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وردة الجزائرية Warda al Jazairia harramt ahebbak מוסיקה ערבית

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Published on May 22, 2009

Warda Al-Jazairia (وردة الجزائرية; literally "Warda, the Algerian"), commonly referred to as just Warda (وردة) ( July 1940), is an Algerian singer. She is well known in the Arabic music community for her Egyptian songs and music. She is one of the most famous Arabic artists due to her powerful voice. She was born the youngest of five children near Paris in Puteaux in 22 July 1940. Her father, Mohammed Ftouki was one of the first Algerian immigrants to France, ran a hotel for migrant workers at Boulogne-Billancourt then became the owner of an Arabic music cabaret in the Quartier Latin called the Tam-Tam (named after the three initials of the three Maghreb countries, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco). She used to sneak out of her room every night and hide in one of the corners for two or three hours to listen to the band while they were playing or rehearsing in her father's night club below and then she would sing for her self the next morning.

In those days Warda was unable to write any Arabic, she always had to ask her older brother to write out all her Arabic songs in the Latin alphabet. From time to time Warda's father was tolerant enough to allow his daughter's brief appearance on a stage of his club at the request of a friend.

Warda's mother was a Lebanese born in Beirut in a Muslim family of good social position called Yamout. She had taught Warda every Lebanese song of some importance. Thus the girl's liking for the Middle Eastern song had developed.

She was only a little girl when she would sing songs by Mohammed Abdel Wahab or Farid El Atrache. Ahmad Tejani, a friend of Warda's father, was working for a famous record company, Pathè Marconi-EMI (now EMI France), which used to produce children's programs for North African Arabs in France on the Paris radio station. During one of his visits to the TAM TAM club he heard her singing and liked her voice so much that, shortly after, he presented her to the radio and she participated in the show with a song called "Song for the Mother".

In 1958, as Paris was more and more concerned by the development of the Algerian War of Independence, the whole family had to seek refuge in Beirut where she went on singing militant songs. The whole family lived in a small apartment in Al Hamra Street in Beirut. When Warda started singing in Tanyos, a famous night club in Aley, she was only 17 and her national songs were hardly the style for night clubs.

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