A book, recently published in Cairo, revealed the scenes of Umm Kulthum’s concerts, which she performed after the defeat of 1967, to support Egypt’s war effort in the Egyptian governorates, the Arab countries and the outside world, the most prominent of which was the “Paris Concert”, to which the masses of Arab communities from all over Europe flocked. . The book, entitled “Umm Kulthum and the Years of War Effort”, by Karim Jamal, issued by “Tanmia”, was distinguished in that it not only touched on the huge amount of money and gold works brought by the Kulthum tours, but also provided an illumination of the political situation of that period, and the reality of intertwining. Between art and politics, and the details of the characters of that stage.
The book revealed that Umm Kulthum, who was close to the hierarchy of power in early 1967, submitted an official request on June 7, 1967 to the Military General Command, to allow her to travel to the Egyptian front with Israel, and address the soldiers on the battlefield, “but the seriousness of the situation prevented between Her desire and the implementation of the request.” She replaced that with “seven calls broadcast by Radio (Al-Sharq al-Awsat) to the soldiers, followed by broadcasting enthusiastic songs for her, to raise their morale,” and she had insisted a few days before her, specifically on May 27, 1967, “to meet the commander. The General of the Armed Forces at the time, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer, to reassure her of the reality of the situation “days before the war, and he allowed her to interview, which lasted a quarter of an hour,” according to the account of the Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal.
The lines touched on the atmosphere in which Umm Kulthum received news of the 1967 defeat, and her descent to the basement of her villa, after the end of the speech of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, about stepping down, and bursting into tears, and struck around herself a fatal isolation after knowing the defeat, as she closed the doors, and tied her head with a handkerchief. And I refused to talk to everyone.
The chapters then followed Umm Kulthum’s endeavor to face defeat, as she decided to “raise a million pounds to support the war effort through 24 concerts in 24 Egyptian cities,” as the beginning of a broader campaign, the beginning of which was the transfer of a check worth 20 thousand pounds sterling and received from Kuwait, in exchange for works of art she had done. , to the war effort, and then the formation of a feminist organizational entity called the National Assembly for Egyptian Women, from which a committee for donations, another for hospitals, a third to fight rumors, and a fourth for communications branched out. Donate your marriage suit.
The book delves into the anecdotes of the details of the parties, as it follows the cries of Umm Kulthum’s most famous fan in its history, Haj Hafez Abdel-Aal, who has been following her since 1939, like his shout at one party (I wish I could kiss you or not after you), and his shout at another party, “Oh, peace, oh! Professor… A university professor, by God.” And he said at the Damanhour party, “The six made Damanhouri utter the r’,” referring to the tendency of the people of the Egyptian Damanhour Governorate not to pronounce the last letter during speech.
The lines quoted Abdel Nasser’s private doctor, Dr. Mansour Fayez, that the late Egyptian president, out of compassion for Umm Kulthum in these concerts that she held for the war effort, asked her to be satisfied with only two songs, not three, and that she adhered to that.
The book attaches special importance to the concert in France, which gained international fame due to the accompanying wide Arab momentum around it in Europe, which represented a kind of attempt to spread hope after the defeat of 1967. The arrangements for the concert originally began before 1967 when the director of the Olympia Theater, Bruno Coca Trix, tried He contracted with her as part of an initiative for him to open up the French to world culture. Umm Kulthum stipulated that she receive 7,000 pounds for the party, with Coca Trix taking care of the expenses of all her band members.
Regarding the details of the concert in the French capital, the lines mentioned that the ticket, which was no more than 30 to 50 francs in the French theater that hosted the concert, amounted to 300 francs at Umm Kulthum’s concert, and when the tickets ran out, the theater issued what it called “standing tickets”, which The owners were not able to sit, which cost 500 francs, and it came from a scarcity of places that after the sale of tickets was completed that a rich person tried to buy a ticket for 100,000 francs, but failed, and the amount reached 500,000 francs, and also failed, and it was only That he took out his gun and threatened to shoot unless he was requested, and the matter ended up organizing the theater as a reminder to him among the standing, after the situation turned into a funny story, and the party witnessed unexpected events such as a young man kissing her hand, and another rush to kiss her feet, which caused her to fall on her. Earth.
On the official level, the front seats were marked by the presence of important figures, most notably the late King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan, who happened to be in Paris, and 13 Arab ambassadors, including the representative of the League of Arab States in Paris. In France, and among the Arab communities in Europe, and 500 Eastern Jews, and the party surprised the artist Faten Hamama, who had left Egypt in a form of temporary emigration in 1966, due to her association with the star Omar Sharif, which caused a political crisis, which she said to Umm Kulthum, as soon as she saw her “I was I longed madly to visit Cairo, and when I saw you I felt that your songs transported Cairo to Paris.”
It is worth noting that the concert, according to the book, caused two problems. The first was Coca Trix’s objection to the way radio broadcaster Jalal Moawad was transmitting the party’s enthusiasm, as the first rejected Moawad’s statement saying, “Today Umm Kulthum sings in the capital of light, Paris, and tomorrow she sings in liberated Jerusalem.” He insisted that the party was “artistic, not political”, which did not appeal to Umm Kulthum, insisting on saying, according to the account of the writer Muhammad Salmawy, who was present, that “the concert is patriotic, and that it came to support the war effort of her country”, and threatened to withdraw immediately if not for Coca Trix apologize. As for the second crisis, it arose out of Umm Kulthum’s anger because the Egyptian ambassador, Abdel Moneim al-Najjar, did not receive her personally, and sent him the cultural advisor instead, and informed her of this resentment to Abd al-Nasser when holding a dinner for her at his home after her return from France, which caused al-Najjar to be transferred to the site Another, according to the account of the Egyptian media, and Umm Kulthum’s translator during the ceremony, Ali Al-Samman.
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