State Radio

Music Inta Omri Oum Kalthoum (morceau - 1964)
Before becoming the star of the Orient, Oum Kalthoum made heard his voice to the greatest number by taking advantage of the formidable and recent invention of the radio.

“What bothered me was being in the studio between four walls with the red and green lights. I wasn’t used to that. I wasn’t used to singing by myself, isolated, like I was talking to myself or calling by myself.”

Oum Kalthoum – Radio interview archive heard in the Arte report Oum Kalthoum, the voice of Cairo in 2017.

What a journey that of Oum Kalthoum! Born in the small village of Tmaïe El Zahayira in Egypt, the young woman is very quickly encouraged by her father. Imam of the village, this last one rounds off his ends of months by giving recitals in which he brings his son Khalid. Hearing his daughter sing as she plays with her dolls, the man is incredibly surprised. Promising her some orange blossom lollipops, he takes her, disguised as a boy, on his rounds. Success is immediate.

Noticed by the singer Sheikh Abou El Ala Mohamed, she moved to Cairo where she performed in small theaters. Then she managed to sign a contract with the state radio. From 1934 onwards, she was invited to broadcast one concert per month.

The first Thursday of the month becomes the evening of Oum Kalthoum. From 10 pm to midnight, all life stops in the streets of Cairo. Everyone meets at friends’, neighbors’ or simply in the street with strangers taking out their radio, a rather rare and expensive device at the beginning of the 20th century. The show quickly became a must-see, with listeners religiously tuning in to the one nicknamed “the fourth pyramid of Egypt”.

In addition to the concerts, the radio studio was used by “the lady” as the recording place for all her songs from 1934 to 1960. Number one singer in Egypt and in the entire Middle East, Oum Kalthoum’s voice still resonates today on all the airwaves, many years after her death on February 3, 1975.


Since 1950, the first Thursday of each month was known to be the night of Oum Kalthoum.

4 Al Sharifain

Broadcasting since 1925, the State radio was born in 1934 in Cairo in the historical building of 4 Al Sharifain where the first broadcasts took place.

Occupying the fourth and sixth floors of the building, the radio broadcasts throughout Egypt. It was here that Mohamed Anwar Sadat, the future president of the country, made the declaration... Learn more about 4 Al Sharifain

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By Damien Duarte

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone font partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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