Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abdel Halim Hafez, the Boy Who Made Arabic Music Accessible

At his time, he was a lightweight, but now we come to see him as a legend. Singer and actor Abdel Halim Hafez came in a time when the stage with loaded with people who make beautiful Arabic music accompanied by live orchestras and musicians who make true Arabic music unadulterated. There were also popular folksy artists who have made it big with the common man in the street and in small towns around the Arab world.

Yes, the young people were left un-catered to, they were many of them around who liked Arabic music, the music of Farid Al Atrach, Oum Kalthoum, and Abdelwahab, but none of those singers expressed the feelings the young had. The stores were not right, so to fill in that voice came a skinny guy Abdel Halim Hafez and gave the boys and girls of Arabia the songs they needed. That was his niche and his market, he was their break and butter and brought millions in revenue for everyone in in his business. 

Abdel Halim Hafez was a big hit, even the big household names watched him with amazement. He made cute movies and sang the most romantic songs riddled with passion. He has all the rights told, the charming personality, the warmth voice and the untamed emotions that wanted to get out. Or maybe he was really good at getting in character and performing for hours in stage.

Abdel Halim Hafez packed full concert halls with young and energized people who had little, but a truck load of untapped emotions. He toured all over the Arab world and collaborated with all the big names of his time--he opened to Oum Kalthoum and worked with Farid Al Attrach too. He sang for Nizar Qabbani and had Baligh Hamdi write him music. The list goes on. His movies made so many lead female stars who at their prime were the it girl.

Then all of a sudden he died...just like that. Keep on mind, songs of Abdel Halim Hafez are not your average songs, they are tales fashioned like a song. 

Here's one of his little know songs that offered a world class music that tells a story even when the singer is standing in amusement waiting for his cue.

عبد الحليم حافظ نبتدي منين الحكاية كاملة


  1. Great article. Abdel Halim is the greatest singer that ever lived. Period. End of story.