Google Doodle celebrates Sudanese oud player

17-07-2023 01:41 PM

Ammon News - Google is celebrating Sudanese composer and oud player Asma Hamza with its doodle on Monday.

The legacy of the artist is being marked on July 17 to commemorate the day she was among the winners of the Laylat Al Qadr Al Kubra music competition in Sudan in 1997. Hamza died in 2018 aged 82.

Google said: "This win was a turning point in her career and helped her gain recognition in a male-dominated field.

"Asma was born in 1932 and loved music while growing up, dreaming of one day becoming a singer. Her vocal cords, however, weren’t equipped to do that safely, so she switched from singing tunes to whistling them. When her father heard her whistle in harmony, he borrowed an oud, similar to a lute but with a thinner neck and no frets, so Asma could practice.

"She taught herself how to play songs she’d heard on the oud, from her own memory and ear for music. Her father encouraged her musical career from the start, but he was one of few. At that time, it was not socially acceptable for women to create music in Sudan; Asma recalls that the first piece she composed was in secret. As she got older, she composed more melodies for several talented Arab artists and became known as one of the first female composers in Sudan. She also continued perfecting her oud playing and became among the first formally trained woman oud players in 1946."

The doodle of Hamza can be seen across the Mena region today, in countries including Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman and the UAE.

Recent Google Doodles have celebrated Saudi novelist Abdul Rahman Munif and Egyptian actress Karima Mokhtar.

Munif was a journalist and cultural critic considered one of the most significant modern Saudi authors of the 20th century. He was remembered on May 29, on what would have been his 90th birthday.

In April, Google dedicated a doodle to English actor Alan Rickman, who died in 2016 at aged 69 after a battle with cancer. He was remembered on April 30, on the 36th anniversary of his performance in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), a Broadway play that was instrumental in launching his career in 1987.

The National News

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