Paris, Jun 6 (EFE).- An exhibition paying tribute to iconic female artists of the Arab Golden Age has been opened at the Arab World Institute in Paris.
The exhibition featuring icons such as Um Kalthoum, Fairouz, Warda, and Dalida is celebrating the roles these famed women played in the Pan-Arab movement before the rise of religious conservatism.
“We realized that in contemporary culture the heritage of these artists continued to attract a lot of interest,” says Hanna Boghanim, the exhibition’s co-manager.
“In Egypt or Lebanon, they are still omnipresent. All of this made us want to unite them all in an exhibition that has never been done before,” she adds.
Among the items showcased at the event taking place at a 1,000 square meters space are Um Kalthoum’s medals, Warda’s Chanel glasses, and Dalida’s dresses.
Known as Egypt’s fourth pyramid, Um Kalthoum held a handkerchief in her hand whenever she went on stage, which then became a trademark of hers, as well as the dark glasses she wore later in her career.
Um Kalthoum, born to a peasant family, recited the Quran and sang religious songs as a child before she caught the attention of music celebrities in the capital Cairo.
She is still popular today and is considered an Arab culture icon. Her funeral in 1975 was followed by some five million Egyptians.
Another icon of the Arabic music is Warda al-Jazairia, an Algerian singer and actress that started her career by singing revolutionary odes for her country.
“The political context undoubtedly contributed they could live freely from their art, but it was often their personal journey and a courage that undoubtedly evolved faster than that of society contributed to their emancipation from the patriarchy,” explains Boghanim.