Abd El Halim Hafez

Birth name: Abdel Halim Ali Shabana Born: Ash Sharqiyah Governorate, Egypt Origin: Egypt Died: King's College Hospital, London, United Kingdom (aged 47) Genres: Egyptian, Opera ,Arabic Years active: 1949–1977 Early life: He was born in El-Halawat, in Ash Sharqiyah Governorate, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Halim was the fourth child of Sheikh Ali Ismail Shabana. He had two brothers, Ismail and Mohammed, and one sister, Aliah. Abdel Halim's mother died from complications after giving birth to him, and his father died five months later leaving Abdel Halim and his siblings orphaned at a young age. Abdel Halim was raised by his aunt and uncle in Cairo. Recognition: His musical abilities first became apparent while he was in primary school, and his older brother Ismail Shabana was his first music teacher. At the age of 11 he joined the Arabic Music Institute in Cairo and became known for singing the songs of Mohammed Abdel Wahab. He graduated from the Higher Theatrical Music Institute as an Oboe player. Musical career: While singing in clubs in Cairo, Abdel Halim was drafted as a last-minute substitute when singer Karem Mahmoud was unable to sing a scheduled live radio performance in honor of the first anniversary of the 1952 Revolution, on June 18, 1953. Abdel Halim's performance was enormously popular with the live audience, and was heard by Hafez Abd El Wahab, supervisor of musical programming for Egyptian national radio, who decided to support the unknown singer. Abdel Halim took 'Hafez', Abdel Wahab's first name, as his stage-surname in recognition of his patronage. His songs became so popular that arenas and stadiums could not handle the masses. Later he began to perform in deserts, Roman coliseums, and outdoor arenas, some of which gathered as many as one million people. Abdel Halim went on to become one of the most popular singers and actors of his generation, and is considered one of the four greats of Egyptian and Arabic music, along with Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Farid Al Attrach. Personal life: Abdel Halim never married, although rumours persist that he was secretly married to actress Soad Hosny for six years. Both Abdel Halim and Soad Hosny's friends continue to deny the marriage even to this day. Interestingly, Soad Hosny died on Abdel Halim's birthday (June 21) in 2001, in a death which British courts deemed to be suicide. Despite this, Abdel Halim only truly fell in love once, in his youth. He fell in love with a young woman whose parents refused to allow them to marry. After four years, her parents finally approved, And as long as Abdelhalim was with her he was able to defeat his disease but the girl died of a chronic disease before the wedding and the disease came back to him and even worse. Abdel Halim never recovered from her loss, and dedicated many of his saddest songs to her memory, including Fi Youm, Fi Shahr, Fi Sana (In a Day, a Month, a Year) and the poignant Qariat el-Fingan (The Fortune-teller). At the age of 11 Abdel Halim contracted Bilharzia — a parasitic water-born disease — and was periodically and painfully afflicted by it. During his lifetime, many artists and commentators accused Abdel Halim of using this to gain sympathy from female fans. His death from the disease put to rest such accusations. Death: Abdel Halim died on March 30, 1977, a few months short of his 48th birthday, while undergoing treatment for Bilharzia in King's College Hospital, London. His funeral (in Cairo) was attended by millions of people – the number of attendees exceeded more than any other funeral attendees in the Egyptian history except those of President Nasser in(1970) and Umm Kulthum in (1975). Fourteen women committed suicide on hearing of his death. He is buried in Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo. Legacy: Abdel Halim's music is still popular across the Arab world, and he is widely regarded as one of the most famous and popular singers in the Arab world. His albums have sold more copies since his death than any other Arab artist except Umm Kulthum. Abdel Halim Hafez's song Khosara enjoyed international fame in 1999 when producer Timbaland used elements (called "sampling") from it for Jay-Z's