|Birth name||Samira Bensaïd|
|Also known as||Samira Said|
January 10, 1958 |
|Genres||Arabic music, pop|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, entrepreneur|
Alam El Phan
Sawt El Emarat
Samira Said was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. She began singing at the age of 9 and she was discovered on a music program on Royal Moroccan TV, "Mawaheb," alongside another popular singer, Aziza Jalal, when she was 17. She was quickly recognized as a young prodigy. She began singing professionally, encouraged by her family and backed up by important people in the Moroccan music scene like Al Rashdi and others.
In a short time, Samira Said became one of the leading names in her home country, recording many popular Arab songs such as "Kifash Tlakina" ("How we Met"), "Fayetli sheftek shi marra" ("I've seen you once") and "Sarkouh" ("They Stole Him"), not to mention "Al Behhara" ("Mariners"). Her best known singles at this time included "Maghlouba" ("Beaten") and "Wa'ady" ("My Love").
Samira represented Morocco in the Eurovision Song Contest 1980 singing 'Bitaqat Hub', a song that was a messenger of peace in the midst of Arab-Israeli tensions. The song placed 18th out of 19 contestants, and so far, has been the only entry by Morocco (or any other Arab country) at Eurovision.
Thriving in the Moroccan music scene, Samira decided to turn her past failure into a constructive experience. Already an authority in the Moroccan music scene and with good personal savings, Samira Bensaid traveled to Egypt, the epicentre of art and Arab songs in the pre-oil era. There, she started another chapter of her singing and artistic career.
Samira connected with the Arab singer Abdul Halim Hafez and Abdul Wahhab, to finally meet Baligh Hamdi. Her financial status also made her transition to Egypt a smooth one. In Egypt, she could choose the right composers for her songs. But her transition to Egypt was welcomed with some unease amongst the Moroccan public. She stayed a regular visitor to Moroccan music festivals and sung fully in Egyptian.
Once in Cairo, In the early 1975s, Said recorded "Al hob Elli Ana Aichah", a song composed by Mohamad Sultan. She went on to record with significant influences in the Egyptian music scene, including Baligh Hamdi, Helmi Bakr and Mohamad Al-Mouji.
Said's idol and close friend Abdel Halim Hafez encouraged Said to expand her career in which she followed and did.
In 1980 Said sang Morocco's only entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song, "Bitaqat Hub" ("Love Message"), written by Malou Rouanne and composed by Abdel Ati Amenna came 18th out of the 19 competing countries.
Said's performance of "Alemnah Al hob", on Layali Television in 1980, is credited with making her well known in Egypt. Said is known for her selectivity of both songs and accompanists, having worked with several well-known composers and lyricists. As a result, many of her songs have won critical acclaim, including "Asmar malak", "Malak moch zay aweydak", "Sayidati anissati sadati", "Ech gab li gab", "El Leila dee", "Min ghir sabab", "Amrak ajib", "Al gani Baad Yomeen", "Mosh Hatnazel Anak" and "Alf Leila wal Leila".
She continued to release material including “Aiwa Bashta’lak Sa’at” ("Yes, sometimes I miss you"), a sultry jazz track and “Oyoonak Alit” ("Your eyes say so") and Al Gani Ba’d yomein ("He came two days later").
Said's work drew upon and crossed many musical styles and genres ensuring the continued expasion of her fanbase. A significant change in direction came with the release of “Al Bal” ("On my mind"). The title track was popular in the Arab world along with other tracks such as “Halit Malal” ("Situation of Boredom") and the “Beteegee witimshee” ("You come and you go".) On the subsequent "Rohi" ("My soul") album, Said continued to collaborate with new producers and lyricists experimenting with sounds influenced by her Moroccan heritage.
In 2000, she released the single “Lailah Habibi,” ("One night, my love") which went on to win the best video award in the Arab world for 2001. The album of the same name contained ballads such as “Te’dar Te’oli” ("Can you tell me?"), jazz influenced numbers like “Malee,” ("What's it got to do with me?") and traditional Arab songs including “Beyban Alaya” ("It shows in me").
Her popularity continued to rise in 2002 with the release of “Youm Wara Youm” ("Day after Day") by the commercial “Alam El Phan” record company. The title track of the same name, is a collaboration with Cheb Mami. Launched in Virgin Megastores in Dubai and Beirut, the album went on to achieve further international recognition.
In 2003, Samira Said won a World Music Awards. The 2003 World Music Awards (15th annual 2003 World Music Awards) were held on 12 October 2003 in Monaco. Awards are given based on worldwide sales figures for that year. Samira won also the BBC Awards for world music for the best artist in the Middle East with her album 'Youm Wara Youm'. In fact, Samira Said has won more than 40 awards around the Arab World.
