dance, music, body wisdom from egypt
Ruh El Fuad´s voice is deeply touching – full of emotion, depth and wisdom.
As a performer, she radiated great charisma and presence. She was a singer, conductor and showmaster all rolled into one – an entertainer who truly lived her art from its roots. Ruh El Fuad was one of the last few baladi singers in Egypt. Ruh was born in 1946. Both her parents were farmers in the Delta. As a young girl, she was invited to sing at traditional weddings and parties in the region. Later, she performed for the lower and middle classes in larger towns and cities like Tanta, Alexandria and Cairo. Ruh El Fuad’s professional life spans over 50 years. With her talent and the expertise she has gleaned over the course of her long career, she has performed with most of the great Baladi musicians. She also worked with famous nightclub performers in five-star hotels at weddings and parties for Egypt’s upper classes. In the course of her career, Ruh El Fuad travelled to other Arab countries and later even to Europe. At the same time, Ruh always remained true to the spirit and moral code and culture of her people: she was a proud baladi woman who knew her art and who strictly adhered to the professional ethics of baladi artists, even though most of these have since disappeared. She did not enjoy a formal institutional training, but one based on the oral tradition of the Egyptian country people and the entertainer families. Thanks to Ruh El Fuad’s great command of and the beauty of her voice, her country-based song evolved into the musically more sophisticated urban song. She developed her own unique qualities in her art. Ruh El Fuad´s speciality was the mawaal and its essential rendition ya leili ya eini, “Oh my night, oh my eye”, a phrase which she uses to soar to the heights of vocal expression. Until she passed away Ruh el Fuad lived the simple life of an ordinary Egyptian woman in a typical baladi quarter in Cairo.