song "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 a rerecording, rather than a sample, may allow Jay-Z to avoid paying royalties for the use of the song. His most famous songs include Ahwak ("I love you"), Khosara ("What a loss"), Gana El Hawa ("Love came to us"), Sawah ("Wanderer"), Zay el Hawa ("It feels like love"), and El Massih ("The Christ"), among the 260 songs that he recorded. His last, and perhaps most famous song, Qariat el-Fingan ("The fortune-teller"), featured lyrics by Nizar Qabbani and music by Mohammed Al-Mougy. He starred in sixteen films, including "Dalilah", which was Egypt's first color motion picture. Along with Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Magdi el-Amroussi, Abdel Halim was a founder of the Egyptian recording company Sout Elphan, which continues to operate to this day as a subsidiary of EMI Arabia. The company was founded in 1961. In 2006 a feature film about his life, "Haleem", was released starring the late actor Ahmed Zaki in the title role, produced by Good News Group production company. Filmography: * Lahn El Wafa (The Song of Truth) as Galal o Released: March 1, 1955 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia o Directed by: Ibrahim Amara * Ayyamna al-Holwa (Our Beautiful Days) as Ali o Released: March 1, 1955 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Faten Hamama, Omar Sharif, Ahmed Ramzy o Directed by: Helmy Halim * Ayam We Layali (Days and Nights) o Released: September 8, 1955 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Eman o Directed by: Henry Barakat * Mawed Gharam (Promised Love) as Samir o Released: January 3, 1956 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Faten Hamama o Directed by: Henry Barakat * Dalila (Dalila) as Ahmed o October 20, 1956 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia o Directed by: Mohamad Karim o Notes: This was the first Egyptian colored movie in Cinemascope. * Banat El Yom (The Girls of Today) as Khaled o Released: November 10, 1957 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Magda, Amal Farid o Directed by: Henry Barakat o Notes: In this movie, Abdel Halim Hafez the song "Ahwak" for the first time. * Fata Ahlami (The Man Of My Dreams) o Released: March 7, 1957 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Amal Farid o Directed by: Helmi Rafleh * Alwisada El Khalia (The Empty Pillow) as Salah o Released: December 20, 1957 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Lubna Abed El Aziz o Directed by: Salah Abu Yousef * Share' El Hob (Love Street) o Released: March 5, 1958 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Sabah o Directed By: Ez El Deen Zol Faqar * Hekayit Hob (A Love Story) as Ahmed Sami o Released: January 12, 1959 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Mariam Fakher El Deen o Directed by: Helmy Halim * El Banat Wel Seif (Girls and Summer) o Released: September 5, 1960 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Suad Husni, Zizi El Badrawi o Directed by: Salah Abu Yousef, Ez El Deen Zol Faqar, Fateen Abed El Wahhab o Notes: This movie consisted of 3 stories. Abdel Halim Hafez acted in one * Yom Men Omri (A Day of My Life) as Salah o Released: February 8, 1961 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Zubaida Tharwat o Directed by: Atef Salem * El Khataya (The Sins) as Hussien o Released: November 12, 1962 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Madiha Yousri, Hasan Yousef, Nadia Lutfi o Directed by: Hassan El Imam o Songs: Wehyat Alby, Maghroor, Last Adry, Olly Haga, El Helwa * Maabodat El Gamahir (The Beloved Diva) as Ibrahim Farid o Released: January 13, 1963 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia o Directed by: Helmy Halim o Songs: Haga Ghareeba, Balash Etaab, Last Kalby, Gabbar, Ahebek * Abi Foq El Shagara (My Father Atop a Tree) as Adel o Released: February 17, 1969 o Starring: Abdel Halim Hafez, Nadia Lutfi, Mervat Amin o Directed by: Hussein Kamal o Songs: Ady El Belag, El Hawa Hawaya, Ahdan El Habayeb, Ya Khali El Alb, Gana El Hawa o Notes: This was the last film Abdel Halim Hafez acted in. o However he did have plans on acting in many other movies especially with the star Soad Husney
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