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Singer Profile: A Moroccan Star Shines in the Arab World

(www.mcm.net; www.bbc.co.uk; Arabstars.net; www.samirasaid.cjb.net)

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Born in Rabat, Samira Ben Said began singing at the age of 9. In the 1970s, she dazzled Moroccan television viewers with her talent and ability to perform Umm Kulthoum songs during a TV talent contest called "Mawahib." This appearance established her as one of Morocco's favourite performers.

It wasn't long before legendary singer Abdel Halim Hafez noticed her and advised her to move to Egypt, where, he predicted, she would become very famous. At the age of 17, she moved to Cairo where she immediately started working with leading Egyptian songwriters such as Baligh Hamdi, Sayed Mekawi, Mohammad El Mougi, Hilmi Bakr and Mohammad Sultan.

"Alimnah El Hobb", a song she performed at the Television Nights Festival on Egyptian television in 1983 became a huge hit and established her fame. Two songs that Gamal Salamah composed for her in the 1980s, "Al Gani Ba’d Youmen" and "Mosh Hatnazil Annak Abadan" dominated the charts for a long time.

Listeners throughout the Arab world were impressed with Said's ability to combine the old classical style with elements from rai and western pop. Her recent album, "Yom Wara Yom" (Day After Day), mixes electronic beats with Arabic strings. The title track, "Yom Wara Yom," is a duet with Algerian rai singer Cheb Mami.

Samira Said has more than 500 songs in her repertoire. In 2003, the "Yom Wara Yom" album won the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. In the same year, she received an award for Best Arab singer at the 2003 World Music Awards in Monaco.

Unlike other singers from her generation, Said did not venture into acting. She now lives between Cairo and Paris with her only son, Chadi, whom she had with her second and current husband. Her latest album, the first in two years, "Qaweeni Beek" (Make Me Strong), recently entered the Arab charts at number one and generated high sales figures in most Arab countries especially Lebanon, Egypt and the UAE.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    Syed Ashique 2013-12-20

    Are you very nice singer I like you Thankyou......


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Selvatori 2012-3-3

    Hello Madam- You have all of my respect, madam. You are the best in Africa and you always will be. Personally, I am a composer of classical rai songs. I have a daughter. I gave her your name, Samira, and your song “Samira Comes from the Sun”. So, Miss Samira, I love you. May God protect you. Amen. -Selvatori


  3. Anonymous thumb

    هیثم امحمد 2011-4-27

    We the Arab people who live in Iran have loved for a long time great artist Samira Said. We hope she will sing again the Dawn and Sunset song.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    yassmine 2010-10-22

    I adore her.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    ALOU 2010-7-16

    Long live Algeria’s Rose! Long live Samira Ben Said! Long live the Arab Maghreb!


  6. Anonymous thumb

    FATI 2010-6-4

    I am a fan of Samira Bensaid. But I want her to sing Moroccan songs.


  7. Anonymous thumb

    fatouma 2010-5-1

    Like all Moroccans, I adore the singer Samira Said. She represents Moroccan women’s natural beauty. May God protect her. Stay strong, Samira! To me, you are the best!


  8. Anonymous thumb

    سهام 2009-9-26

    Salam alikum. You're right my sister Loubna. Samira Said is one of the artists we are proud of we Moroccan women. She is many times better than many other idle artists. She should not be attacked without right. True art doesn't mean nudity, kisses and scandals but rather respect and sublime art.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    لبنى 2009-9-4

    The artist Samira Said is a symbol of a few artist in the fine art, feeling and modernity. We are proud of her as a Moroccan and Arab artist. We don't want to reply to the envious and those with psychological complexes. I advise them to see a psychiatrist. Greetings to Morocco and all Arab countries.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    Frederic 2009-8-29

    As a Frenchman, I agree with Laam: Isabelle should not be taken seriously. In my opinion, this is just a provocation. I do not thing that Isabelle is very open to others. She belongs to the tourists who gather around parody groups like "Les Bidochons" and who expect to find the same stuff they have at home elsewhere. Indeed, tourism has to be sad for her. But, there is no debate here. Personally, I discovered Samira Ben Said during my first visit to Morocco in 1991. One of her songs, "Mosh Hatnazel Anak" (sorry, but I pretty much do not speak Arabic) was being looped on the radio. I still have this tune in my head today. From time to time, I love to go back to this song and others by Samira and remember my unforgettable vacation, where I discovered a marvellous country with a marvellous people and people who are very warm. Having not been raised in an Arab culture, it is clear that I do not appreciate all genres of Arab music, but I will not permit myself to compare it to French music. It is a shame that music that is supposed to bring people together can also be a source for this sort of controversy. Politics, nationalism and religion already perform this function. So, thank you, Samira Ben Said, for your beautiful music and who knows what else.


