Majida El Roumi

Majida El Roumi
Magida El Roumi
Birth name Magida Halim El Roumi
Born December 13, 1956 (1956-12-13) (age 54)
Origin Kfarshima, Lebanon
Genres Arabic music
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals, piano, oud
Years active Early 1970s–present

Magida El-Roumi (Arabic: ماجدة الرومي‎, also transliterated as Majida Al Roumi) was born in Kfarshima, Lebanon, on December 13, 1956. She is a Lebanese singer and a soprano, who started her musical career in the early 1970s when she participated in the talent show, Studio El Fan on Télé Liban and won the gold medal for best female singer. Since her appearance on television at the age of 16, she has become one of the most successful singers of the Arab world as well as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.



Magida El Roumi Baradhy (Arabic: ماجدة الرومي برادعي), born to musician Halim El Roumi (born Hanna El Roumi Baradhy) and wife Marie Loutfi who were a Melkite Greek Catholic couple from Tyre, a city in South Lebanon. They got married and lived in Kfarshima, they had three girls Maha, Mona, and Magida, and a boy Awad. Halim el Roumi became a musician and continued to live in Kfarshima, which was home to many Lebanese singers, musicians, poets and writers, among them Philemon Wehbi, Melhem Barakat and Issam Rajji. The residence of Halim el Roumi in Kfarshima was a meeting place for many cultural figures. Growing up in an artistic environment, Magida listened to the works of Fairuz, Umm Kulthoum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Wadi AlSafi, and Asmahan. Her vocal abilities attracted the attention of her family and neighbors. One of the early songs she sang was "Your Birth" or Miladak in reference to the birth of Jesus Christ.

Raymond Safadi, Magida's cousin, thought that she should pursue singing as a profession. The big obstacle was her father who did not want her to participate in Télé Liban's Studio el fan. Nevertheless, Magida entered the talent show, singing songs for Asmahan and Leila Mourad, like Ya Toyour, Ana Albi Dalili, and Layali El Ouns Fi Vienna. She won the gold medal. Halim El Roumi gave Magida his blessings to pursue singing as a profession as long as she continued her higher education. Magida obtained her BA in Arabic Literature from the Lebanese University.

In 1977, Magida married a businessman from Byblos, Lebanon, Antoine Dfouni who was also her manager. They had two daughters: Hala and Nour. They divorced in 2006.

Her sister's death from cancer inspired her to produce several religious albums and release a song in her memory.

Music career

Magida was one of the first modern singers to combine western classical music and Arabic classical music (tarab). Her first hit was Am Behlamak Ya Helm Ya Lebnan, written by poet Said Akl and composed by Elias Rahbani. However, the majority of her early 1970s–1980s song were oriental. In all her albums she includes patriotic songs and works by her father.

Magida's self-titled debut album was typical of 1970s Arabic pop, with traditional percussion, a string section, guitar, and keyboard. Her Lebanese patriotism is evident in songs like Nab' El Mahabbeh, which are song in Lebanese Arabic dialect. This is also true of her 1980s songs Layalina Men Layali El Omr and Ya Saken Afkari. Her first work in classical Arabic was La Taghdabi and Salawna. Magida sang a hit rendition of the Abdel Halim Hafez's El Touba in 1987.

In 1991, Magida released Kalimat, her first pan-Arab hit, under the Music Master label. The title song was written by Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani and composed by Ihsan El-Mounzer. Other songs by Qabbani were Beirut, Set Eddounia and Ma'a Jarida. Magida initiated the movement that re-popularized classical Arabic poetry in music and began to fuse East and West. 1994's Ibhath Anni followed the template set by Kalimat. Souad Al Sabah's Kon Sadiqi was about empowerment of women. Other patriotic songs were Oum Etthadda and Saqata Al Qina.

In 1996, Magida signed with the Saudi label Rotana and released Resa'al. Elie Choueiri wrote the opening title Samra' El Nile, a song for Egyptian women. Songs like Shou'oubon Men Al Oushaq and Ainaka blurred the line between what classical and Arabic music, while Lawen Ma'i El Iyam employed Magida's operatic skills and Hobbouka evoked songs from Eastern Europe. She also perform's Choueiri's song about the Qana massacre. Magida's father composed Mimi, by the Rahbani Brothers, in honor of Magida's daughter.

In 1998, Magida released her ninth official album, Ouhibbouka Wa Ba'd, working with Saudi poet Al Nasser and composer/singer Abdel Rab Idriss, who produced the title song. Tawq Al Yasmin marked Magida's fourth collaboration with Qabbani and her first with Iraqi singer/songwriter Kathem Al Saher. Salama composed three songs, Al Qalb Al Maftouh, Inta El Madi, and Sayedi El Ra'is, which was written in the form of a letter to the president. He also arranged Al Yawm Aada Habibi, a duet with her father.

After the death of her sister Maha, Magida did not sing secular music for close to a decade. In 2003, she released two religious albums titled Cithare Du Ciel and Erhamni Ya Allah. She sang a special rendition of the song "Ave Maria."

