Majida El-Roumi sings at Al-Qobba Palace (photo by Sayed Shaarawy)
Qasr Al-Qobba (Al-Qobba Palace) opened its doors for the first time in more than half a century on Friday 2 April, crowned by the legendary, angelic, Lebanese voice of Majida El-Roumi in a live concert, joined by the Philharmony Union Orchestra, conducted by maestro Nader Abbassi, with a mesmerising mix of oriental, western, classical, and modern music.
In front of a palace that tells the history of beauty and elegance, El-Roumi sang like a queen in her white gown studded with gold embroidery. Before singing to the crowd that came to see her from all over Egypt, she burst into tears and said, “Beirut will come back and get up. It is not the first time that we have fallen, nor will it be the last, but for eternity, every time we stand up after every fall.” She talked about the pains of Beirut, then she greeted Egypt and started singing.
El-Roumi performed a collection of her own much-loved songs, in addition to a galaxy of Umm Kolthoum and Abdel-Halim Hafez patriotic songs written by Assy and Mansour El-Rahbany and composed by Mohamed Abdel-Wahab.
Her voice travels between the melodies of Halim El-Roumi, Kamal El-Tawil, Ihsan El-Munzir, Nour El-Mallah, Marawan Khoury, and others.
The concert was attended by a galaxy of stars of art, media, singing, and society, such as actors Laila Elwi, Elham Shaheen, TV anchor Soheir Gouda, Lebanese journalist Gamal Fayyad, singer Sabreen El-Negely, and Al-Ahram newspaper writers Mona Ragab and Doaa Khalifa.
Al-Qobba Palace is one of the largest historical royal palaces located in the Sarayat Al-Qobba area east of Cairo.
It is one of the most important royal palaces during the reign of Mohamed Ali Pasha, and it was built during the reign of khedive Ismail; Its construction began in 1867 and ended in late 1872.
The palace was officially inaugurated in January 1873 at the wedding of Prince Mohamed Tawfiq, crown prince of khedive Ismail. During that period, the palace witnessed many weddings of princes and kings of the family.
Interestingly, the first recorded speech on the Egyptian Radio was by King Farouk from inside the palace on 8 May 1936.