Memoirs: Sultana of Tarab... Turned her house into a fortress of resistance against the British

Memoirs: Sultana of Tarab… Turned her house into a fortress of resistance against the British

“Sultana Al-Tarab” Munira al-Mahdiyya has returned to the spotlight again in Egypt after the appearance of her memoirs in a new book issued by “Akhbar Al-Youm” by Dr. Azza Kamel.

The memoirs that were published a few days ago, which included in addition to her small diaries in the number of her pages that were published in the “police” magazine in 1958, and fragments of what the newspapers published about her, included the stations of her life that spanned more than 80 years, since her inception in the town of Mahdia in the Sharkia governorate, Where her original name was Zakia Hassan Mansour Bahgat, and her work at the age of eight on the Andrews stage, the launch of her concerts and the formation of her own band, and her relationship with the artist Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who gave him the opportunity to go up for the first time on the stage, but he demanded from the first day a wage of 15 pounds per night, after he He met with success and acceptance from the public, which made Mahdia dispense with him, considering what he did a kind of blackmail, as well as the turbulent relationship of Mahdia with the artist Bishara Wakim, who praised her strongly one day to attack her fiercely the next, and her relationship with Sheikh Salama Hijazi, who had a wide reputation at the time , for his place on the throne of art, who attended her first concerts and cried when she sang his poems, and her relationship, finally, with the nation’s leader in 1919, Saad Zagloul, who attended the theater specifically to watch her concerts.

On the national role of Munira al-Mahdiyya, the book highlights the influence played by the “Nozha al-Noufs” cafe and the “air of freedom” float that was owned by the “Sultana of Tarab” in assembling the Egyptian political elite and resisting the British occupation, since the second decade of the 20th century, when the English failed to Closing the café, while the buoy was a meeting place for the Egyptian Cabinet, and where Mahdia sang in that period a bouquet of patriotic songs, among them “I am Munira al-Mahdiyya, my love for the homeland is for me,” and “And the pigeon shawl landed the pigeon, from happy Egypt to Sudan, Zaghloul and my heart went to it.” Call him for what he needs.” The song “Kalam fi Sark” in which she called on Egyptian women to rise up nationally, and the song “Sabha Al-Zibbah is my country is Al-Zabada” which I addressed to the Egyptian peasants, and other things.

For her part, the author of the book, Dr. Azza Kamel, said in an interview with the media, Lamis Al-Hadidi, on the “ON” channel that she was originally looking for a research material on Asmahan, and when she was flipping through the old newspapers, she was stopped by the pictures of Munira Al-Mahdiyya and stood on the stage, and found Munira Mahdia other than The one that people who think that she was just a singer of songs that some of them described as debauchery, a different image of the woman who directed strong works in the opera Carmen and Tice, and the first to sing on the radio, and the first to record on CDs, the first to establish a theater group in her name, this is not that her float It was the scene of political meetings, and Saad Zaghloul used to come to its theater in disguise, and when the audience discovered it, they gathered around it and chanted, so that the Mahdiyya sang patriotic songs.”

Kamel called for all considerations to be taken when comparing Sultana Al-Tarab and Umm Kulthum in terms of the appearance of the first before the last by 20 years, and the presence of a supportive group for Umm Kulthum, offering her guidance and exposing Sultana Al-Tarab, to unfavorable family conditions for progress.

She said that “Munira al-Mahdiya shook the masculine thought, and she was producing and producing, and she had political opinions.”

It is noteworthy that Munira al-Mahdiya retired from singing for many years, and when she returned in 1948, she discovered that she had lost her audience due to absence. It was carried out by a journalist named Muhammad Helmy against Umm Kulthum, according to press sources.


The book highlights the influence played by the “Nuzha Al-Noufus” cafe and the “air of freedom” float, which were owned by “Sultana Al-Tarab”, in assembling the Egyptian political elite and resisting the British occupation.

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