Umm Kulthum to appear via hologram in Cairo

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Umm Kulthum to appear via hologram in Cairo

Legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum will be featured in a hologram concert in Cairo next week, the city’s opera house director said Saturday. The hologram projection of the Arab diva - dubbed the “star of the orient” - will appear on the opera hall’s stage on March 6.

“The hologram performance will last between 12 and 15 minutes. It aims to attract younger generations ... and connect them with their history,” opera director Magdy Saber told AFP.

The show will also include two singers performing Umm Kulthum songs live and is scheduled to last two hours. A revered icon of Arab music, Umm Kulthum’s career flourished from the 1920s until her death in 1975. Her concerts lasted for hours, and live radio broadcasts attracted huge audiences.

Commonly known in Egypt as “El Set” or “The Lady,” her deep voice is still heard on Egyptian streets and in local cafes, taxis and Nile sailboats. Her repertoire of religious, patriotic and romantic songs and poetry reverberated across the Arab world.

“Alf Leila wa Leila” (“A Thousand and One Nights”) and “Enta Omri” (“You Are My Life”) are among Umm Kulthum’s most enduring hits.

Last week, Egypt’s Culture Ministry said the performance “aims to confront vulgarity and redirect attention to our arts heritage.” Earlier in February, the union for Egyptian musicians banned performances of popular electro street music known as mahraganat, which is viewed by conservatives as overstepping moral boundaries. Two Umm Kulthum hologram concerts were already held last year.

“We plan to organize similar performances for other classic Arab singers including Mohamed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez,” said Saber.

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