22-10-2017 04:15 PM

Mary Fikry

To mark the 30th anniversary of her passing away, the French Institute of Egypt celebrated Dalida, her life, films, and songs, re-living her spectacular journey during her 54-year life rom 1933 to 1987. Entry to the three-day event was free of charge.

On its website, the institute posted: “Who’s not danced to 7elwa Ya Baladi at least a dozen times at parties during the past couple of decades if not more? Few artists have had the massive international appeal as the icon Dalida has. She’s an indispensable household name in Egypt, the Middle East and indeed, across the world.”

The French Institute of Cairo indulged in the world of Dalida by hosting an exceptional three-day mini-festival in loving memory of the Egyptian-Italian diva. Though she was born and raised in Cairo after her parents immigrated from Italy, she spent most of her career in France. Nevertheless, in her spectacular uniqueness, she sang in 10 different languages.

The first day of the event looked back on Dalida’s life, screening the breathtaking and much anticipated 2016 biopic of her moving life story by French director Lisa Azuelos. The film is in French but was shown with Arabic subtitles.

Day two memorialised Dalida the actress, less known than the singer. One of her earliest roles, the 1955 Niazi Mustafa’s A Glass and a Cigarette was shown, also her last film by legendary Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine, the 1986 Sixth Day. Both Arabic-language films were subtitled in French.

On the third and final day, Dalida’s fabled voice was remembered by Dalia and Lily Farid, who gave performances of her heartwarming songs. The audience was then be treated to a touching tribute to the vocalist by the Egyptian band Faironolia. Ending the celebration was a rendition by Dina al-Gharib.

Watani International

22 October 2017

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