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Warda

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Warda Al-Jazairia (Arabic: وردة الجزائرية‎), commonly referred to as just Warda (Arabic: وردة‎, IPA: [ˈwæɾdæ]) (July 1939 - May 17, 2012) was a French-born Algerian singer. She is well known for her Egyptian songs and music. She died on May 17, 2012 in Cairo.

Warda was born in Puteaux, France to a Lebanese Mother and Algerian father. She started singing at the age of eleven in 1951. She quickly became well known for her singing of patriotic Algerian songs. When she married in 1962, however, her husband forbade her to sing. In 1972, Algerian president Houari Boumédienne asked her to sing to commemorate Algeria’s independence, and she performed with an Egyptian orchestra. As a result her marriage broke up, and she dedicated her life to music.

She then moved to Egypt, where she married the composer Baligh Hamdi. She performed many of his songs and those of other Arabic composers, quickly rising to fame and releasing several albums per year. Additionally, she has starred in a few films.

Warda is a female name of Arabic origin meaning Rose

At the height of Panarabism, Gamal Abdel Nasser requested that Warda be given a part in a production by Mohammad Abdelwahhab entitled My Great Homeland (Watani Al-Akbar). The song was performed by the biggest stars at the time including Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia, Sabah (singer), Nagat Al-Saghira and Faida Kamel. The song denounced Colonialism and urged for a united Arab People to defeat foreign occupation (see Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire).

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