Khalifa: Successful example in expatriation journey [Archives:2005/899/Last Page]
BY YASSER AL-MAYASI
YEMEN TIMES STAFF
A large number of people interested in musical arts and culture attended last Wednesday the awarding ceremony of the famous Yemeni singer Fursan Khalifa, who has been living outside his homeland since 1972. He lived in the UAE after he found a convenient climate for the distribution of his creative musical arts.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism in the presence its minister Mr. Khalid Al-Rowaishan. The distinctive singer deserves what has been done and more as he managed to create a noble picture of the success of Yemenis abroad when they find the suitable climate for demonstrating their talents.
One can remember that there are many Yemeni talented people who score successful achievements outside their country without any help of their government, which turns to award them after they gain reputation outside Yemen. Today, these stars are not our possession, rather they are the wealth of those who helped them and drew the plan for their success.
Despite the efforts of the governmental bodies over the last few years in awarding creative Yemenis, the government was late in doing so. The rewarding and commemoration of creative figures usually comes after such figures received honors from others. Such commemoration was supposed not to be held. The Yemeni boxer Nasim Hamid, the Singer of Arabs Abu Bakr Salim, the famous singer Ahmad Fatahi, coupled with other Yemeni creative physicians and engineers are some of the successful examples who gained reputation and fame abroad.
However, the Yemeni singer Fursan Khalifa is the focus of his article. Fursan Khalifa was born in 1941, at the time when the country was enduring difficult conditions. Nonetheless, Khalifa was considered lucky as he was born in the city of Aden, which was a better place to live in comparison to other cities in Yemen at that time. The spread of education and schools in the city of Aden made of its children a well-cultured category. The British occupation of Aden had an effective role in upgrading its education and it had a great influence on the culture of locals.
Khalifa completed his secondary education in the sixties at the St. Joseph High School in which he managed to shape a picture of his future. This school, which was affiliated to the Catholic Church, had a theater for staging different school activities, including singing, acting and other fine arts. This theater constituted the starting point of Khalifa's success. The income of the theater used to fund pupils who could not pay the schooling fees.
Despite the fact that in the fifties and the sixties, the population of Aden had not exceeded 400 thousand, there were 4 theaters in the city, which helped in demonstrating the talent of many famous singers, such as Abu Bak Salim and Mohamed Sa'eed Abdullah.
Amin Derham is one of those who had an integral role in discovering the talents of Fursan Khalifa and helping him to score great success. He narrated that Khalifa was ambitious “and when I knew that he masters playing the Oud (lute) and has a nice voice, I asked him to join the famous singers in the cities of Aden and Lahj in order to pursue in the profession in a better way.”
“”I even asked some famous poets to write for him in order to compose and sing. His first song appeared in 1957 and he continued singing and composing for a long time. He used to join other singers from Lahj for the sake of entertaining the prisoners