Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Iraq Mourns The Matriarch Of The Iraqi Song Afifa Iskander

The beloved matriarch of the Iraqi song Afifa Iskander has just passed away on October 22, 2012. She will be missed among her fans. But she lives well over 90 years and has enriched the Iraqi music scene for decades.

Born in Syria to Iraqi father and a Greek mother, she lived in Iraq and had her first performance at five years old. She would have her first concert in 1935! Her mother was a musician and a singer at "The Majestic , local venue.   Afifa would perform at Erbil Her first song was titled "Zanoobah" she was eight at the time. Her mom was her biggest fan and mentor. Afifa would learn form her mom not to be arrogant or prideful.

Afifa married at 12 years old to an Armenian man who gave her the Iskander last name. Afifa was known to perform musical monologues (five to six minutes) which has brought her a lot of elites and high status folks. She would sing in Turkish, French, German and English. she was a fixture of the night clubs in Iraq.

She moved to Cairo in 1938 and joined a number of dance and performance companies. She has acted and sang in a number of big movies at the time. She also had a cultural salon where she would socialize with the intelligentsia and the cultured people in town.

Afifa was also a beloved entertainer in the King of Iraq's court who was among her biggest fans, him and his government. She never sang for the Iraqi revolution, she did perform for the army few times. She would end up living in Jordan, but she died in Baghdad.

She left this world with 1500 songs to her name. She has done a great deal to promote Iraqi music and Iraqi culture  She was a great ambassador for her people.

عفيفه اسكندر- حركت الروح

عفيفة اسكندر - يا حلو يا اسمر Afifa Eskander


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