Long-retired Egyptian star Nagat El-Sagheera sings at Riyadh's Joy Awards

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Jan 2024

Beloved Egyptian star Nagat El-Sagheera, who retired from singing two decades ago, performed her iconic song Oyoun El-Qalb (Eyes of the Heart) on Saturday at Riyadh's 2024 Joy Awards grand ceremony.

Nagat El-Sagheera


Egypt's golden age singer of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s was honored at the Joy Awards, during a small ceremony that also screened a short film briefing her career.

The singer performed Oyoun El-Qalb to the audience who welcomed her with a standing ovation. Composed by Mohamed El-Mougy and penned by Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudi, the song is from her 1996 album carrying the same name.

Born in 1938, El-Sagheera's voice attracted people's attention when at the tender age of five she started to sing a song of Umm Kalthoum. 

Many of these performances were in "the home of the artists," as her family home was referred to. 

It was El-Sagheera's father, a prominent Arabic calligrapher from Damascus, Mohammad Hosni, who welcomed artists and calligraphers in his home in Khan El-Khalili and encouraged his children to practice art. 

Her siblings were also renowned artists: her brothers Ezz Eddin Hosni (1927–2013), a noted composer; Sami Hosni, who became a cello player and jewelry designer; and Farooq, a painter. The Egyptian actress Soad Hosny (1943–2001) was her half-sister.

El-Sagheera (which means "the small," a name given to her due to her petite body) landed her first role in the film Hadiya (released in 1947) at the age of eight.

During her extremely bright career, she has sung work by the best-known Egyptian composers, including Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, and starred in 13 Egyptian movies. She retired from acting in 1976 (at the age of 37) and from singing in 2002 (at the age of 64).

The grand ceremony featured the most renowned stars from the Arab world, including several Egyptian stars, alongside their counterparts from the international scene.

The Egyptian awardees included Nelly Karim, Karim Abdel-Aziz, and Adel Imam who was given the Arab Art Leader Award, among numerous others. 

Organized by Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority in cooperation with MBC Group, the Joy Awards is one of the biggest award ceremonies in the Middle East.

The awards were handed to nominated female and male celebrities across various genres and categories, covering film, television, sports, fashion, and social media.

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