Al Ahram's 2000 Tribute to Umm Kulthoum            view entire page

On 3 February 1975, exactly 25 years ago today, an extraordinary woman, Umm Kulthoum -- or simply Al-Sitt (the Lady), as she was called -- passed away. Today, we tell her amazing, incomparable story, in an attempt to understand why, 25 years later, it's as if she had never left us. The story of this absence, so intangible and yet so vital, is told here through interviews with those who were closest to her, a visit to the small village where she was born and raised, and an examination of the many ways in which her legend has not only lived on, but become stronger. Umm Kulthoum's voice is only one part of this glorious story. It is her entire being that still fills everyone's heart

The singer not the song
By Maurice Guindi
CafeBlurred flash-back
Youssef Rakha discovers Cairo's greatest music café

The heritage of sound
The record and radio industry not only made Umm Kulthoum's fame, but ensured that her heritage lives on. Fatemah Farag listens in

Roots Bitter-sweet roots
Umm Kulthoum was always very proud of her rural origins. Fatemah Farag, however, discovers that her small Delta village was untouched by her glory

Contemplating harmony
By Georges Bahgory

The voice of authority
Two women bound by an affinity of spirit: Umm Kulthoum's biographer speaks to Aziza Sami about her friend
Waiting for daylight
Eleven years ago, the Ministry of Culture gave the go-ahead to a project for an Umm Kulthoum museum in the annex of the Manasterli Palace. Reham El-Adawi follows up on progress

Small screen, big success
The television series Umm Kulthoum, broadcast in most Arab countries, gave its audience a chance to rediscover a beloved legend. Hanan Sabra goes behind the scenes

Until the very end
Mohamed El-Dessouqi's life has been inextricably linked to Umm Kulthoum. Fatemah Farag listened as the diva's nephew and long-time manager reminisced

OK Madame
By David Blake

TV series The other Umm Kulthoum
Why was the Umm Kulthoum TV series so popular? Youssef Rakha looks at seven writers' commentaries
Stars in her eyes
Profile by Tarek Atia

My darling, my song-bird
A devoted fan who attended most of Umm Kulthoum's concerts, Maurice Guindi remembers a quarter century of personal elation

Epic of a nation
For 40 years, Umm Kulthoum's Thursday-night concerts were as major a national event as any in the Arab world. On this, the "alleged" centenary of her birth, Youssef Rakha contemplates a phenomenon