Samira Bensaid

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Samira Bensaid Empty Samira Bensaid

Post  PeterCrouch on Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:45 am

Samira Said (Arabic: سميرة سعيد‎ (native name: Samira Bensaïd) (born January 10, 1954) is an Arabic singer. She was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco to a Muslim family. Samira lives in Cairo, Egypt with husband Mustapha Ennaboulssi and her son Shady.

Early career

Samira Said was born and raised in Rabat the capital of Morocco- of pure R'bati origin (descendants of Al Andalus who immigrated to Morocco after the fall of Gorboda) in 1961. She began singing at a very early age, around 9 years old and her road to stardom began when she was featured on Royal Moroccan TV when she was 12 or 13. She was quickly recognized as a young prodigy. She began singing professionally, encouraged by her family and backed up by important people in the Moroccan music scene like Al Rashdi and others. Her first appearance on television was on the Moroccan talent show "Mawaheb" alongside equally talented yet retired singer Aziza Jalal.

In a short time, Samira Said became one of the leading names in her home country, recording many popular Arab songs such as "Kifash Tlakina" ("How we Met"), "Fayetli sheftek shi marra" ("I've seen you once") and "Sarkouh" ("They Stole Him"), not to mention "Al Behhara" ("Mariners"). Her best known singles at this time included "Maghlouba" ("Beaten") and "Wa'ady" ("My Love"). Throughout, Samira was very popular with her Moroccan compatriots and was one of the most enduring and most loved singers in the Kingdom (others would include Abdluhaab Doukkali, Abdelhadi Belkhayat, Naima Samih- her main competitor at the time who was extremely popular in Morocco and outside Morocco- and Aziza Jalaal).

Ambitious by nature, Samira decided represent the Kingdom of Morocco in Eurovision singing her famous song 'Ahna atfal kul edunya', a song that was a messenger of peace in the midst of Arab-Israeli tensions in their heyday. But this song, despite Samira's exceptional gift, beauty and talent was unable to win. Morocco decided never to participate again following this negative experience, some people (source unknown) believed the jury of Eurovision to be anti-Arab, which prompted this decision. But Samira's song was famous all over Morocco.

Loved at home and thriving in the Moroccan music scene, Samira, thanks to her ambitious and tenacious personality decided to turn her past failure into a constructive experience. Already an authority in the Moroccan music scene and with good personal savings, Samira Bensaid traveled to Egypt, the epicentre of art and Arab songs in the pre-oil era (now it seems the centre of singing is switching to the Gulf where Lebanese singers thrive.) There, she started another chapter of her singing and artistic career.

Thanks to her charisma and strong personality, Samira connected with the Arab singer Abdul Halim Hafez and Abdul Wahhab, to finally meet Baligh Hamdi. Her financial status also made her transition to Egypt a smooth one. In Egypt, she could chose the right composers for her songs. But her transition to Egypt was welcomed with some unease amongst the Moroccan public. Her total switch to speaking Egyptian dialect hurt the feelings of her Moroccan admirers who truly loved her. This was also caused by the fact that Samira totally severed her ties with Moroccan music styles. She stayed a regular visitor to Moroccan music festivals and sung fully in Egyptian, alienating her admiring Moroccan public.

International career

Once in Cario, In the early 1980s, Said recorded "Al hob Elli Ana Aichah", a song composed by Mohamad Sultan. She went on to record with significant influences in the Egyptian music scene, including Baligh Hamdi, Helmi Bakr and Mohamad Al-Mouji.

In 1980 Said sang Morocco's only entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song, "Bitaqat Khub" ("Love Message"), written by Malou Rouanne and composed by Abdel Ati Amenna came 18th out of the 19 competing countries.

Said's performance of "Alemnah Al hob", on Layali Television in 1983, is credited with making her well known in Egypt. Said is known for her selectivity of both songs and accompanists, having worked with several well known composers and lyricists. As a result, many of her songs have won critical acclaim, including "Asmar malak", "Malak moch zay aweydak", "Sayidati anissati sadati", "Ech gab li gab", "El Leila dee", "Min ghir sabab", "Amrak ajib", "Al gani Baad Yomeen", "Mosh Hatnazel Anak" and "Alf Leila wal Leila".

As Said's popularity increased she was subject to rumours of a romantic relationship with Egyptian composer Baleegh Hamdi. She continued to release material including “Aiwa Bashta’lak Sa’at” ("Yes, sometimes I miss you"), a sultry jazz track and “Oyoonak Alit” ("Your eyes say so") and Al Gani Ba’d yomein ("He came two days later").

