This day in history: Omm Kalthoum passed away

Today marks the 39th anniversary of the death of Egypt's most famous singer Omm Kalthoum, who died 3 February 1975.
Born as Fatima Ibrahim al-Beltagy, she began singing from a very young age. Her date of birth, however, remains unclear. Some say it is 4 May 1904, while others say she is likely to be born on 20 December 1898 or 1899.
She comes from a humble family in the village of Tamay al-Zahirah, in Senbellawin, Daqahliya. The name of the village has now been changed into “the village of Omm Kalthoum.”
Her father was a mosque Imam and a religious singer in fairs and weddings. It was he who taught her and her brother Khalid to sing. She wasn't even 10 years old yet by the time she was singing in front of audiences, donning boy clothes.
She visited Cairo for the first time in 1919 to sing in a religious commemoration in the house of Ezz Eddin Yakan, then again in 1921 to sing at a wedding, but she was robbed in her way back prompting her to hate Cairo.
The turning point came in 1922, when she at Senbellawin Station with prominent musician at the time, Sheikh Aboul Ella Mohamed, who heard her voice and decided to make her his own project.
In 1923, after Sheikh Aboul Ella Mohamed's insistence, she finally moved to Cairo and was sponsored by him. In 1924, she met with prominent poet Ahmed Ramy, who wrote many of her songs over the years, later she also met composer Mohamed al Qasabgy.
Omm Kalthoum enjoyed Arab consensus on her talent. She participated in the opening of the radio in 1934 and a year later she began cooperating with prominent musician al-Sunbaty.
Omm Kalthoum remains a milestone in the Arab singing. She became very sick in 1975, and the news about her illness was the opening news in newspapers and the radio, until she died on 3 February of the same year.
Thousands participated in her funeral for her great appreciation in Egypt and the Arabic-speaking countries as a whole.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm 

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