Bahlam Beek – Abd Al-Halim

After reading Stokes’ paper on Abd Al-Halim, I decided to search for some of his videos on YouTube (I’ll admit it — he’s a stud muffin). I had seen Abd Al-Halim in a film before but, as far as I remember, nothing mentioned in the Stokes’ paper seemed to
apply to that particular film — and then I found this. This scene is from Hikyat Hob (A Love Story) and before he even begins to sing, all I can see is the microphone in the scene.

There were two things I thought of as I listened to him sing ever so beautifully. One: Even though he is in a setting with people closely huddled around him, he still uses a microphone. You might think that in such a situation, one might simply sing to the crowd, but no — not Abd-Al Halim. Two: As he begins to sing, an invisible orchestra suddenly plays along with him. This reminds me of what Stokes’ mentioned about the power of the microphone; When Abd Al-Halim sings with a microphone, he is the sole focus and we lose sight of the orchestra. While no orchestra was present in this scene to begin with, I definitely think that it indicates their presence as the “background” that is heard by not seen.

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1 Response to Bahlam Beek – Abd Al-Halim

  1. I have similar reactions after watching this clip. Stokes talks about the necessity of the microphone for Abd Al-Halim because of his quiet intimate voice. But in a movie like this, the song was probably recorded at a different time and the microphone probably was not a “necessity.”

    However, it seems as though the microphone becamse almost like a trademark to Ad Al-Halim and as his career progressed, something seemed missing if he did not have a microphone. I agree that when he grabs the microphone, it almost forces the audience to turn all attention completely on him and more-so than if he did not have one.

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