Arabic Language Blog

The 43th anniversary of the death of Um Kulthoom (1) Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in Arabic Language, Culture

On the 3rd. Feb, which is 3 days away, is the 43th. Anniversary of the death of Um Kulthoom الذكرى الثالثة والأربعين لوفاة أم كلثوم – the most iconic female singer in Egypt and the Arab world. By watching and listening a short video clip made about her, we will learn some facts about her life and how she started.

From Pexels

In the first part of this blog post, we will be listening to the report made last year by Dream Channel as part of the popular talk showبرنامج حواري مشهور  (Ten in the evening/ 10pm) or العاشرة مساءاً . Although it has been 43 years since Um Kulthoom passed away, her songs أغانيها are still listened to and considered as classics. Um Kulthoom’s songs were both in Egyptian and Standard Arabic as many were based on poems قصائد composed by very famous Arab poets شعراء عرب .

The clip (below) is 4 minute long and is in Standard Arabic. You will also have the chance to listen to a line or two of her most celebrated songs.

After listening to the report, you can check your understanding by trying to answer the 12 questions below.

*The second part of this blog post will provide a transcription of the report, along with the answers to the questions below.


1- Um Kulthoom has been given 2 main titles across the Arab world. List these titles.

لٌقِّبت أم كلثوم بلقبين رئيسيين في جميع أنحاء العالم العربي. أذكر هذين اللّقبين.

2- What’s Um Kulthoom’s date of birth?

متى وُلدت أم كلثوم؟

3- What is Um Kulthoom’s real give name?

ماذا كان اسم أم كلثوم الحقيقي؟

4- How was Um Kulthoom’s talent discovered? By whom?

كيف تم اكتشاف موهبة أم كلثوم؟ ومن قبل من؟

5- What was her father advised to do?

مالذي نٌصح والد أم كلثوم بفعله؟

6- Who was the famous poet that um Kulthoom collaborated with?

من هو الشاعر الذي تعاونت معه أم كلثوم؟

7- How many movies did Um Kulthoom appeared in?

كم عدد الأفلام التي مثلت فيها أم كلثوم؟

8- What is name of plant that Um Kulthoom sang out in one of her movies?

ماهو النبات الذي تغنّت به أم كلثوم في أحد أفلامها؟

9- What type of sings did Um Kulthoom sing. Name three.

ما هي أنواع أغاني أم كلثوم؟ أذكر ثلاثة أنواع

10- How did Um Kulthoom die?

كيف تُوفّيت أم كلثوم؟

11- What did Najib Mahfouz say about Um Kulthoom (at the end of the clip)?

 ماذا قال نجيب محفوظ عن أم كلثوم (في نهاية المقطع المصور)؟

12- How many people attended her funeral?

كم كان عدد الأشخاص الذين حضروا – خرجوا في – جنازتها؟

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About the Author: Hanan Ben Nafa

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.