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Thekra in 2003, a few weeks before her death photographed by Miki
|Native name||? ? ?|
|Thekra Mohammed Abdullah Al Dali|
September 16, 1966|
Oued Ellil, Tunisia
November 28, 2003 (aged 37)|
|Genres||Arab pop music, Arab Tarab, Arabic music, Arabesque music, Middle Eastern music|
|Labels||Rotana, EMI, Mega Star, Golden Cassette|
Thekra Mohammed Abdullah Al Dali (Arabic: ? ? ? ; September 16, 1966 - November 28, 2003), better known as Thekra (Arabic: ?, also spelled Thikra, Zekra or Zikra, meaning a memory or memorial) was a Tunisian singer.
Thekra started performing at school. In 1980, she performed on the TV show "Fan Wa Mawahib" (Arabic: ? ), after which she joined the show's chorus. In 1983, her first recording was made, of a song composed by Abdul Hameed Khareef. In the same year, she performed at the Carthage festival.
Later she joined the vocal group section of the Tunisian Radio and TV Establishment's national band. There, she met Abdul Rahman Al Ayyadi, who composed many of her later songs. Thekra became known for her powerful voice and her ability to perform many kinds of Arabic music genres, including Qasa'ed, Muwashshah and Taarab songs.
During the 10 years before moving to Egypt, she released 30 songs in Tunisia. 28 of them were composed by Abdulrahman Al Ayyadi. Some of her successful singles in Tunisia included:
In 1990, she had an argument with Abdulrahman Al Ayyadi, who was her fiancé at the time, because he did not want any other person to compose for her. She left and joined a new group, Zakharif Arabiya (Arabic script? ).
She stayed for a while in Libya and released many songs written and composed by Libyan poets and composers including Mohammed Hassan, Ali Al Kailani, Abdullah Al Mansoor and Salman Al-Tarhooni. Her last album released in Libya was "Nafsi Azeeza", written by the poet Al-Tarhooni, which won best performance and lyrics in the Sharm el-Sheikh festival in Egypt.
After her career in Libya, she returned to Tunisia for a time, but then moved to Egypt. In Egypt, she met the musician Hani Mihanna who produced two of her albums. Wehyati Andak in 1995 was successful in the Arab world: until then she was known in the West side of the Arab world, but after that album she became widely known all over the Arab world. Mihnna also produced her second album, As'har Ma'ah Sertak, in 1997.
A few months later in 1997 she released Al Asami with a different producer and in 2000 Yana. Her last album in Egypt was Youm Aleek, released in 2003, only three days before her murder.
Her most successful singles performed in Egyptian Arabic were:
Thekra performed many songs and album in different Arab dialects including Gulf Arabic, also known as "Khaleeji".
She released many Khaleeji albums and they are:
She also performed duets with several Khaleeji singers, including with Abo Bakir Salim in the song "Mishghil Al Tafkeer", and a duet with Mohammed Abdo in 2003. She was going to perform a duet with Abdullah Al Rowaished but was killed before it could be recorded.
Her most successful singles in Gulf Arabic were:
On Friday November 28, 2003, she was murdered by her Egyptian husband, businessman Aiman Al Swaidi, who shot her four times in their home in Cairo. Aiman had also shot her secretary, business manager and then committed suicide. The Egyptian actress Kawther Ramzi, who was visiting her, was expelled by Aiman minutes after the tragedy.
After her death, many celebrities from the Arab world flew to Tunisia and Egypt to attend her funeral. Singers who performed Thekra's songs in their concerts included Asalah who performed "Elain Al Youm", Sherine who performed "Mish Kol Hob", Ghada Rajab who performed "Al Asami", Elissa who performed "Bahlam Beloqak", and Samira Said who performed "Alasami".
Latifa did not perform any of Thekra's songs, but instead recorded a Tunisian folk song called "Fi Al Ghorba" and dedicated it to her; she also dedicated her Murex d'Or award for best female singer in 2003 to her, and asked them to play a tribute to Thekra rather than about her.