What can I say?
It's been a while since I've written a book review on my blog, but this book HAD to be written about. wow. I just finished it and want to share it with all the dancers i know! Actually, anyone interested in music and poetry will find it fascinating too, not to mention anyone who has ever been in love...............
If you have ever heard the singing of om kalthoum, if you have ever danced to her music, if you have ever seen someone dance to her music... then you must read this book. I wish i had read it years ago.
It' s called 'I Loved Your Voice' by Selim Nassib and its written as if by the poet, Ahmed Rami, who wrote 137 of the 283 songs she sang.
The book is a love story, of Rami's Love for 'his Diva' and a story of Egypt, the people and the politics, the hopes and dreams.
It talks in detail of her fued with Mohammed Abdel Wahab and of their later reconciliation. It also talks of the other great poets and composers of the time, Qsabji, Ahmed Shawqi (The Emir of Poets), Da'ud Husni and many more. Her relationships with the heads of state and the press, and the people are detialed, yet all take a back seat to her relationship with love and music. She was brought up to believe she was special, chosen by God.... and it influenced everything she did, everything she sang.
Om Kalthoum is written about in this book with such respect, reverance and admiration, almost awe, that it has really made me rethink how i could ever dance to her music! Her Compositions are by far my favourite music to dance to. Now I am pulled in 2 directions.... How can i ever hope to convey from my dance even a percentage of what each song meant to her and to her country when she sang them? on the other hand, how can i not try?
The way her concert is described in the book when she performs Enta Omri (my all time favourite song) had me literally in tears reading it. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like to actually be in that audience!
It's an emotional, compulsive read . 'Unputdownable' ( a word i made up as a young child and which the teachers couldn't fault me for when I used it in book reports in school!)
In fact it was so well written I'm going to check out other books by the same author, because although it was the subject matter that really enthralled me, it was the writing style that made it a pleasure to read rather than a history lesson!
I seldom read a book more than once...... no matter how much I enjoy it... but this is a book I feel I will come back to again very soon, to enjoy and to study in more depth.
The sunflowers have nothing to do with the book... but they make me feel happy... i have 2 big bunches of them in my flat..... they are so cheap to buy here and make me smile just by looking at them so i wanted to include a photo here so they can make you feel happy too!