The great Arab singer Asmahan was the toast of Cairo song and cinema in the 1930's, as World War II approached. This story by Zherifa Zuhur will provide glimpses also into aspects of the cultural and political history of Egypt and Syria between the two world wars.
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Saqi Books, London, 2001
22 x 14 cm
A Druze princess actually named Amal al-Atrash, she came from an important clan in the mountains of Syria, but broke free from her traditional family background, left her husband, and became a public performer, a role frowned upon for women of the time. She was also rumored to be an agent for the allied forces during WWII. Through the story of Asmahan and her musical career, the reader glimpses not only aspects of the cultural and political history of Egypt and Syria between the two world wars, but also the change in attitude in the Arab world toward women as public performers on stage.
'Thoroughly researched in a charming style ... a study of an extraordinary person.' Jane Jakeman, The Independent'
Sherifa Zuhur is president of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies and Research Associate, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley