Abdel Halim Hafez was one of the renowned and extremely popular Egyptian musicians. He started his career as a night club singer in Cairo, Egypt and went on to become a popular radio singer and film actor. He is considered one of the four all time great Arabic singers.
Abdel Halim’s both personal and professional life was full of upheavals. During his initial years his music was seen to be unconventional and was not accepted in established circles. But still he persisted and never changed his style or songs to win his audience. He got his chance to sing on radio as a substitute artist and ever since his first performance which was endorsed by one of the other great musician Muhammed Abdel Wahab there was no looking back. He made sure people cultivated taste to the new music he created. His immense popularity even today shows that he was successful in leaving behind a rich Egyptian music for the world.
Abdel Halim’s songs were mostly about loneliness, pain, love, longing and nationalism. People instantly related to the powerful lyrical soulful music. His songs sprung from his own personal tragic circumstances and experiences.
Abdel Halim lost his parents at a very early age. He also suffered from rare parasitic disease Bilharzia ever since his childhood. He lost his beloved to a chronic disease and never could recover from the loss. He died at a very young age of 48. Such was his popularity that millions of people attended his funeral and four women even committed suicide. Halim is a musical film based on his rich life and depicts realistically how music took birth in his soul.
It is intriguing that while the whole world chases happiness, it is the melancholia which gains popularity. Abdel Halim Hafez’s music bears a testimony to the fact that a musician who suffers pain and can relate to the inner turmoil of the soul truly becomes the voice and expression of the land and its people.