  11. Anonymous thumb

    nada 2009-8-23

    I love you Samira. You are like me. I too am Moroccan. You are the best. I love "Tu parlais". I love so many of your songs. I am impatiently waiting for your new album. -Kisses!


  12. Anonymous thumb

    fouad 2009-6-24

    Everyone has the right to say whatever he wants. However, they should just be careful when talking about queen Samira Said. I don't like anyone to say anything bad about her, never, if you don't mind. I want to say Samira is like the moon without any plastic surgeries. She will remain the most beautiful singer all her life. Samira is my favourite and sole musician. May God assist her and be happy with her. The first love of Samira Said in the world.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    Laam 2008-8-23

    Fortunately, this kind of blog only serves to entertain most of us, because, given the amount of foolishness that one reads here, it is better not to take it seriously. Isabelle, how can you compare an “Arab” artist to Celine Dion??? Is this a joke? You might as well compare night and day. Apart from the difference in the language and culture of the countries they where they grew up, it is impossible to contrast them against each other. Moreover, given you are not perfectly bilingual, it is very difficult for you to judge Samira Said or any other Arab artist. What exactly do you judge this by? Does an artist show themselves a true artist with skimpy clothing, alluring attitude and knowing how to shake her hips, as has progressed in the West? We do not need such artificial demonstrations in order to appreciate good music and have popular artists. Our artists are beautiful, talented and stylish and are being approached by the biggest jewellers and fashion designers in the world. Their music videos are true theatrical works. And, I will not even talk about the scenes where orchestras of over 50 musicians are commonplace and the word “playback” does not even exist. If you suffered these “annoying” voices during your stay in Morocco, I imagine that the Moroccans had to suffer yours during your stay in the Kingdom. Such pretentiousness and closed-mindedness must have made you into an unbearable person in your daily life. I pity my compatriots who came into contact with you during your stay. You can just stay in France and bask in the rain listening to Johnny!!! Morocco will have nothing to do with people like you.


  14. Anonymous thumb

    أبو سمر 2008-6-14

    How great is the voice of Samira Said which has brought us joy for a long time for over a quarter of a century with the nicest words and sweetest melodies… So more success in the sky of the nice Arab song.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    Lilia 2008-6-13

    Please, we would like to have someone who sings classic Arab music in great simplicity! We want a singer who has some talent, some one who has a superb voice and, most importantly, knows how to represent Arab women with taste and class!!! Where is this singer I am talking about???


  16. Anonymous thumb

    malika 2008-4-18

    Good Evening to all the fans of Samira, I love you so much. I will always love you. You are the best. Go Samira! You deserve all the happiness in the world. I am eagerly awaiting your new Album. Go!!!


  17. Anonymous thumb

    aicha 2008-4-6

    me too i love samira said too much and her songs


  18. Anonymous thumb

    leila de fes 2008-3-25

    Good Evening Samira, I am also from Fes, just like you. I love you so much. I wish you happiness and success in your life from the bottom of my heart.


  19. Anonymous thumb

    coco 2008-3-25

    i miss u so much coco


  20. Anonymous thumb

    said 2008-3-21

    Hello and Good Evening, You have been lovely your entire life. I have been one of your fans, Samira, for a long time (since "and so he is taken away tonight, let you tell more Shahrazad!") and so on). My wife is jealous of you. Moreover, my 14-year-old son is named Chadi like your son. May God look after and protect you. You will always be a Moroccan woman, worthy of respect. I wish all the best for you and your little family. You will always be charming, Samira. -Moaajab (husband, age 46 from Kenitra)


  21. Anonymous thumb

    ZAUZOU 2008-3-1

    I would like to hear one or two pieces.


  22. Anonymous thumb

    casa echair hasna 2008-2-12

    Samira is one of the best singers. I wish you success in your artistic field. I like your songs so much. Thank you.


  23. Anonymous thumb

    imane 2008-2-2

    I love you Samira. You're like me, I'm also from Morocco. I love you so much, I hope that they will succeed.


