Thursday, December 11, 2014

This Lady's Voice Makes Me Smile! Tunisian Diva Oulaya

About ten years ago, Syrian Hit-maker and diva Asalah did a song I love so much, I mistakenly thought this was her own song. The song was performed as a duet with Tunisian Saber El Robai, it was a lovely song that pierces one's heart. 'Aly Jara was that song!

Then just today I learned this song was a cover of an older song for a little known Tunisian lady Oulaya. She is certainly big at home and well-known among her generation, but I fear I have either failed to find out about her or have not looked hard enough. Though I know one of her other songs but have never knew her name Jary Ya Hamouda song.

Let's meet Oulaya,

She started to sing a the tender age of 14, in 1957 due to the Independence of Tunisia and forming the national broadcasting agency, she got a head start and shot to fame at home. She sang during an Umm Kalthoum singer when she came to Tunis for a concert in 1968. The legendary Egyptian loved her voices and invited her to come to Egypt. Oulya moved to Cairo and took part of a number of concerts and was the headliner of Tunisian cultural nights in Egypt. She would stay there for 12 years, then went home.

Her father insisted she get married, and she did marry a much older guy who had three kids with her. She sang in most cities in Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Kuwait. She married again to Egyptian composer Hilmi Baker who wrote her the song.  She died relatively young at age 54 in 1990 at home where she was buried.

I will always remember her by her song that talks about homesickness, love and long distance relationships. There is simply no other Arabic songs that covers this topi with so much passion as Oulya did.

For More about her, please visit

Oulaya - 3alli gara(original) عليا التونسية علي جرى الأصلية

Oulaya - Alli Gara (Live) علية التونسية - علّي جرى

علية التونسية - جاري يا حمّودة


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