Haja El Hamdaouia; the end of an iconic era

Haja El Hamdaouia, considered one of the greatest figures of Moroccan song, died at the age of 91 in a hospital in Rabat to which she had been transferred due to health complications on the 5th of April 2021.

The national Diva has announced her official retirement from all performing arts in 2020 due to her severe anemia that she has suffered from for a long time. Born in Casablanca in 1930, she began her professional singing career two decades later, becoming one of the first Moroccan women to perform in national theatres.

The artist became known by performing the genre ‘’El Aita al Marsaouia’’, one of the most popular styles of Moroccan traditional music that also involves a « call » or « cry » through which ‘’shikhat’’ sing about a cause and it was used to resist the French occupation through the lyrics at the time as well.

In addition to being a phenomenal singer, Haja El Hamdaouia was also a terrific ‘’taarija’’ and ‘’bendir’’ player and a gifted songwriter and composer, her skills made her famous worldwide through many different artistic tours that she did enchanting people with her art and colourful caftans around the globe.

some of her most iconic songs are:

  • « Ha lkass Hlou » (duo with Hamid Bouchnak).
  • « Daba Yji »
  • « Jiti majiti »
  • « Dada ou hiyani »
  • « Mal hbibi’liya »
  • « Hna mada bina »

In the last years of her life, she wished she could retire but was forced by her financial situation to continue performing to be able to afford her medical bills, a sad story that has been repeated several times with many Moroccan artists and yet continues to shock the fans of these dedicated creators of joy. 

Basma Benabdallah

Basma Benabdallah is a dynamic and passionate aspiring journalist who strives to make a positive change via her writing and to be the voice of everyone who deserves to be heard. Although she is proficient and experienced in a range of genres, her primary sources of inspiration are Culture and Society. She also enjoys photo-reporting, which she did for the first time in her professional life when she worked as a photo-reporter in India for the cause of gender equality.