A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nostalgia to Start the Week: King Farouq Marries Queen Farida, 1938

I used to end the week with a nostalgia post; let's start this week with one: a newsreel of King Farouq's marriage to Safinaz Zulfiqar, renamed Queen Farida in 1938. (Farouq's father, King Fuad I, liked his own initial so much he gave all his children names beginning with "F"; Farouq not only did the same with his four children but even renamed his first wife. His second wife would keep her birth name of Nariman, however.) Farida bore Farouq three daughters; he divorced her in 1948 and married Nariman Sadek in 1951. She bore his son and heir, Ahmad Fuad, to whom Farouq abdicated at the time of the 1952 revolution. The infant Fuad II was technically the last King of Egypt until the monarchy was abolished in 1953.

The march music providing the soundtrack of this video is the Royalist National Anthem of the era, in use from 1936 until about 1960 (with changed words after 1952), and one of at least four, perhaps more, tunes that have served as Egypt's national anthem. This one has a bit of notoriety since the large number of British troops in Egypt during World War II heard it played at the end of cinema presentations and put their own words to it. words unflattering to Egyptians, to Farida and Farouq, and also grossly obscene, sexist, racist, imperialist, and offensive in other ways, not to mention carrying lèse-majesté to new heights. (Typical soldier stuff in other words.)  I won't mar the wedding festivities below by quoting them here (that's what Google is for: search for "The Ballad of King Farouk and Queen Farida," or similar titles). And don't say I didn't give you fair warning how many ways it's offensive. Perhaps a post for another time.

Embedded from the Misr al-An wa Zaman ("Egypt today and in the past") nostalgia Facebook site. Not sure if the link will work if you don't have a Facebook account, but let's give it a try.

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