Mariza – a well known Portuguese Fado singer – performed at Cairo Opera House a few years ago. I was living and working in Egypt so I obviously attented the show, eager to listen sounds of my homeland – Portugal – and to enjoy a world class artist.
The curtain was still closed but the first chords of the Portuguese guitar started to warm up the whole theatre. Just listening to the crying sound of our guitar was enough to make me explode in tears – uncontrollable, heartfelt, maddening tears.
No need for Mariza, concert or show – just tiny crystal sounds springing from a guitar were enough to break me into 1000 pieces.
Om Kolthoum, the Eternal Voice of the Oriente, passed away 40 years ago but – don´t fool yourself – she´s not dead. Her music has the same effect on me as the portuguese guitar; her voice still catches me from my guts & twists my soul into eternity (an evasion, a dream, a fire that just won´t got stale). It doesn´t matter where I am, I become a Tear the moment I listen to her voice. Egypt is my homeland as well – a different kind of homeland coming from a distant past (yet so present); Om Kolthoum´s voice (and the life she carried in it), like the voice of the Portuguese guitar, pulls me out of the shelf, exposes me to the nocturnal wolves and reminds me that no Life is possible without LOVE, no matter how scary or dangerous it may be.