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Abdel Halim Hafez

 

 

Abdel Halim Hafez (June 21, 1929 March 30, 1977) was arguably the most popular singer in Egypt during his days.

Born in Al-Hilwat, in the province of Al Sharqiya in Egypt, Hafez was the fourth child of Sheikh Ali Ismael Shabana. He had two brothers, Ismael, and Mohamed, and one sister, Aliah. His mother died shortly after he was born, and his father died tragically five years later, leaving Hafez and his siblings orphaned at a young age.

Hafez, however, overcame his obstacles, and became one of the most prominent Egyptian singers and actors of all time. His most famous songs, Ahwak, Khosara ("A pity"), Gana El Hawa ("Love come to us"), Sawah ("Wanderer"), Zay El Hawa ("Feels like Love"), and El Massih ("Christ"), are just a few of his 260 songs that he recorded. He also made sixteen films, starting with "Dalilah", which was Egypt's first colored motion picture. His songs were different in that he sang with very strong emotions (haneen), and was adored and praised by millions around the world. Sadly, his career ended when he became fatally ill with Bilharzia, a disease caused by a deadly parasite which he had been suffering since the age of 11.

Abdel Halim Hafez's song Khosara enjoyed international fame in 1999 when the American rap superstar Jay-Z used it as the background for his mega-hit "Big Pimpin'".

Hafez died at the age 48 in King's College Hospital, London. His death had such an impact on his admirers that some Egyptian girls committed suicide on hearing the news.

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