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What do you think of her music???

Asmahanآمال الأطرش‎, the famous Syrian/Egyptian singer, was born Nov. 25, 1912 (the year of her birth is debated). She was born in a time of political turmoil into a very politically active family, the al-Atrash clan. Her father was Fahd al-Atrash of Syrian Druze ancestry from Suwayda. Her mother was Alia Al-Mundhir of a Lebanese Druze family from Hasbaya (wondering who the Druze are? click here). Her father’s family was well known in Syria for it’s role in the resistance against the French mandate. Right before Asmahan was born, her family was in Turkey as her grandfather was a governor in Demirci. Due to danger, her family had to flee the country and took a ship from Izmir to Beirut. Asmahan was born on board and named Amal, meaning hope.

Her family’s new home town of Al-Qrayya, Syria, was bombed circa 1923 and Alia, Asmahan’s mother fled with  her children to Damascus, then to Beirut, and finally to Egypt, where she knew she was allowed to enter the country due to her husbands ties with the prime minister Saad Zaghloul. In Cairo Asmahan attended a French Catholic school that was paid for by a mysterious benefactor.read more

 

 

 

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Princess Madiha was born and raised in Syria. Her mother came from a royal bloodline in Syria, and although her family did not have the money that came with it, they did have their titles, hence the “princess”.

Madiha was born with a love of music and dance, she told Gisselle Fobbs for her “The Best of Habibi” interview, “My mother told me that my cousin came over one night when I was about 40 days old and played the rababa while I was lying by the fire in my cradle. While he was playing his instrument, my feet were kicking in time to the music.”

When she was five, Madiha watched a film with Samia Gamal. This was her first exposure to oriental dance, and she was hooked. She said, as a child, “Whenever I heard someone
walk by the school playing a transistor radio, I felt compelled to stand up and dance. Every time I did this I got sent home from school.”

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