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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 28 February 2021

Majida El Roumi to perform at Cairo's historic Qubba Palace

The home was formerly the official residence of Egyptian royalty

Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi. Sharif Karim / Reuters
Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi. Sharif Karim / Reuters

Majida El Roumi will perform at Egypt’s Qubba Palace.

The Lebanese singer will take the stage of the historic 19th century venue on Friday, April 2.

The event marks the first public concert held at the lavish grounds since it was built in 1872.

El Roumi announced the news on her Instagram account on Sunday with the message "and we meet again."

The event marks the concert return of El Roumi after her last major performance at Abu Dhabi Festival in February 2020.

With the pandemic scrapping her tour dates, El Roumi spent time in the studio, releasing two singles Gha'no Bi Kel Lough'at (Sing In All Languages) and Love Letter to Lebanon.

The latter is a powerful spoken word poem that speaks of her homeland's rich heritage and tragedy.

A collaboration with Vogue Arabia, Love Letter to Lebanon is accompanied with a video of El Roumi strolling across various parts of Lebanon draped in the national flag.

"This land is flooded with tears, whoever can stop us from loving it," she says, as part of the poem. "Treachery? Fear? War and hunger? Whoever can keep us away from its bosom?"

Despite a career spanning four decades, the project was the first time the enigmatic chanteuse has been photographed for a magazine cover.

“I did not pose for any magazine cover for more than 45 years. It didn’t affect me," she said in her interview with Vogue Arabia.

"An artist’s prestige lies in making their fans long to see them perform. Recurrent appearances don’t serve the artist, but rather make their presence mundane, in a way that will not impact people.”

Indeed, El Roumi's historic Cairo concert in April will only serve to enhance her prestige as one of the Arab world's most influential singers.

Home to kings and leaders

Built across five years, from 1867 to 1872, Qubba Palace was one of the most lavish constructions during Egypt's Muhammad Ali dynasty.

Located north of downtown Cairo, the palace served as the official residence of King Fuad I after his ascension to the Egyptian throne in 1917.

CAIRO, EGYPT - OCTOBER 11: Egyptians gather outside the Qubba Palace during the anti-coup rallies following the Friday prayers on October 11, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Pro-Morsi demonstrators have been staging over the past 101 days against the July 3 ouster of the democratically-elected leader by the powerful military. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Egyptians gather outside the Qubba Palace during the anti-coup rallies following the Friday prayers on October 11, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Getty Images

Spanning 300,000 square metres (30 hectares), the palace complex came with its own train station for visiting dignitaries arriving from Cairo and Alexandria.

After the 1952 revolution in which Egypt became a republic, Qubba Palace was declared a presidential palace and is still used to host international leaders and other notable visitors.

As part of his 2009 visit to Egypt, then US president Barack Obama received a red carpet reception at Qubba Palace.

Updated: February 22, 2021 06:48 PM

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