Lissa Faker – The Oum Kalthoum Project
Title in Arabic: لسه فاكر
Title in English: Do You Still Remember?
Composer: Riad Al-Sonbati
Lyrics: ‘Abd al-Fattah Mustafa
It has been said that Riad Al-Sonbati was a musical genius, and the one who understood Oum Kalthoum’s voice the best. So, he wrote songs that were tailored exactly for her voice. “Lissa Faker” is also remarkable song in the sense that it does not have a lot of changes between different maqams, but it still has a lot of variety.
Riad al-Sonbati was also said to have a strong character, so he sometimes posed a challenge to Oum Kalthoum. Also, the lyricist ‘Abd al-Fattah Mustafa had challenged Oum Kalthoum in his own way. Once he had sent some song lyrics (not Lissa Faker) for Oum Kalthoum to see, and when he did not get an answer during a time period he regarded suitable, he just sold them to a different singer without letting Oum Kalthoum know about it. Imagine her surprise when she heard the song on the radio.
The song itself talks about love that has made the singer suffer. Her lover had treated it all as a game, and had taken her love for granted. And now she has decided to put all her tears and pain to the past, and there is nothing that her former lover can do to restore the love. Interestingly enough, despite of being a well-known song, I only found one translation on the internet, which is on Shira’s site.
Here is one of my favourite dancers Virginia dancing to an instrumental version of the song:
Yasmina of Cairo dancing to amazing live music:
And here’s Fifi!!!
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Sources used: Danielson, V. The voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic song, and Egyptian society in the twentieth century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. Lissa Faker. Shira.net - All About Belly Dancing! Oum Kalthoum songs. Al Mashriq.