The possibility of political unity, which was first mentioned in the 1940’s, has remained an unfulfilled dream for Arabs. Personified by the Egyptian president Nasser, the Six-Day War war of 1967 symbolised its failure. It is a woman, the Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum who incarnated the nostalgia of “lost unity” and gave back honour and pride to Arabs. She became “The voice of Arabs” throughout the world:  identity symbol and representative of their common cause. “Oum Kalthoum, the oriental star”, narrates how the destiny of this woman merged with Arabian destiny for some decade.

Fériel Ben Mahmoud

Fériel Ben Mahmoud is an historian and a documentary director.  The history of the Arab-Muslim world are at the heart of her work as a director. Acutely, Feriel Ben Mahmoud sensitizes the audience to the democratic aspiration of the men and women of the Arab world.

Among his documentaries are Oum Kalthoum, the star of the Orient (2008) or Tunisians on the frontline (2013) and The Revolution of Women, a century of Arab feminism (2015). She is also author of historical works, among which: Algeria in the time of the French, a century of images (2007) or Journey in the French colonial empire (2007).

Nicolas Daniel


until january first, 2012


France 3 (France)

Africa & Middle East

Egyptian Ministry of Culture (Egypt) Canal France International (French speaking Africa)