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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Huwwa Sahih el-Hawa Ghallab
(Is It True That Love Is Irresistible?)

 

This page contains an English-language translation to "Huwwa Sahih el-Hawa Ghallab", a song made popular by the beloved Egyptian vocalist, Oum Kalthoum. The song title is sometimes spelled as "Howa Saheeh al Hawa Ghallab".

Lyrics: Beram Et-Tunsi
Music: Zakareyya Ahmad

It is typical for multiple recordings of Oum Kalthoum songs to exist, each different from the others. This is because recordings were made and sold of her various radio concerts. Some can be as much as an hour in length.

Oum Kalthoum was born in 1904 and died in 1975. She was unquestionably the most gifted singer and musician of the 20th century in the Middle East. She was continuously popular for over 50 years and her songs are still played nightly on any number of Arabic-language radio stations.

Her name is transliterated many different ways in the Roman alphabet, including Um Kulthum, Om Kalsoum, Umm Kulthoum, Om Kalthoum, Umm Kalsum, Oum Kalthum, Oum Kolthoum, Oum Kaltsoum, and others.

Oum Kalthoum

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of this Song

Note

Sung by Oum Kalthoum

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Lyrics

Is it true that love is conquering?
I do not know.
Foresaking they said is bitter and brings suffering
The day is like a year
Love has come to me without a date!
More and more, its sweetness increases
I never thought for even one day it would take me so far
He says he is bestowing favors to my heart
Yet I return and my heart is full of wounds
I wonder how?
But this is what happened
And I do not know.

 

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Translations of
Oum Kalthoum's Songs on This Site

 

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About the Contributor

This translation was done by Dr. George Sawa for Yasmina Ramzy of Arabesque Academy of Toronto, Canada. I'd like to thank Yasmina for making this translation available to you via my web site.

Yasmina Ramzy has been performing, teaching, and choreographing Middle Eastern dance since 1981. She has toured extensively throughout Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, England, Mexico, the United States, and Canada as a soloist and with her company, sometimes performing for royalty and heads of state in many of these countries. She is the Artistic Director of Arabesque Academy, School of Culture-Specific Dance and the Arabesque Dance Company. Although Yasmina has dedicated her life to Middle Eastern dance, she also produces Gypsy and Dancenet which are culture-specific dance and music events with an educational slant. She is also a member of Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and serves of the board of directors for Dance Ontario.

 

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About the Translator

Dr. George Sawa was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He has over 50 years of experience in Arabic music performance, history and theory, and has performed and lectured extensively worldwide: Canada, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Europe (Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Greece) and the Middle East (Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates). He studied qanun, theory and voice at the Higher Institute of Arabic Music.

After immigrating to Canada, Dr. Sawa studied ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto, and obtained his doctorate in historical Arabic musicology. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on medieval, modern, and religious music of the Middle East at the University of Toronto and at York University.

Dr. Sawa is the author of:

  • Music Performance Practice in the Early Abbasid Era. 132-320 AH/750-932 AD
  • Rhythmic Theories and Practices in Arabic Writings to 339AH/950 CE (Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 2004 and 2009)
  • An Arabic Musical and Socio-Cultural Glossary of Kitab al-Aghani (The Book of Songs) of al-Isbahani (d. 971) (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2015).
  • Egyptian Music Appreciation and Practice for Bellydancers

Dr. Sawa has published over 50 articles on Arabic music in refereed journals and encyclopedias, and is frequently invited to give lectures and concerts worldwide. In 2005, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture for his research in Arabic music history.

George Sawa

George has been the musical director for several productions of the Toronto-based Arabesque Dance Company, and taught hundreds of dancers at the Arabesque Academy and Hannan's Bellydance Studio in Toronto, as well as studios in Canada, USA, Brazil and Mexico. His first CD release, The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun, Vol. 1, was nominated for a JUNO Award in World Music in 2009. A subsequent volume, The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun, Vol. 2, was released in 2009.

His book Egyptian Music Appreciation and Practice for Bellydancers has won international acclaim and serves as an invaluable - one of a kind - companion to bellydancers all over the world. (It is available in English, Chinese, French, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, German and Portuguese). A companion set of two DVDs produced with Lulu Hartenbach in Brazil includes over 50 tracks of dancing instruction from his CDs and book: Lulu and George Dimitri Sawa. Apreciação de Música Árabe para Bailarinas - Teoria & Prática 2 vols. Sao Paulo: Ventreoteca. Produzido por Kaleidoscopio de Ideias. Shimmie, 2015.

Presently Dr. Sawa is working on a book Erotica, Love, and Humor in Arabia which will be published by McFarland in 2016.

For more information on Dr. Sawa's books, musical recordings, and videos, see his web site at www.georgedimitrisawa.com .

Dr. George Sawa

 

 

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All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on Shira.net using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from Shira.net into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on Shira.net along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.

 

 

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