Lately, Saudi cultural channel Al-Thaqafiya TV, aired an ad about the return of legendary star of the orient Om Kalthoum to Saudi Arabia. This is after 45 years of her passing away.
It might have seemed odd at first, but the ad then goes to explain Om Kalthoum will be represented in a hologram on stage but with a real orchestra playing her songs.
The ad shows Om Kalthoum rising up from the middle of smoke-filled stage while singing one of her most famous hits “Hayyart Albi Ma’ak”.
Translation: “After 43 years of the death of Kawkab Al Sharq [Star of the Orient], an art company announced the organizing of a musical concert in Saudi Arabia using the hologram technology.”
While it is still unclear who is the organizing company, Saudis across the Kingdom have welcomed this initiative as part of the cultural transformation taking place Saudi Arabia, where cinemas, musical concerts and theaters have recently opened their doors.
Translation: “I am pretty sure it will be a great event. Rest in peace Om Kalthoum.”
Few hours later, hashtag: أم كلثوم في السعودية “Om Kalthoum in Saudi Arabia” went viral with split opinion between surprise and irony.
Translation: “I swear I thought she was dead.”
The ad also captured the imagination of social media bloggers. With many people mocking the TV ad that says: “Om Kalthoum Returns to Saudi Arabia”.
Translation: “A leaked video from the rehearsal for the Star of the Orient.”
Starting from October 2017 Thaqafiya TV began airing concerts of the Egyptian legend Om Kalthoum at midnight for the first time in 30 years. It was seen as one of the major changes taking place in the conservative Kingdom.
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