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LATIFA BINT ALAYAH



Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui
(Arabic: لطيفه بنت عليه العرفاوي‎) (born February 14, 1968 in Manouba, Tunisia), better known as Latifa (لطيفة), is an Arab pop music singer, Latifa standing for gentle in Arabic.



Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui began her career at a very young age as a prodigy at the age of six.



In 1983, shortly after her father died, Latifa and her family took a trip to Egypt to rest and mourn. During that time, she met composer Baleegh Hamdi, who advised her that she ought to move to Egypt for the sake of her career. However Latifa wanted to concentrate on her education. She returned to Tunisia to finish her high school final exams. Due to financial issues, she couldn't go back to Egypt, so she attended college in Tunisia, studying Dutch literature for a year and a half. Her family decided to help her make her dream come true by sending her to Egypt, so she quit college in Tunisia and joined the Arab Academy of Music in Egypt, from which she earned her bachelor degree. She is preparing for her master's degree.





Composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab happened to hear her on the radio. Two days later he went to the Academy to find out more about her, leaving Latifa speechless as she discovered he wanted to speak with her. At the time Latifa primarily performed long Tarab songs, but she was interested in doing something new. She began to work with composer Ammar Al Sherai'ei and poet Abdulwahab Muhammed, whom she met during her first visit to the capital, Egypt.




Many of Latifa's early albums (1984s) have Arab style. The album Mesa Al Jamal ("Evening Of Beauty") made Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui famous in Egypt. "Akthar Min Roohi" ("More than My Soul"), was released in 1986. She began singing Arab pop songs with music by Ammar Al Sherai'ei and lyrics by Abdulwahab Muhammed. The album was hugely successful all over the Arab world. The songs had very original ideas and distinctive styles, and Latifa began making her songs shorter and adding different influences such as tango music. She also shot a music video for the single "Ew'ah Tegheer" ("Don't Be Jealous") which was extremely popular. The huge success of this album allowed Latifa Bint Alayah Al Arfaoui to buy half the shares of her producer's company and studio, La Reine. Since then, she has co-produced all her own albums and music videos. Hobbak Hadi ("Frigid Love") was released in 1993. In the title song, Latifa asks directly for more love because she is bored of her lover's "frigid" love; she needs love that moves her.



In 1997, Latifa released the album Al Ghinwa ("The Song") considered follow up to "Akthar Min Roohi" from a previous album. Latifa then decided to perform a new style of songs called Qasa'ed Fos'ha. Her next album, 1998's Taloomoni Al Donya ("The World Blames Me"), featured Latifa singing lyrics written by the poet Nizar Qabbani. Latifa came back with a hit album, known in the Arab world with the title Wadeh ("Clear") and internationally known with the title Inchallah ("God willing") in 1999. The album was distributed by Universal Music France, and it was the first album in which Latifa performed in another language. The Franco-Arab song "Inchallah" made the Elle Magazine top 5. In the Arab World, "Inchallah" ("God willing"), Kerehtak ("I Hated You") and Wadeh ("Clear") were popular singles.



The 2002 variety album Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms II featured Latifa performing an Arab Mawwal in the song "Take Me I'm Yours," and singing a small part in both Arabic and English with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of the band Squeeze. Latifa won the World Music Award 2004 for best selling artist in the Middle East and North Africa because of the album Ma Etrohsh Ba'ed ("Don't go away") produced in the year 2003 by Alam El Phan(Mazzica TV). Her speech was censored on ABC when she said, "My happiness remains incomplete until Palestine & Iraq are freed". In 2004, Latifa produced an album distributed by Warner Brothers France, titled Les Plus Belles Chansons De Latifa ("Latifa's Best Songs"). Although the album was mostly a collection of greatest hits, it also featured a brand-new Raï song called "Khalleoni" ("Let Me") that was Latifa's first attempt at Raï.In November, 2006 Latifa re-signed a contract with Rotana to distribute her records all over the Arab World.



In 2001 Latifa played a lead role in the film Sokoot Ha Ensawwar ("Silence... We're Rolling"), directed by Youssef Chahine. She also starred in the play Hokom Al Roa'yaan ("Reign of the Shepherds") in 2004 written by Mansour Rahbani. In 2007 she appeared in the seventh episode of the Arabic version of ER known as Lahazat Harega starring as her self.









LATIFA BINT ALAYAH PROFILE

Birth date: February 14, 1961.

Country: Tunisia.

Number of released albums: 21.

Best-selling albums: "Hobbak Hadi", "Talomoni El Donya", "Ma Wahashtaksh", "Ana Ma Atnesish", "Wadeh", "Ma Trouhsh Be'id".

Most popular songs: "Hobbak Hadi", "Bahebb Fi Gharabak", "Ya Sidi Massi", "Ma Wahashtaksh", "Estehala", "Ana Ma Atnesish", "Tani We Talet We Rabe'", "Talomoni El Donya", "Ya Ghaddar", "Wadeh", "Inchalla", "Kerehtak", "Ma Trohsh Be'id", "Benoss El Jaw", "Shofto Be'ini", "Ammenli Bait", "Fel Kam Youm Elli Fato".

Latest album: "Fel Kam Youm Elli Fato" (2008).

Current record label: "Rotana".





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