Kathem El Saher: I sang for Saddam Hussein only after receiving death threats
Iraqi singer Kathem El Saher has publicly announced that he never belonged to the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein stressing that he had not been in Baghdad for over seven years, after being forbidden to enter due to orders given by Udai Hussein, son of Saddam. Kathem was banned by Udai due to the fact that he constantly refused to sing in private occasions for the ruling family.
According to the Saudi based daily, Al Riyadh, Kathem revealed that the songs he had sung for Saddam were done only after he had received death threats from Udai and was blackmailed. He added that Udai had also banned all of his songs from broadcasting on Iraqi radio and television stations, making him an outcast.
On a different note, BBC Radio 3 hosted the first Awards for World Music has announced Kathem as the winner in the Middle East and North Africa category. Kathem was competing against Algerian singers Cheb Khaled and Souad Massi, in addition to Turkish singer Mercan Dede. The official announcements of the winners will take place in Scotland on March 9, 2004, where a huge awards ceremony will held especially for the occasion.
It was noted that Kathem had also won the same award last year for his song "Me and Laila", proving that his popularity is recognized worldwide. During the award ceremony, the winner for listener's award will also be chosen, and rumors has it that Kathem is most likely to be the winner.
El Saher is in the process of preparing for the recording of his new musical album, which will include many surprises. One of the surprises of the album is a change in Kathem’s style of singing as he attributes a Lebanese accent for some of the songs. Kathem is currently working with a group of some of the most prominent poets.
Kathem’s future project is shooting the video clip for his new song “Taqouleen Alhawa”, which was written by prominent Lebanese poet Nizar Qabbani and will be directed by Mohsen Ahmad. The video clip is to be shot between Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh – Egypt, in addition to filming a second song “Hiwar Alnafs” and will be directed by Hassan Du'aibes.
El Saher expressed his deep feelings of appreciation towards his Arab Fans after his song “Hal Indaki Shakk” (Do You Have a Doubt?), was rated number one in a poll done by both BBC Arabic, and the Tunisian youth radio. –Albawaba.com
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)