Halim El Roumi
Born in Lebanon and grown up in Palestine, Halim El Roumi started his artistic life as an amateur in 1935 and then enrolled in the High Institute of Arabic Music in Egypt where he acquired his diploma in 1939. He worked in Egyptian radio station and Radio Orient until the year 1950 when he was offered a job in the Lebanese Radio Station as the head of the Music section, a job which he retained for 30 years. He helped in the development and restructuring of the Station especially through the establishment of its musical band. Halim El Roumi was the one who discovered Nuhad Hadad (Fairouz). He heard her singing in a school concert and offered her a job at the Lebanese Radio Station; that was in April 1950. He chose the name Fairouz for her and trained her until she was ready to present her first songs like "You left My Heart" (Tarakt Albi), "Love You No Matter What I See From You" (A7ibak Mahma Ashouf Minak)... He was fascinated with her voice and that was why he chose that name for her. Other than Fairouz, Halim El Roumi worked with several singers like Nasri Shamseddine, Mary Jubran, Wadih El Safi, Nour El Houda, Sabah, Souad Mohamad, Fayza Ahmed, Najat El Saghera... Besides the songs he presented in his own voice, he participated in few movies like "Moon 14" (Amar 14). Halim El Roumi passed away in 1983 at an early age of 63, after around 10 years of struggling with mellitus Diabetes; however, not until the last moment did that man surrender. He had a strong will and a deep faith and did not stop his life or quit his work; he kept on giving and producing until he died in the early 1980s.
Having a father like Halim El Roumi was not easy; on one hand he was tender, but on another hand he was so strict. So how would he be if his own daughter was thinking of becoming a singer and later on sang his own music. At first, Halim El Roumi objected his daughter's intention to become a singer, for two reasons: 1) he insisted that her education is much more important than singing and 2) he better how hard it was to be a singer. He even criticized her choice of the song she was presenting in Studio El Fan, "Ya Toyour", assuming that she was not able to perform such a hard song for Asmahan. However, as Majida mentions, he was thrilled when he heard her on TV and cried. Halim El Roumi was not easy at all with Majida when he composed the music of her song "Mothers' Melody" (Ounshoudat Al Ummahat); he worked with her on very professional bases and even was harder on her trying to teach her certain lesson, she says she is benefiting a lot from today. What did Majida inherit from Halim El Roumi? Probably, his strong will, faith, commitment, calmness, serious in work, perfectionism... Majida says that when she faces a obstacle she always remembers her father and all the pain, suffering, and problems he had been through and survived from.
What did Halim El Roumi leave for Majida? A rich archive of music and songs that Majida has been renovating and releasing in her own voice. Other than Ounshoudat Al Ummahat, Majida has presented "Scent" (3ter), "Don't Get Mad" (La Taghdabi), "Having Fun" (Salawna), "Lebanon, My Heart" (Lubnan Qalbi), "Listen to My Heart" (Isma3 Albi), "You Passed in My Imagination" (Marart Fi Khayali), "O' Darkened Eyelashs" (Ya Mka7al Rimshak), "My Blamer for Your Love" (Ya La'emi Fi Hawak), and "Mimi". Majida was the first singer in the Arab world to renew an old song in a wonderful, but yet touching, duet with the original voice; we are talking here about "Today, My lover is Back" (Al Yawm 3ada 7abibi), which joins the voice of Majida with the voice of her father, the late Halim El Roumi.
As all the other great talents in the Arab world, Halim El Roumi was not given what he deserved; his illness and early death closed the door in front of that great man to give more and present the best of him through the voice of his daughter. Majida has honored her father through singing his own songs as well as writing and presenting a special song (unrecorded) called "You Left Early" (Bakeer Falayet).
Majida missed in Halim El Roumi the father and the teacher. She missed his presence in her family and his advice and guidance in her career. The support of her husband can't be measured, but for sure the help of Halim El Roumi would have made things different, at least easier.
However, no matter where he is right now, Halim El Roumi is proud of Majida. He can rest in peace knowing that he was not wrong when he classified Majida's voice as a very unique and promising voice.
His memory will outlive in his songs and through the voice of Majida El Roumi.