Nawal El Kuwaitia (Arabic: نوال الكويتية; born Nawal Thaher Al-Zaid, 18 November 1966) is a Kuwaiti singer and musical icon in the arab world. Nawal is considered by many as the number one singer in the arab world and is known as Qaitharat Al Khaleej (Harp of Khaliji Song "Arabic: قيثارة الخليج").
Nawal studied at the Music Institute in Kuwait where she met the Kuwaiti composer Rashid Al-Khadr. Al-Khadr composed many of her initial songs and poet Abdullatif Al-Banay wrote lyrics for her.
Nawal's first album was released in 1984. The majority of her albums are not titled, but rather are referred to by number (e.g. Nawal 98, Nawal 99). She was once asked about the reason and she responded, "I take pride in all the songs of my album and therefore I don't refer one to the other, and I leave the album untitled so that I do not impose a certain song on the dear listener but I leave the choice open to them." She has also filmed many music videos (mainly in Lebanon) and was one of the first Khaliji artists to do so. Initially, she was reluctant to perform in public and suffered severe stage fright at her first concert in Bahrain in 1984. However, Nawal soon became accustomed to singing publicly and eventually appeared in a variety of venues throughout the world. She rose to fame in the 1990s with a series of successful songs: "Ya Msabbir Il Mwuoud" ("You Await Your Date"), "Tadri Wala Matadri" ("Do You Know or Don't You?"), "Tehadidni" ("You Threaten Me"), "Yooh Ya Yooh" ("Oh What I Am Experiencing"), and "Tebara" ("Abandon"). She also performed an opera at the 1998 Al Janadiriyah Festival that marked the 100th anniversary of Saudi Arabia.
After retiring from her singing career for personal reasons, Nawal returned after five years with a duet performed with Abdullah Rashad, "Kan Widdi Niltiki" ("I Wished We Could Have Met"). The song was composed by Khaled Abdulkarim, with lyrics by poet Ali Asairi. Nawal has also performed duets with other artists: "Ahawel" ("I Try") with Lebanese singer Fadel Shaker and "O'thorini" ("Forgive Me") with Khaliji singer Abdallah Al Rowaished.
Her latest album includes such songs as "Ya Msabbir Il Mwuoud", "Houbok Asbah She Adi" ("Your Love Has Become a Matter of the Ordinary"), "Anna Il Masoul" ("I am the One Responsible"), and "Ya Sayyidhoum Weenak" ("Where are You, Their Lord").
Nawal's latest album debuted at number 1 on Rotana's Khaliji album charts and at No.2 on Rotana's Egyptian charts, marking the first time that she has appeared on the Egyptian charts. Her first single off the album Moliyah debuted at No.1 on Rotana's Pepsi Top 20 charts, dropping to No.4 the next week. However, the third week following the single's release, it returned to No.1; it was the second song the first Khaleeji song to ever do so in its first week.
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