Om Kolthoum Museum

Type: attraction Location: Cairo

Om Kolthoum Museum Honouring Egypt's - and probably the Arab world's - best-known singer, the small Umm Kulsoum Museum in Rhoda has photographs and memorabilia of her life. A short film portrays her early life when she performed disguised as a boy.
The museum was not in Om Kolthoum's home since her villa has been torn down and replaced with a hotel and apartment complex. however government wanted to establish a Museum and to be devoted to the famous Egyptian singer Om Kolthoum.
The Museum is also called 'Kawkab al-Sharq (Star of the East) Museum' and was opened by the government in 2001 in the grounds of the Manesterly Palace.Om Kolthoum, popularly known as the Star of the East (Kawkab El Shark), The Lady OF Arabic Singing (Sayedat Al Ghenaa Al Arabi) or simply The Lady (El Sitt), died in 1975. She still has the best selling records till now throughout the Arab world.
Om Kalthoum was a singer who lived 1904-1975. She became famous in Cairo, not just because of her amazing voice and huge orchestrated pieces (sometimes a single song would last over 1 hour and a typical concert of 3-6hrs would only have 2-3songs in it!) but because she found support from the leaders of the day, Nasser and later Sadat, who appreciated the way she would rally the nation together. Every Thursday night the streets of Cairo would become deserted (hard to imagine nowadays!!) as everyone got themselves next to a radio to hear her weekly performance live. This program was so popular with the nation that Nasser put his own political broadcasts on directly afterwards since he knew everyone in the country would be gathered round the radio at that time! She was a fantastic ambassador for Egypt and traveled widely singing in many nations and receiving awards and medals for achievement from many including Morocco, Tunisia, France and Pakistan. Her death was attended by an amazing 4 million mourners, who actually grabbed the coffin and took it to a mosques deemed to have been her favourite before allowing it to be taken back to be buried. An incomparable funeral seems appropriate for such an 'incomparable voice'
The Om Kolthoum Museum exhibits original manuscripts of the lyrics of her songs, for example- the song 'Enta Omri' written out on paper from Mohammed Abdul Wahab's Office. He was a famous and fantastic composer and musician in his own right and wrote many of the songs for 'The Lady' . There is also her famous evening gowns and handbags and her trademark red handkerchief, which she always clutched on stage. The museum has a few of the actual dresses she sang in, and also a pair of diamond encrusted glasses she wore. It contains wonderful collages of photos of her taken throughout her lifetime and the awards from various nations. The museum plays recordings of her works, and reverentially displays ephemera such as her diamond-studded sunglasses and her diplomatic passport.
This small museum is dedicated to the singer Om Kalthoum, who, more than 3 decades after her death, remains a cultural icon and symbol of Egyptian nationalism.

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