Singing to the Tune of Emotions [Archives:2001/49/Last Page]

December 3 2001

Medical reports confirm that fetuses enjoy nice music. They make gestures expressing delight at such enchanting and capturing sounds. Listening to music, I do the same, except that my gestures that are more developed and can turn into clapping and dancing.
I have always been enchanted by great singers such as Sabah Fakhri, Wadee Assafi, 
Fairouz, Mohammed Abdul Wahab, etc. But I have never expected to experience a full evening with a live performance of most of their popular songs in such a professional way here in Yemen. But dreams sometimes come true!
Osama Soliman, a Syrian singer performing at the Layali Tent of the Sheraton Hotel, was really singing to the tune of everybody’s emotions. A good number of Lebanese, Egyptian, Gulf, Moroccan, etc., songs were nicely delivered to satisfy the multinational audience in the tent.
Soon he will also be singing some of the most popular Yemeni songs. “I have been to Jamal Street and purchased a number of cassettes of famous Yemeni singers. I have already chosen some songs that I am presently training myself to perform in the next coming 
days. Some of these songs are Ya Hazalli by Ahmad Fathi and Ya Bent Ghassani and some songs of Abu Bakr Salem. The music and diction are smooth and sweet. It will be a great pleasure to perform this kind of art,” he said. “I will keep singing these songs everywhere I go,” he added.
Osama studied music and mwashahat in Aleppo for eight years. Since then, he has been singing for almost 14 years. He has sung in Syria and Lebanon in five-star hotels, as well as in many festivals in both neighboring countries. Interestingly, singers who study and master the performance of mwashahat can easily make their vocal cards suit whatever tune is sung.
Osama says music is a sea by itself. Despite his long study of music and mwashahat he feels that he still has a long way to go.
Before coming to Sana’a, Osama had the idea that a Yemeni audience would be busying themselves playing dominos, chess, cards and smoking shisha. “I never expected such a 
reaction from my audience here. They sing with me and dance and keep requesting songs of great signers like Sabah Fakhri and Fairouz,” said Osama.
Among the audience a group of little children were sitting with their father, not hesitating to enjoy the whole atmosphere. I was really impressed by seeing how much children can enjoy such places and how considerate the father is to bring his children to this place.
Osama commenced singing in the Layali Tent at the beginning of Ramadhan. After Eid al-Fitr he will be moving to the Aden Sheraton Gold Mohur Hotel, where he is to work for three more months.
The idea of Ramadhan tents has spread in Sana’a in the last five years. Today many hotels and restaurants offer special tents during the holy month of Ramadhan, creating a real spirit of the orient. However, few have been able to keep their good reputation and good quality services.
Hisham al-Qubati