Google celebrates Abdel-Wahab’s 110 year birthday
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Mar 14, 7:31 am
Google celebrates Egyptian composer Mohamed Abdel-Wahab’s 110th birthday with a pair of eyeglasses and an Oud. Abdel-Wahab was one of Egypt’s best known music composers as well as an actor and film producer.
The design, known as a Google Doodle, is part of a Google tradition whereby changes are made to the Google logo on its search engine page to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists and scientists. The Abdel-Wahab Doodle appears on the logo in several Arab counties: Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Libya.
Born in Cairo on 13 March 1902, Abdel-Wahab would become known in Egypt as the “musician for all generations” for his lively and modern music compositions.
Abdel-Wahab began his singing career in 1917 as a member of the Fawzi Al-Gazaerli music group. In 1920, he studied the Oud at the Institute of Arab Music. Later in 1934, Abdel-Wahab joined radio and cinema, where he was linked to Egypt’s ‘Prince of Poets’ Ahmed Shawqi.
Abdel-Wahab composed several songs for Shawqi including ‘Cleopatra’ as well as ‘Gondolas’ by Mahmoud Taha among many others. Abdel-Wahab worked with several major artists from Egypt and across the Arab world, notably Um Kalthoum, Laila Murad, Abdel-Halim Hafez, and Faiza Ahmed, the Algerian Warda, the Lebanese Fairouz, Talal Maddah, and Asmahan.
Following army general Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s ascent to power in 1952, Abdel-Wahab dedicated his work to serve the Egyptian revolution and the concepts of Arab nationalism prevalent at the time. Among his famous patriotic compositions were Operetta Watani Al-Akbar (My Greatest Nation), Sout Al-Gamaheer (Sound of the Masses), and Al-Geel Al-Saed (The New Generation) among many more. Abdel-Wahab died on 4 May 1991 of a heart attack.