Said's work drew upon and crossed many musical styles and genres ensuring the continued expasion of her fanbase. A significant change in direction came with the release of “Al Bal” ("On my mind"). The title track was popular in the Arab world along with other tracks such as “Halit Malal” ("Situation of Boredom") and the “Beteegee witimshee” ("You come and you go".) On the subsequent "Rohi" ("My soul") album, Said continued to collaborate with new producers and lyricists experimenting with sounds influenced by her Moroccan heritage.

In 2000, she released the single “Lailah Habibi,” ("One night, my love") which went on to win the best video award in the Arab world for 2001[citation needed]. The album of the same name contained ballads such as “Te’dar Te’oli” ("Can you tell me?"), jazz influenced numbers like “Malee,” ("What's it got to do with me?") and traditional Arab songs including “Beyban Alaya” ("It shows in me").

Her popularity continued to rise in 2002 with the release of “Youm Wara Youm” ("Day after Day") by the commercial “Alam El Phan” record company. The title track of the same name, is a collaboration with Cheb Mami. Launched in Virgin Megastores in Dubai and Beirut, the album went on to achieve further international recognition.

In 2003, she won a World Music Award and the BBC award for the best artist in the Middle East with her album 'Youm Wara Youm'.[citation needed] In fact, Samira Said has won more than 40 awards around the Arab World.

In the summer of 2005 Said performed at the Carthage Festival in Tunisia, singing a collection of songs in dialects varying from Moroccan to Egyptian and Lebanese. She followed this success with 'Aweeny Beek' ("Make me stronger") which had its title track shot in Barcelona (Spain) and went on to sell more than 25,600,000 copies.

In January 2006, she sang 'Kollena Ensan' ("We are all people") in French, English, and Arabic during the African Cup Of Nations in Cairo. Said has significantly supported AIDS awareness in the Arab world, as well as rallying European and African stars to raise funds for earthquake victims across North Africa.

Said has performed across the world, raising awareness of significant issues, the latest being HIV/AIDS. She performed in front of Pope John Paul II) at the Vatican and gave support to out-of-status immigrants in ill-served suburbs in France. She has also sung for the people of Gaza and supported a Jewish-Arab understanding. Samira Said is a proud custodian of peace and intercultural, interreligious understanding and has throughout adopted a neutral stand towards Egyptian papparazzi. She's also respected and strongly admired by her host country Egypt where she's become almost at home and to whom she has shown a lot of love, attachment and gratitude. This country has shaped her international career and has boosted her international career, rounding off her musical talents emerging since her very young age.

Today, she is loved and respected by people from all over the Arab world from Tangiers to Damascus. She has lately been the recipient of a worldwide award in London for best singer in North Africa/ the Middle East and model humanitarian artist. In Morocco today, Samira is viewed as the strong model of womanhood that stood as a great ambassador for her country overseas. The Moroccan public admire her and respect the guts she has had to trace her gigantic paths in the Mashreq (the Eastern hemisphere of the Arab world.) After all, as Abdul Wahhab the genius composer and singer of Egypt once said in a TV interview,

"Samira is the epitome of extreme intelligence in her ability to assimilate Mashriqi singing, even though bathed in a somehow different tradition."

Samira is currently married to an American-established Moroccan businessman and has one son, Chadi. She lives between Cairo, Rabat and the United States.

DiscographyEl hob elli ana a'aycheh (1977)
Bitaqat hob (1980)
Ben Lif (1981)
Hikaya (1982)
Allemnah el Hob (1983)
Ketr al Kalam (1983)
Methaya'li (1984)
Lilet el Ouns (1984) Ya Damaiti Haddi (1984)
Ehki ya Shehrazade (1985)
Youm akablak Fih (1985)
Ech gab li gab (1985)
Amrak ajib en (1986)
Ana walla anta (1989)
Moch hatnazel a'anak (1986)
Sibak (1986) Ya ebn al halel (1987)
Ghariba (1988)
Sibni louahdi (1988)
Ensani (1989)
Ba'adin neta'ateb (1990)
Choft el amar (1991)
Hannitlak (1992)
Khayfa (1992) a'ach'a (1993)
Enta habibi (1995)
Kolli de echa3at (1996)
a'al bal (1998)
Rouhi (1999)
Laila habibi (2001)
Youm Wara Youm (2002)
Awweeni Beek (2004)
Ayam Hayati(2008)

Samira Bensaid Samira%20Bensaïd


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