In the summer of 2005 Said performed at the Carthage Festival in Tunisia, singing a collection of songs in dialects varying from Moroccan to Egyptian and Lebanese. She followed this success with 'Aweeny Beek' ("Make me stronger") which had its title track shot in Barcelona (Spain) and went on to sell more than 5,600,000 copies.
In January 2006, she sang 'Kollena Ensan' ("We are all human") in French, English, and Arabic during the African Cup Of Nations in Cairo. Samira Said has significantly supported AIDS awareness in the Arab world, as well as rallying European and African stars to raise funds for earthquake victims across North Africa.
Samira has performed across the world, raising awareness of significant issues, the latest being HIV/AIDS. She performed in front of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and gave support to out-of-status immigrants in ill-served suburbs in France. She has also sung for the people of Gaza and supported a Jewish-Arab understanding. Samira Said is a proud custodian of peace and intercultural, interreligious understanding and has throughout adopted a neutral stand towards Egyptian papparazzi. She's also respected and strongly admired by her host country Egypt where she's become almost at home and to whom she has shown a lot of love, attachment and gratitude. This country has shaped her international career and has boosted her international career, rounding off her musical talents emerging since her very young age.
Diva of Arabic Music is what Samira Said Fans like to call her. This is due to her ever changing style and image in her music and appearance. Today, she is loved and respected by people from all over the Arab world from Tangiers to Damascus. She has lately been the recipient of a worldwide award in London for best singer in North Africa/ the Middle East and model humanitarian artist. In Morocco today, Samira is viewed as the strong model of womanhood that stood as a great ambassador for her country overseas. The Moroccan public admire her and respect the guts she has had to trace her gigantic paths in the Mashreq (the Eastern hemisphere of the Arab world.) After all, as Abdul Wahhab the genius composer and singer of Egypt once said in a TV interview,
"Samira is the epitome of extreme intelligence in her ability to assimilate Mashriqi singing, even though bathed in a somehow different tradition."
Samira Said has been married twice, previously to musician Hani Mhanna. She married for a second time in 1994, to an American-established Moroccan businessman, Mustapha Ennaboulssi (b. 1956). She has one son, Shady (b. 1995).
- libvoice.net. "سميرة سعيد: أنا مصرية الجنسية ومغربية الهوية". Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- Samira Said: Winner in the Middle East category by Garth Cartwright (2002
- Reporter, Al Bawaba (2006-05-09). "Samira Saeed fights terrorism". Al Bawaba (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 2009-12-12.
- Reporter, El Bashayer (2010-01-02). "Samira Said". El Bashayer (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- Garth, Cartwright (2002-02-13), Samira Said:Egypt's top female singer Text "cite news" ignored (help)
- Women of Fes: Ambiguities of Urban Life in Morocco, by Rachel Newcomb, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009 - 236 pages. ISBN 0-8122-4124-X, 9780812241242. (English)
- La religion de la vie quotidienne chez des Marocains musulmans: rites, règles et routine: de Jean-Noël Ferrié, by Jean-Noël Ferrié, KARTHALA Editions, 2004 - 242 pages. ISBN 2-84586-565-1, ISBN 978-2-84586-565-5 . (French)
- Égypte de Jean-Paul Labourdette, Dominique Auzias, by Jean-Paul Labourdette, Dominique Auzias, Petit Futé, 2007 - 472 pages. ISBN 2-7469-1972-9, ISBN 978-2-7469-1972-3. (French)
- The hustle and women and little-known writer, by Badr Ali, by Badr Ali, AIRP, 2005 - 222 pages. ISBN 9953-36-714-0, ISBN 978-9953-36-714-9. (Arabic)
- Iraqi Maqam voices of women: an analytical study of the critical technical experience of Iraqi women in singing Almqami, by Hussein Azami, by Hussein Azami, AIRP, 2005 - 316 pages. ISBN 9953-36-677-2, ISBN 978-9953-36-677-7. (Arabic)
- Songs and stories, by Karīm Irāqī, by Karīm Irāqī, Company Whites of Arts and Letters, Volume 1 de Aghānī wa-ḥikāyātuhā, Karīm ʻIrāqī - . (Arabic)
- samirasaid.net, Samira Said's Official website
- SamiraSaid.com, All about Samira Said (English)(French)(Arabic)
- Facebook.com, Samira Said's Official Facebook Page
- MySpace.com, Samira Said Myspace Site (English)
- SamiraSaid Tweets, Samira Said Tweets (English)(French)(Arabic)
- (English) Diva.vze.com
- Ayamhayati-Samirasaid.blogspot.com, Ayaam Hayati Album (English)(French)(Arabic)
- BBC.co.uk, Awards for World Music 2003: Samira Said Artist Profile BBC Radio
- BBC.co.uk, Samira Said: Youm Wara Youm, Review by Garth Cartwright, 16 November 2007, BBC
- Mazzika.tv, Mazzika Alam El Phan
- Awards 2003, Listen to the sounds of all the nominees for the BBC Awards for World Music at the BBC website