Although 48 years have passed since the departure of the great artist and musician Farid al-Atrash on December 26, 1974, and about 78 years since the death of his sister, singer Asmahan on July 14, 1944, and dozens of books have been published. about them there are still many questions in search of answers that fans of their art are looking forward to, about their lives, their work and the tragic end that claimed Asmahan’s life, as well as Farid’s life, which is full of problems and artistic wars, written by Lebanese journalist and author Dr. Awatef El-Zein is included, in the latest issue. I collected it under the title “Farid Al-Atrash and Asmahan, The Tragedy of Love and War, which was published a few days ago by Habi Publishing and Distribution in Cairo.
The book gets its title from the life chapters of the deceased singer and his sister from beginning to end.Despite the success and fame they achieved, and the love of millions of fans of their art that surrounded them, tragedy was their third. According to the author, “the journey of Farid and Asmahan seemed difficult on a human and artistic level, due to severe suffering imposed by the conditions of the war waged by the French on Jabal Al-Arab in Syria, which Alia Al-Mundhir, with her three children, Fouad, Farid and Emily (Asmahan), to flee to Egypt in 1924; Saad Zagloul, then Prime Minister of Egypt, welcomed and cared for them as refugees. the beginning of the thirties of the last century, the relative improvement in the family life began with the discovery of their talents, with unique singing in cabaret and public radios, and his talent manifested in composing, singing and playing the lute, during his studies at The Institute of Arab Music, and they were able to meet a number of great poets and composers who were fascinated by the voice of Asmahan, after recording a number of songs for a record company, and were invited to sing in opera when she was less than fifteen, before she stopped and married her cousin, Prince Hassan al-Atrash, and returned to Syria to live four years later, she gave birth to her only daughter, Camelia.
At this point – as the book mentions – Farid completed his career and began his singing life, and with Asmahan’s return to Egypt after her divorce, an important stage in their lives began, making their names in the world of rap, music and cemented filmmaking; Especially with Asmahan, who is a singer with a mature, sensitive and deeply influential opera voice in society, in addition to her rise as a movie star through her two films: “The Victory of Youth” and “Gram and Revenge”, in which she sang “Nights of People in Vienna” composed by Farid, which ended her life in an accident.Tragic and drowned.
In the book, Awatef Al-Zain talks about the story of her admiration for Farid, how she started, and what the strange incident was that made her put him at the forefront of her interests as a child in secret to him. to listen, and then in public after she felt that her family shared this admiration with her.
The author uses what was published by an art magazine about Farid’s travels to Beirut. The great artist chose the “Eden Rock” square, which is five kilometers from Beirut, to escape the fans who slammed the doors of his hotel with violence so that the Lebanese government was forced, after repeated burglaries, to appoint a police guard to follow him in his movements. During his stay in Lebanon, he filmed several films, including: “A Message from an Unknown Woman” with Lubni Abdel Aziz, “The Great Love” with Faten Hamama, “Zaman Ya Love” with Zubaida Tharwat, and his latest film, ” A tune in my life ”with Mervat. Ameen.
The book tells the artistic journey of Farid al-Atrash, who gave his art its own characteristics, who made him the owner of the authentic Oriental school developed in performance and melody, and with his music was able to attract the Western ear to our songs, and presented with orchestra distributor Frank Purcell four well-known pieces, which included the two introductions “Habib Al-Omar”, and “Nujoum Al-Layl”, “Laila” music, and “Zemorda.” These pieces were presented under the title “Oriental Music” and distributed in European markets, and were sung in more than 15 international languages.
Farid al-Atrash performed all lyrical colors, in all Arabic dialects, and composed his tunes for the great male and female singers of his time. He sang, composed, distributed and made soundtracks for his films, and the championship of 31 films played. , including 17 films of his production, which made him “the king of the review film”, according to description critics, so his film experience is groundbreaking and different.
Under this title, the author asks many questions about Farid and his sister’s exposure to a great deal of injustice in their lives and after their death, and wonders about his decorations and his possessions, and why a museum is not for him in Egypt or Lebanon was not built. , and he is properly honored in the Arab world, and she was very much at ease with the incident of Asmahan’s murder and the rumors that started as a mastermind.
The truth is that these and other questions were answered at the end of the book through a dialogue she had in Beirut in 2006 with Prince Imad al-Atrash, son of Farid and Asmahan’s brother, who drew the dots above the letters, and revealed. the real reason behind Farid al-Atrash’s move to Beirut during the 1960s, emphasizing that doctors advised him to rest and stay away from the busy atmosphere of work, which led to the purchase of a house for him in the mountains. Lebanon necessitated, where he would spend recovery periods after each health crisis in light of his suffering from heart disease. He noted that the official Egyptian media had full appreciation and respect for Farid al-Atrash as he grew up and lived in Egypt and had Egyptian citizenship, and had a close relationship with President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who loved him so much has. He was buried next to his sister Asmahan according to his will.
With regard to Asmahan’s death, he confirmed that it was a decree and fate, and not a premeditated counsel of any party, and everything that was said about him had nothing to do with the truth, it appears from the fact that the driver of her car died from his injuries at the home of Farid al-Atrash days after the accident, and the car that Asmahan It was transporting swerved into the Nile due to excavations about which the driver was surprised, and accidents followed repeat the same place.