In 2006, she signed for an album with Good News Production that spoke to a younger audience. "E'tazalt El Gharam" (I Quit Love) was released with a video directed by Nadine Labaki. Magida worked with many new names, like singer/songwriter Marwan Khoury as well as musicians Jean-Marie Riachi and Claude Chalhoub. The new musicians updated Magida's style while keeping the old-world charm. Melhem Barakat composed the title song. Said Akl contributed "Sawfa Nabqa", an ode to Lebanon. Composers Ihsan El Mounzer, Joseph Khalifa and Kamal Saiqali put Gibran Khalil Gibran's words to music for Magida in "Nashid Lel Hob." "Nashid El Zafaf" is a rendition of Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" with congratulatory lyrics by Magida herself. Magida sang "Ma Rah Ez'al A Shi" (I Won't Feel Sad Over Anything) at the annual 2008 Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon.

She wrote the lyrics of Bokra "Tomorrow", a charity single that was released on 11/11/2011 at 11:11PM, the single will distribute the proceeds of its donations to various organisations, institutions and charities with arts and culture programs. The eight minute song was recorded by Shakira, Rim Banna, Akon, Tamer Hosni, Diana Karazon, Marwan Khoury, Latifa, Souad Massi, Hani Mitwassi, Saber El Roba3i, Kathem El Saher, Wa3ed, Sherine and other Arab Artists. It was produced by Quincy Jones and RedOne. More information about the song can be found on

Her Latest album "Ghazzal" is set to be released on the 18th of December 2011.


In 1976, Magida starred in Youssef Chahine movie Awdat Al Ibn Al Dal (The Return of the Prodigal Son) providing also 3 soundtracks for the movie. Chahine introduced her as 'the Voice of the 20th Century' and received the 'Egyptian Critics Award'.

Magida has performed at festivals in Beiteddine, Jerash, Bosra and Carthage, and appeared at the Cairo Opera House several times, in addition to The Roman theater of Marina, Alexandria. Magida has also performed as Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall and Hunter College in New York City [1] as well as the Place des Arts in Montreal, Fox Theatre (Detroit, Michigan), the Paris Olympia, Palais des Congrès de Paris, Athens Concert Hall in Greece and the Royal Albert Hall in London. In December 2006, Magida performed "Light The Way", a duet with the international opera star, José Carreras at the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Games in Doha.[2] In 2009, she performed "Nous sommes les amis du monde", a duet with Youssou N'dour, on the inauguration of the "Jeux Olympiques de la Francophonie" in Beirut, Lebanon.

Public positions

Magida El Roumi was appointed an ambassador for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on World Food Day, October 16, 2001 in an official ceremony in Rome, Italy.[3] She has participated in numerous round-table discussion on the role of FAO ambassadors in helping the Organization combat world hunger. As FAO ambassador, Majida inaugurated the First Annual Agricultural Week in Lebanon and dedicated the book prepared by FAO Sanabel El Kheir on November 8, 2005 during an official ceremony to celebrate World Food Day 60th Anniversary at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.[4]



  • Wadaa (The goodbye) (1977)
  • Live Recordings (1982)
  • And the Children (1983)
  • Dawi Ya Amar (1987) released in Egypt
  • Ya Saken Afkari (1988)
  • Kalimat (1991)
  • Ibhath Anni (1994)
  • Rasa'el (1996)
  • Ouhibbouka Wa Baad (1998)
  • Cithare Du Ciel (Qitharat Al Sama') (2003)
  • Erhamni Ya Allah (2003)
  • E'tazalt El Gharam (2006)

Egyptian Songs: Remakes

  • La Mush Ana Elli Abki (Mohammad Abdel Wahab) – originally sang by Abdel Wahab
  • Ana koulli magoul al-touba (Lyrics: Abdel Rahman El-Abnoudi / Music: Baligh Hamdi) – originally sang by Abdel Halim Hafez
  • Ba7lef bi Samaha (Lyrics: Abdel Rahman El-Abnoudi / Music: Kamal Al-Tawil) – originally sang by Abdel Halim Hafez
  • Layali Al-ouns bi Vienna (Music: Farid Al-Atrach) – originally sang by Asmahan
  • Ya Touyour (Music: Al-Kassabji) – originally sang by Asmahan
  • Emta 7a te3raf – originally sang by Asmahan
  • Ana Albi Dalili (Music: Al-Kassabji) – originally sang by Leila Mourad


  • The Golden Cedar, Lebanon, 1988
  • National Order of the Cedar (Knight), Lebanon, 1994
  • The Médecines Sans Frontières Shield
  • Le Bouclier de l'information et de la culture / Algerian Shield of Culture, Algeria, 2005
  • The Shield of Honour from the Syrian Ministry of Culture, Syria
  • The Shield of Honour from Jordan
  • The Shield of Honour from Morocco
  • The Shield of Honour from Tunis, 2010
  • The Shield of Honour from Lebanon - Order of the Cedars, 2011


External links

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