some of the clips and/or the accompanying music. While some of the claims were from entities who, after a minimal amount of research proved to be non-existent, some claims and organisations were legitimate and if you were a regular visitor to TheCaroVan you would have noticed that in the past, clips has been removed in compliance.
In the end, TheCarovan account was terminated due to a take-down notice by a company in France who claims to own the copyright to the 1955 Egyptian film ‘Sigarah wa Kas’ (A Glass and a Cigarette) which features dancing by Samia Gamal. Interestingly enough there is at least one other company who claims to own the worldwide copyright of this same movie.
I removed the offending clip yesterday, immediately on receiving the notice, but that wasn’t good enough apparently and the account has been terminated. As a result the channel and its research and information that more than 6,000,000 viewers had accessed, is now lost.
So, long story short, TheCaroVan is no more and I am now ‘An individual whose account has been closed [is] prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube account.’
Ah well, as someone who lives in the Middle East, as you can imagine, we have one or two other things to worry about at the moment…..
Algerian singer Warda Al Jazaira. A beautiful voice now still.