Bella Kaplan – Country – Literature

Umm Kultoum

Umm Kultoum  was Born in 1904 (approximate year) and died 1975 in Cairo, Egypt.

Umm Kultoum, the `Star of the East`, is one of the most important symbols of Arab culture. She is the most revered, played and documented singer in this culture. Her voice is considered to have rare power, and the power of her singing stems from the musical interpretation of her songs, and from the unique dialogue she has created with the audience. She broke new ground in Arabic female poetry when she sang religious texts intended for men only. Adoration of the nation of Kultoum is common to all strata and classes in the Arab world.

Nasser (president of Egypt from 1954 to 1970) said: Egypt was blessed with two eternal things: the pyramids and the voice of Umm Kultoum.  One of her most famous songs is “Inta Omri” ( You Are My Beloved) which is still performed by various singers.

My challenge is about the most popular singer in Egypt and the Arabic world, since then to this day.  I printed in Arabic some of the lyrics of her most famous song Inta omri, You Are My Beloved.   My quilt is Portrait, Arabic screen printed , fused,  machine quilted.

Close up view:

  1. This is a very strong interpretation of Umm Kultoum and conveys the feeling of a strong and powerful voice.

  2. A great approach to the subject. A very powerful piece, well done.

  3. Interessting way to approach the subject ! the choice of colour gives a dramatic feeling and lets guess the strong personality of the singer.

  4. This is such a strong piece. Beautiful background and portrait. The outlining with the screenprinted Arabic lyrics makes it even more special. Awesome.

  5. A very powerful portrait given added drama with the choice of black and white. I like the background and particularly the Arabic script.

  6. I agree with others about the strong design of this quilt. I would like to thank you for sharing Umm Kultoum’s story that I didn’t know. I found beautiful lyrics of Inta Omri on the internet and on youtube I listened to Umm Kultoum singing it. Beautiful song, beautiful voice and beautiful quilt!

  7. A well designed and dramatic visual composition depicting a revered and beloved artist in the Arab world. The Arabic lyrics and crystals add a nice finishing touch. Well done.

  8. You have chosen the perfect palette to depict this strong lady and I love the way that you have incorporated the text with the portrait. Beautiful work

  9. I love the sense of drama your piece evokes, the use of color is spot on.

  10. studiociboulette

    What a powerful piece! And your attention to details and the color is incredible. Beautiful!

  11. Such a strong interpretation of this famous singer/poet/artist. The dark background is very effective as is the Arabic script surrounding her portrait. Very dramatic piece as befits Umm Kultoum.

  12. A great portrait of a powerful lady. The choice of fabrics is perfect for this piece. The Arabic script is the finishing touch.

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