  24. Anonymous thumb

    momo 2008-1-6

    Honestly, I would like to have your email.


  25. Anonymous thumb

    aymen 2007-12-13

    Hi, How is it going? I liked what you were saying.


  26. Anonymous thumb

    jihane 2007-12-10

    I love you so much. I live in Canada. My school asked for the most famous woman in our country and I chose Samira.


  27. Anonymous thumb

    isabelle 2007-11-27

    Samira Ben Said… pshhhhhh! I have never heard a Moroccan with a voice as beautiful as Celine Dion’s. She beats them two times over. Moreover, Moroccan singers are not even artistic or innovative. You really have to be messed up to want to listen to such grating voices. I was subjected to this on my trip to Morocco.


  28. Anonymous thumb

    mohamed 2007-11-26

    I love women.


  29. Anonymous thumb

    nasar 2007-11-26

    I am looking for a singer.


  30. Anonymous thumb

    mona rizki 2007-10-19

    I love and adore her, I like Samira Said.


  31. Anonymous thumb

    pierre 2007-10-14

    Do not compare Samira Said to the diva Warda, who, by the way, was born in Paris and does not even know how to write in Arabic. Courage did the rest. She sang in front of the most important people in this world: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Moubarak, a duet with Georges Moustaki, the songs of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Watani) and Chadia, and Sabah Abdel Halim Faiza Ahemd. In short, Elghili, if you do no like Warda, it is not a problem, but do not imply that she has not had any success and has no history. That is all.


  32. Anonymous thumb

    elghili 2007-10-5

    I have adored Samira Said since my childhood. To me, she is a star. She has a wonderful past: all her songs have know great success without exception, unlike Algerian Warda


  33. Anonymous thumb

    سعد من سوريا 2007-9-11

    samirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraa the best


  34. Anonymous thumb

    سعد من سوريا 2007-9-11

    Samira Said is the best singer, and will always be the best; who would dare beat her songs? With wishes of success, Soussou.


  35. Anonymous thumb

    fatima zahra elqasmi 2007-8-5

    I want to tell you something: I love my second mother, Mother Samira, as a mother. You are like my mother. So, I am Chady’s sister. Thank you. –Kisses


  36. Anonymous thumb

    fatiha 2007-6-28

    Hi, How is it going? I wish you good luck. –Bye


  37. Anonymous thumb

    مها 2007-6-26

    I love Samira so much, I love her and her songs, I wish her wellness, and more success, Machallah.


  38. Anonymous thumb

    NUSH-UK 2007-5-24

    hey man she looks fit for her age, great figure, ofcourse she can afford plastice surgery n all but she can pull it off wid all dat slap, coz az they say on telly "she's worth it"


  39. Anonymous thumb

    Tomb Raider 2007-3-21

    Abdul Aziz, the "tomb" will "embrace" all of us, brother. Are you sure of your position with al Aziz? Simahoohoom fi wijooheheem... or, as another Prophet put it, "You shall know them by their fruit..." Are you a good tree in His garden? Show that fruit. Are you fruitless, or worse, a poison-fruited tree? He will cut down & burn them. Let sister Samira deal with her burden of fame and fortune. God is her Judge.


  40. Anonymous thumb

    asasasa 2007-3-21

    She is good.


  41. Anonymous thumb

    miss silicone valley 2007-3-20

    She is still nice for her age... Long live plastic surgery...


  42. Anonymous thumb

    عبد العزيز 2007-3-20

    Tell her to think about the embrace of the tomb you Muslim... Will fame be of any worth then, think well of that my sister.


  43. Anonymous thumb

    karim 2007-3-18

    How are you old woman. Are you not going to die?


  44. Anonymous thumb

    lil_moroccan 2007-2-13

    yh me two i love her songs !!!!!!!!!!!!!


  45. Anonymous thumb

    laila 2007-2-8

    Peace be upon you my sister Samira. I love you very much!


  46. Anonymous thumb

    مدمنة سميرة سعيد حتى النخاع كيـــدز من قطر 2007-2-5

    We cannot ask for better stardom than this...Um Shadi May the Lord protect you Amen!


  47. Anonymous thumb

    nawal 2007-1-6

    I really, really love my favorite singer, Samira Said. I love you very much.


  48. Anonymous thumb

    tarik 2006-10-17

    I am just simply glad about it.


  49. Anonymous thumb

    HADA 2006-10-17

    I like this chick, she’s great.


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