The Great Artist

Nour el Houdda 1924-1998

(Alexandra Badran)

Ya Garat al Wadi
[Sound and lyrics]

Nour el Houdda on Future Television's Tuesday evening program "Khalleek bilbeit" (Stay at Home) in the summer of 1997.

In a film with MHammad AbdelWahab.

Singing the praises of the automobile in an early film.

"Girl with golden voice" dies at 74
(Beirut, July 10, 1998)

Popular singer and actress Nour al-Houda, who recorded more than 100 songs during a career that spanned more than 60 years, died yesterday after a short illness. She was 74.

Nour al-Houda was admitted to the St Georges hospital on June 27 after suffering from liver and lung infections.

Born Alexandra Nicholas Badran, she changed her name to Nour al-Houda (light of guidance) at the behest of Youssef Wehbi, the dean of Arab theatre, after he invited her to play opposite him in his film Jawhara (The Jewel).

In that movie, as in more than 30 movies that followed, Nour al-Houda gained attention for refusing to kiss or wear revealing clothes on screen.

This earned her respect from conservative Arabs and she was given medals by the Russian Orthodox church and the Eastern Orthodox church, in addition to decorations from the Lebanese and Syrian governments. She also made her name in music. Launching her career at the age of ten, she became the "girl with the golden voice" and went on to record more than 100 songs for the Arab world's most prominent composers and lyricists, including the late Mohammed Abdel-Wahab.

For reasons never fully explained, Nour al-Houda withdrew from the limelight in the 1960s. She went into seclusion after her house in Beirut was destroyed during the civil war. She will be buried in Beirut today.

Courtesy of the Daily Star