FaceOf: Talal Maddah, a Saudi musician, composer and singer

The "golden throat", Talal Maddah. (Supplied photo)
Updated 06 August 2018
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FaceOf: Talal Maddah, a Saudi musician, composer and singer

Talal Maddah was a Saudi musician, composer and singer hugely popular across the Middle East for his melodious voice and heart-touching music.

He was known as the “golden throat” for his singing talent. In Saudi Arabia, he was fondly called “The Earth’s Voice.” 

Maddah left an indelible mark on the Arabic culture and music of the 20th century. He was known for playing the Oud, a stringed musical instrument popular in the Middle East and North Africa.

Due to his talent for playing the Oud, Egyptian musician Mohammed Abdel Wahab gave him the title “Ziryab.” Ziryab was the chief entertainer in the Court of Cordoba and a great musician of his time who played a key role in developing medieval Eastern music.

Talal Maddah honored by Google on his 78th birthday

Maddah was born on Aug. 5, 1940, in Makkah. He began his career in the late 1950s with the release of his first album “Wardak Ya Zaree Al-Ward” (Grower of Roses), which was the first Saudi emotional song to be aired on Saudi Radio. 

He also starred in a movie “Fog Street” (1965) alongside Lebanese singer Sabah, and was also the first to perform on Saudi television, and the first Saudi to broadcast his songs from London, Damascus, Cairo, Germany, the Netherlands, Prague, Moscow, and other countries.

He worked on more than 80 albums and composed the songs of top Arab singers, including Mohammed Abdo, Warda Algerian, Faiza Ahmed, Samira Said, Raja Belmalih, Abadi Al-Jawhar, and Etab.

The Saudi singer passed away in August 2000 at the age of 60. He died of cardiac arrest during a live television performance on national TV. 

On Sunday, Google celebrated the 78th birth anniversary of Maddah with a special Google Doodle displayed to Google users in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and much of the Middle East and North Africa.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 28 min 18 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”