Friday, May 18, 2012

Singerobit: Warda Aldjazairia

Warda Aldjazairia - the Algerian Rose - has died.

Warda was born in France to Algerian and Lebanese parents, and it was amongst the French Algerian community that she first found success, singing on Arabic radio stations.

In 1958, the Algerian War Of Independence made things difficult for the family, so they left Paris for Beirut.

She first visited Algeria in 1962, where she met a husband, and took a break from music for nearly a decade.

A move to Cairo coincided with a more serious attempt to build a career in music - she had a breakthrough with My Times Are Sweeter Than Yours - and it was in Egypt that she achieved her greatest success. Nasser saw her as a valuable icon in helping generate and promote a distinctive Arabic identity against Colonialism - it's claimed that he personally insisted Warda be invited to sing Watani Al-Akbar (My Great Homeland).

Through a long career, which also included five film roles, Warda remained popular in France, too - here she is performing in Paris in 1993:

Warda Aldjazairia was 72. She died on Thursday after what is being reported as a cardiac arrest.

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