(829 words)

Asmahān (Āmāl al-Aṭrash, ca. 1912–44, whose stage-name means “sublime” in Persian) was a famous Egyptian singer and actress of Syrian descent. In her short life she recorded more than 40 songs and appeared in two movies, quickly becoming one the most well-known and controversial singers of her time. Her emancipated life as an independent and glamorous woman and the challenge she posed to traditional gender roles reflected the social and political contradictions in Egypt and the wider Middle East…

Cite this page
Abbani, Diana, “Asmahān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 23 July 2018 <>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 9789004335745, 2017, 2017-5

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