sabato 29 dicembre 2012

Layla Mourad ليلى مراد

Leila Mourad was born in Al Daher, Cairo on February 17, 1918 to an Egyptian father of Iraqi Jewish descent, Zaki Mourad, a respected singer, musician, and religious cantor or Hazan in the twenties, and to a Jewish mother of Polish descent, Gamilah Salmon, who gave birth as well to Isak, Ibrahim, Malak, Mounir and Samihah Mourad. Her brother Mounir Mourad was an actor and composer.

The Egyptian Jewish composer Dawood Hosni, who composed the first Operetta in the Arabic language, helped start Leila Mourad's career by composing two songs for her: "Hairana Leh Bein El-Eloub" (Why can't you choose from among lovers), and "Howa el dala'a ya'ani khessam" (Does daliance mean avoiding me?). Further success came when the prominent Egyptian composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab heard her singing and gave her a role in his film Yahia el Hob (Viva Love!) in 1938.

In 1953, she was selected, over Umm Kulthum, as the official singer of the Egyptian revolution. Shortly thereafter, a rumor that Mourad had visited Israel, where she had family, and donated money to its military, raised suspicions of spying and caused some Arab radio stations to boycott her. She denied these allegations and when called for judicial investigations, maintained her innocence all along, declaring, "I am an Egyptian Muslim". No proof was found that she had contributed money to Israel's military; the Egyptian government investigated and concluded that the charges against the singer were without foundation. . Though, she has likely sent money to and been in contact with her family in Israel. It was customary for Egyptian Jews to clandestinely exchange gifts with their families in Israel through intermediaries in France or other European countries. It was also rumored that she met in Paris with members of her family living in Israel, an illegal act in Egypt as Nasser's govenment forbade residents of Egypt from contacting Israelis.

Some historians claim that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser insisted that Syria end their boycott of her songs and films. Yet, these efforts were likely perfunctory. Nasser clearly preferred Umm Kulthu over Leila Mourad. Shortly after Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power by staging a coup d'état against Mohamed Naguib, Leila Mourad ended her career abruptly without giving an explanation. At the same time, Umm Kulthum came out with a song "Ya Gamal ya methal el wataniya", "Oh Gamal, you are the prime example of patriotism." This coincidence of event suggests that Nasser, who considered Egyptian Jews foreigners and under whose rule the remaining Jewish community was dispersed from Egypt, might have ended Laila's career to ascertain that a Jewish artist is never a threat to an authentically Egyptian one, as her selection over Um Kulthum in 1953 might indicate. As Egyptians would overvhelmingly agree that no one could plausibly be a threat to Um Kulthum, "Kawkab el Shark", Nasser's measure against Laila is probably part of his wider determined and successful effort to expunge Jewish existence in public life, and later, any life in Egypt.

Nevertheless, Laila Murad remained popular and beloved by Egyptian Muslims and non-Muslims, even as the public never took her conversion as credible, but rather as an attempt at not losing her popularity; Egyptians tend not take seriously the religious conviction of actresses in romantic roles, and belly dancers. Nor did her assumed affection for Israel ever hurt her; in a society where religious identity is paramount and overshadows all other identities, including Egyptian national and professional identities, it was only seen as normal that a Jewish star would have a place in her heart for the newly reestablished and only Jewish state on the planet. This is all the more plausible as Egyptians assumed that every Jew had family in Israel.

Leila Mourad's relationship with her family was not an easy one, possibly due to her conversion to Islam. Between 1967 and 1970, Hundreds of Egyptian Jewish males were deported to the detention camps of Abu Zaabal and Tura, including Leila's brother, Isak Zaki. Families of the detainees were allowed to visit beginning in 1968, and some noted that Leila was never seen visiting her brother.

Leila Mourad made a few brief reappearances during Ramadan in 1970, when she was scheduled to read Salah Jaheen's "Fawazeer Ramadan" (Ramadan' puzzles), a daily traditional radio program held during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Leila Mourad, the attractive Egyptian star and singer, died in a hospital in Cairo in 1995.

Layla Mourad -  Sanatain Wana Ahail Feek

01.Sanatain Wana Ahail Feek
03.Esma3 Ya Habibi
04.As'al Alekom Meen
05.Nour Eyouny
06.Mahma Taal El Liel
07.Anagy El Liel
08.El Hob Wel Rabe3 


Layla Mourad - Habeb Qalbe

IPB Image

01. Habeb Qalbe
02. La Matghersh
03. Ma Yhemenish
04. 3alemni We A3alemak
05. Rage3 Min Elsafar
06. 3esh El Hawa
07. Mawked El Rabee3


Layla Mourad - Sanatain

IPB Image

01. Sanatain Wana Ahayel Feek
02. Sa'alet Aleih
03. Etmakhtary Ya Kheil
04. Leh Afaker Feeh
05. Ya Tabib El Kalb
06. Rah El Hawa
07. Ana Zai Ma Ana
08. Ya Meen Yekoullak


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