Ayoub Tarish Forgotten by the State, Honored by People [Archives:2000/27/Last Page]

July 3 2000

Jalal Al-Sharabi,
Yemen Times
The Afif Cultural Corporation gave a party last Tuesday in honor of artist Ayoub Taresh, one of the most outstanding singers in Yemen throughout the past three decades, who has left strong impressions on an emerging genre of singing i.e. the Taizi school of singing.
Colors and schools of Yemeni songs vary as cities and districts do. For example, there is the Al-Sharh school in Lahj, characterized by the light paces of dancers, and the Hadhrami school which is close to that familiar in the Gulf countries.
The event was attended by a crowd of people including a number of Ayoub’s colleagues. Abdul Basset Absi, one of the well-known singers who has sung about life in the countryside and touched upon many social problems such as immigration of Yemenis, presented one of his famous songs portraying the problem of immigrants who leave their loved ones in pursuit of better living conditions. The song was “Wa ammati monoh shoqol li Masoud.” The song is sung in the voice of a woman whose husband has left the country seeking a better job opportunity. The wife sings for her and her child’s bad economic and social condition, as well as her dire need to be close to her absent husband, Masoud.
After this wonderful song by Absi, Ayoub Taresh presented two of his best songs. These were “Dhow Al-Kholood” (The Light of Immortality) and “Tair Am Gharb” (Migrating Bird) which was written by Ali Abdul Rahman Jahaf in the Tihama dialect.
Ayoub has sung for everyone. He sang for unity before it came to light, the revolutions of September and October, etc. It was no surprise, then, that one of his patriotic songs was chosen as the national anthem of Yemen.
It is sad to feel that this great singer has not received due support from the authorities concerned.
Chairman of the Al-Afif corporation, Mr. Ahmad Jaber Al-Afif welcomed the participants and expressed his gladness in honoring Ayoub Taresh. He highlighted how Ayoub first began to sing. ” he was one of the students of Al-Baihani, one of the great Muslim instructors at the time. Once, while the students and the sheikh were having a picnic in Al-Hussainiah in Aden, a student took Ayoub aside. He had a tape recorder, and he asked him to sing, wanting to record his voice while he was singing. Ayoub sang some songs by great Egyptian singers thinking that he was away from his teacher. However, his friend took the recorder to the teacher and the rest of the students. It was an embarrassing situation for Ayoub who decided not to show his face again to his teacher. So he ran away from Al-Hussainiah to Taiz,” he said.
Mr. Al-Afif spoke highly about Ayoub’s songs saying that the audience present at the event was a natural result of the popularity of his songs. He expressed his love and deep respect for him. He also welcomed Ayoub’s colleague, Abdul Basset Absi, pointing out the intention of the corporation to honor him in the future.
“This corporation has committed itself since its establishment 10 years ago to honor great people while they are alive to show them how they are loved and respected.
It is very painful to see great and creative people who can not afford their living are not cared for,” he added. At the end of his speech, Mr. Al-Afif presented his warm thanks to Ayoub’s wife who has accompanied the singer during all his artistic career. Then he honored Ayoub Taresh amid the applause of the participants.
Another speech was given by Alwan Mahdi Al-Jilani, a Yemeni poet, in which he praised the singer’s taste in the choice, diction and rhythm of his songs. “He has captured every color by his eyes, every sound by his ears, every sweet smell by his nose and our hearts by the movements of the strings of his Oud,” he said. “Ayoub has sung for his country, immigrants, love and changes in the city and the countryside,” he added.
When Ayoub sings, he does not only reveal what is in his heart but also what in our hearts as well. Lovers can feel deep emotion and passion in his every song . They live all the feelings of happiness, sadness, etc. which the songs convey.
Many great poets and composers have appeared in Ayoub’s career with whom he has managed to achieve the best quality of diction and rhythm. However, he was mostly in close relationship with the passionate poet Abdullah Abul Wahab No’man who wrote most of Ayoub’s songs.
Whatever is said about Ayoub, nothing will give him his due rights. He deserves more. We hope that the Ministry of Culture will be awakened by the initiative taken by the Al-Afif Corporation and do the same. It was very surprising last Tuesday to find no representative of the Ministry, as if they were angry at the event.
Ayoub is a unique singer. The words of his songs are intermixed with the soil of his country. Despite his great and numerous works the last words he mentioned last Tuesday were: I am still thirsty.