Farid al-Atrash: Google doodle on Syrian-born Egyptian composer, singer

Devdiscourse News Desk | Damascus | Updated: 19-10-2020 00:40 IST | Created: 19-10-2020 00:40 IST
Farid al-Atrash: Google doodle on Syrian-born Egyptian composer, singer
Farid al-Atrash had a long and colorful music career lasting four decades. Image Credit: Google doodle

Happy Birthday Farid al-Atrash!!!

Google doodle today dedicates a beautiful doodle to Farid al-Atrash on his 110th birthday. He was a Syrian-Egyptian composer, singer, virtuoso oud player and actor.

Farid al-Atrash was born in Al-Qurayya on October 19, 1910 in southern Syria to the Druze princely al-Atrash family who fought the French colonial army. He was widely considered one of the Arab world's great performers of his time. As a child, Farid al-Atrash emigrated with his mother and siblings to Egypt, escaping the French occupation. Later, they were naturalized by the Egyptian government as citizens.

Farid al-Atrash had a long and colorful music career lasting four decades. He composed musically diverse songs, and was a highly regarded composer, singer and instrumentalist. He maintained that although some of his music had western musical influence, he always stayed true to Arab music principles. Although the majority of his compositions were romantic love songs, he also composed several patriotic and religious songs.

One of Farid al-Atrash's most unusual and distinguishable traits was his voice. High and mellow at the start of his career, it evolved into a wider, deeper sound. A person not familiar with his work would find it hard to believe the singer in "Ya Reitni Tir" (1930s) and "Adnaytani Bil Hajr" (1960s) were the same singer. His singing style was deeply passionate.

Farid Al-Atrash starred in 31 Egyptian musical films from 1941 to 1974. His last movie, Nagham Fi Hayati (Songs in my life) was released after his death. All his films except the last two were black and white. They ranged from comedies to dramas, or a combination. He composed all the songs in his movies including the songs sung by other singers, and instrumentals (usually belly dance routines). His earlier films would include approximately ten songs, but overall the films would average about five songs each. Some of al-Atrash's well-known movies include Intisar al-Shabab (The Triumph of Youth, 1941), Yom Bila Ghad, Ahd el-Hawa, and Lahn al-Kholoud (Eternal Tune, 1952).

Farid Al-Atrash suffered from heart problems throughout his last 30 years. On December 26, 1974, al-Atrash died in Beirut, Lebanon at Al Hayek hospital, shortly after arriving from London. Al-Atrash is buried in Cairo, Egypt alongside his sister and brother.

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