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VIDEO: Omar Offendum – “The Fortuneteller” //

03.12.10
bySeif Al-Din

What Omar Offendum has done with this song (off his upcoming album SyrianamericanA) is brilliant. Not only has he translated and interpreted one of Nizar Qabbani’s greatest poems (originally sung by Abdel Halim Hafez), he did so with depth. If you’ve ever been asked to translate the meaning of a classical Arabic song to English, you’ve no doubt traveled the tripped-up path that is trying to explain the un-explainable. What takes one or two words in Arabic can take 10 or 20 in English. And it almost always sounds corny. But not here. Props to Omar — he’s touched the untouchable, preserved it’s spirit and given it a new life that will no doubt take it to new places and new ears.

Read the original poem >>

And here’s Abdel Halim singing the original:



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