Born and bred in Alexandria, Donia Massoud left for Cairo at the age
of 21, alone and independent, to the outrage and chagrin of her
family. After a number of experiences on stage, both singing and
acting, Massoud began a three-year journey searching for and
documenting folk poetry and music. She traveled the length and breadth
of the country, from Suez to Upper Egypt, to learn and study the
musical repertoires of ordinary people.
On her return, she founded her own independent troupe of musicians,
with whom she now tours Europe, Asia and Africa performing Egyptian
folkloric songs. She also joined both the Fathi Salama group and Al-
Warsha troupe, which gave her a way to be in touch with local
All she has to do is step on stage, alone, and she takes on a very
special character of her own -- a style she herself describes as "a
coquettishness reminiscent of Shadia and Soaad Hosni [two legends of
Egyptian cinema] as they were in the 1940s and 1950s."
Excerpts from an article by Mustafa El-Menshawy, in Al Ahram weekly,
30 December 2004 - 5 January 2005 issue.