- Published: Friday, 22 December 2017 07:07
OUM KATLHUM AND HER CHILDHOOD
She was born in a small Egyptian village called Tammay al Zaharya, by the Nile Delta. The date of her birth is still a matter of discussion, but her English language biographer, Virginia Danielson, says her date of birth was the 4th of May 1904.
Her father was an imam at the local mosque, her mother was a housekeeper. She was raised in a very religious family where she learned suras from the Koran, ever since she was a child. Her father noticed that she was talented and enrolled her into the school of Koran at the age of 5. Her father was also a sheikh, a singer of religious songs at local mulids and festivals. While practicing those songs at home, he discovered that his daughter not only remembered the lyrics, but had a strong voice, too. She learned from her father by repeating after him, without understanding the words. Her father started teaching her to sing and soon she began performing with him. The audience was always amazed to hear this young girl singing with such a strong voice. They got more and more work, as people heard of the wonder child. Her father was concerned for her reputation, as she was a woman, so he dressed her up as a boy, whenever they went to perform. Also, there were family members and relatives who accompanied her to every performance she had.
Between 1910 and 1920, her father began to take on the role of her manager and the family's economic situation soon improved.
Between 1920 and 1922, she began to perform in Cairo, and from 1922 onwards, she become a real star.