Well-known Egypian singer Amal Maher gave a live-streamed concert yesterday in her first appearance in an acoustic event organised at the Giza Plateau and without an audience.
The concert was streamed on Maher's YouTube channel alongside MBC and the Shahid platform.
The unplugged event featured a few musicians accompanying Maher, under the baton of Hani Farahat, one of Egypt's most renowned conductors who works with many best known singers of Arabic music.
Performed without an audience, this was Maher's first appearance in a concert since the pandemic closed all music venues. The event followed the precautionary measures, keeping distance between the musicians with many of them wearing facemasks.
In the almost two-hour concert, Maher sung a total of 16 of her best known songs, while in between many of them she interacted with the audience through social media.
Among the most beloved hits were Enta Wahdak (You Are Alone).
"I hope you like it," Maher commented during the concert, adding that "this song my first collaboration with [Saudi singer and songwriter] Rabeh Saqer."
The lyrics to You Are Alone are by Turki Aal Al-Sheikh, a Saudi poet, composer and music arranger who cooperates with stars of Arab music including Amr Diab, Nawal, Angham, and Hamaki.
Among other compositions performed were Ali Qad Al Shouq, a Abdel-Halim Hafez song first performed in 1955 film Lahn El Wafaa.
As the fans watched from home, the song Elly Qadra came as a special request from the listeners. Composed by Khaled Ezz to lyrics by Nader Abdallah, Elly Qadra was a theme song of Leih La (Why Not) Ramadan 2020 series. The music video of the song was released at the end of April and has garnered over several million views, making it one of Amal’s major new hits.
Another request from the fans was El Oyoun Soud (The Black Eyes) from Warda's repertoire.
Throughout the concert, fans continued sending messages to Maher, mostly expressing their love towards the singer, her voice and repertoire.
Before closing the concert Maher took a few minutes to thank her fans, musicians and the conductor. She also expressed her happiness to have performed.
"I am very happy to be performing today. At first I was a bit worried as this is my first experience [in this setting], but fortunately everything went well. Thank you for all your kind words."
The final song performed was Touba Foo Touba (A Brick Over Brick), Maher's 2014 hit to music by Amr Mostafa and lyrics by Ayman Bahgat Qamar. The song talks about building Egypt brick by brick for "my son" and for future generations.
Maher's live-streamed concert was followed by several thousand listeners and several hours after the streaming. The event garnered almost 100,000 views.
According to information revealed by Maher's agent, the concert was planned to take place at the end of Ramadan. It was the first unplugged event by the singer.
One of the leading Arab female singers at present, Maher came to the limelight with her powerful voice and a unique ability to sing Umm Kalthoum's repertoire.
Well-known across the Arab world, Maher has released four studio albums: Isa'lni Ana (Ask Me, 2006), A'raf Mneen (How Could I Know? 2011), Welad El-Neharda (Sons of Today, 2015) and Asl El-Ehsas (The Origin of Feelings, 2019) released in collaboration with Indian composer, singer and music producer A. R. Rahman.
2020 has been very dynamic for Maher. She has released a highly successful song, Matsebnish (Do Not Leave Me), on the occasion of Valentine's Day in February. The music video was shot in Paris and directed by Nihat Odabasi.
In April this year, Maher released a music video for the song Elly Qadra, the theme song of Leih La (Why Not) Ramadan series, which has become an instant hit.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus and the general shutdown of all cultural venues since 9 March, a number of online live-streamed concerts aimed to provide entertainment for the audience locked in their homes. Among the highlights of live-streamed events is the ongoing WE Online Music Festival (5 May - 5 July) featuring the best known independent musicians from Egypt and the Arab world.
Amal Maher's concert at the Pyramids is the only music event that saw live-streaming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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