Touma

Touma (otherwise known as Umm Kulthoum) was and continues to be the biggest diva personality in the arab modern world- pushing the boundaries of convention even from beyond the grave.


Born to a poor family in the nile delta in 1904 to an Imam father and his wife, her first experience as a singer was joining the family "ensemble" poised as a boy, singing religious songs at neighbourhood events in her hometown in Egypt. Her voice started to make it's mark in the 1920s when the notable elite sought her to perform at their events. Touma was notorious for her 5 hour long performances that carried it's audience to a state of euphoria not very different to that of being high on hallucinogens.



Touma was a mid-century misfit known for her shrewd business sense, her powerful influences in public life, and her refusal to succumb to the traditional roles defining women of her time. Though she'd been married twice, once for a few hours when she was young, and once at the age of 50 to a married man, there continues to loom a question mark about her sexuality.


In 2019, Touma was featured in a holographic concert all the way from beyond the grave to be seen on the stage of the Dubai Opera.




 
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