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Google celebrates Abdel-Wahab's 110 year birthday

A pair of eyeglasses and musician's famous Oud grace the search engine's main page in countries across the Arab world, celebrating one of Egypt's most influential composers

Ahram Online, Tuesday 13 Mar 2012
Views: 2213
Views: 2213

Google celebrates Egyptian composer Mohamed Abdel-Wahab's 110th birthday with a pair of eyeglasses and an Oud. Abdel-Wahab was one of Egypt's best known music composers as well as an actor and film producer.

The design, known as a Google Doodle, is part of a Google tradition whereby changes are made to the Google logo on its search engine page to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists and scientists. The Abdel-Wahab Doodle appears on the logo in several Arab counties: Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Libya.

Born in Cairo on 13 March 1902, Abdel-Wahab would become known in Egypt as the "musician for all generations" for his lively and modern music compositions.

Abdel-Wahab began his singing career in 1917 as a member of the Fawzi Al-Gazaerli music group. In 1920, he studied the Oud at the Institute of Arab Music. Later in 1934, Abdel-Wahab joined radio and cinema, where he was linked to Egypt's 'Prince of Poets' Ahmed Shawqi.

Abdel-Wahab composed several songs for Shawqi including 'Cleopatra' as well as 'Gondolas' by Mahmoud Taha among many others. Abdel-Wahab worked with several major artists from Egypt and across the Arab world, notably Um Kalthoum, Laila Murad, Abdel-Halim Hafez, and Faiza Ahmed, the Algerian Warda, the Lebanese Fairouz, Talal Maddah, and Asmahan. 

Following army general Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s ascent to power in 1952, Abdel-Wahab dedicated his work to serve the Egyptian revolution and the concepts of Arab nationalism prevalent at the time. Among his famous patriotic compositions were Operetta Watani Al-Akbar (My Greatest Nation), Sout Al-Gamaheer (Sound of the Masses), and Al-Geel Al-Saed (The New Generation) among many more. Abdel-Wahab died on 4 May 1991 of a heart attack.

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