Um Kalthoum (actually, Fatma el-Zahraa Ibrahim), Egyptian singer; b. Tamay az-Zahirah, 1898; d. Cairo, Feb. 3,1975. During a career of more than 50 years, she was one of the most famous singers in the Arab world, being particularly renowned for her renditions of nationalistic, religious, and sentimental songs, which resulted in her being dubbed the “Star of the East” and the “Nightingale of the Nile.” Her death precipitated widespread mourning in Egypt and other Arab countries.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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