Amr Diab [Rr-merr dee-ab] is my favourite, favourite, FAVE (!) Egyptian singer and I believe, with those sing-along-able tunes and beats could easily become very well known in the west. However, he isn't, maybe because all his lyrics are in Arabic. He is a very Middle Eastern singer.
I discovered him quite by accident when Virgin megastores in Dubai had his photo everywhere in the store and I decided to buy his album. Enjoyment was instantanious and now every so often nothing else but Amr will do.
Out come all the Amr Diab albums, they're played over and over, and then over and over, and then ~I kid not~ over and over yet again until I'm full of Egyptian pop music and it's time to put them away until the next time. I've even got copies in my best friend's car in England so I can play the music when I'm there.
Fabulously cheesy and one day I promise I'm going to look like one of the girls ~ha, ha~
Today's True Stories ... 1.
Whilst I was visiting Cario my driver asked me what I wanted to do, now we'd seen the Museum and the Pyramids. I jokingly suggested visting Amr Diab at home. Driver laughed, said nothing and dropped me off for lunch.
I'm sitting in the restaurant, munching away at pretty average food, when in the distance I see the driver running through the restaurant, right arm in air, with the phone in his raised hand. And whilst he's running through the restaurant he's pointing at the phone with his other hand, shouting,"Phone for you, phone for you".
I don't know that many people in Cairo ~I was on a work trip~ and the person I knew the most was sitting right next to me, eating her lunch. Anyway, I took the phone call.
A lovely man at the other end of the phone said,
"I'm very sorry madam, but Amr Diab is not in Egypt right now, he's in Dubai. Would you like me to arrange to meet him next time you're here?"
"Who are you?"
And he replies, "Amr Diab's secretary"
Well that well and truely shut me up because those Personal Account Managers at American Express really do know everyone.
Image: The cover of the first Amr album I bought
Six months later Amr Diab gave a concert in Bahrain and we managed to get front row tickets. And although we were on Egyptian music time (concert started at 12 midnight and finished at 1am) I was very happy be literally six feet from the stage and sing every single word to every single one of the songs ~scary that~ MTV were filming and definately panned in at the only English woman at the front.
Image; Remembering the Concert
I just like the music and really know very little about Amr. Other people are far more knowledgeable about his biography, so here's a couple of the most useful links:
WGAW is one of Bahrain's Top 10 Blogs according to
White Girl, Arab World
For the past 25 years I've called Bahrain home; my life, work and Bahraini husband are all here. 'White Girl, Arab World' is written from a western perspective and aims to pass on, without emotions, cultural differences and explanations.
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