Rula in Media

Maadi messenger:The Voice of Love and Peace

Interview by: John Wahba

I met Rula’s voice and her message of peace and unity few months ago and met her face to face in the opening night of the “Caravan Festival of the Arts” event hosted by St. John’s Church. That night she was singing her song “Ahl El Ketaab”. Listening to Rula singing these lyrics: 

Our Respect for each other
Will make this a beautiful world.
By Uniting together,
we can overcome the Impossible We have to wake up... we must revise our thinking,
No matter how much we differ in Colour 
Or even in physical appearance.
In the end our Destiny is One
And our Creator is also One was a great motive to speak to Rula after the event and to do my best to introduce her to all of you.

How did your journey into music begin?
My mother discovered me singing in the bathroom at the age of 9 and took me to Dr. Raouf Zaidan, an opera singer and voice teacher, for private voice lessons. Mr. Larry Catlin, my music teacher at my school, Cairo American College (CAC), took me with him to New York when I was 12 years old to attend Crane Youth Music School, where I was awarded “Best Vocalist Award.” I consider myself lucky to have had Mr. Zaidan and Mr. Catlin as my mentors, and to have participated in the CAC choir and numerous musicals, which made me realize how much I loved to sing and perform.

 After saying goodbye to one significant chapter in my musical life, another chapter was opened: University. I applied to several universities in the United States and I received seven scholarships. I selected one of the most prestigious universities in music, Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where I studied Music, specifically Vocal Performance. There, I learned how to better utilize and strengthen my voice. 
Why are you known as “The Voice of Love and Peace” Throughout my life, I have been brought up in a family that has taught me to respect all cultures and religions. When the tragedy of 9/11 happened, my father was devastated and wanted to send a message of love and peace to the United States. He wrote the song, “Love the
World, We are One” and I performed it at the Maadi Community Church during the commemoration of 9/11. The song was included in the first album I produced, along with a cover of the song “New York, New York” in honor of the people who died there.

The album also featured songs sung in 12 different languages, including Turkish and Greek, to promote cultural unity – if not in politics, then in the beauty of music J u n e 2 0 1 2 > Maadi Messenger – and to foster an appreciation of different cultures.

 The album was given to 11 Senators from the United States and the term “The Voice of Love and Peace” started to circulate.

 Do you plan to continue singing to promote peace?

 God gave me a cherished gift – a voice that is heard and thankfully appreciated. I feel that it is my duty to use this talent in spreading peace to as many people as are willing to listen to me. I am also attracted to lyrics that have a powerful message behind them. I continue to add to 

my repertoire more songs that promote peace and unity, such as “Bil Hob Wil Salaam,” (originally a song by Tamta called: “With Love and Peace”) which I sing in Arabic, English and Greek, and my new national unity song “Ahl El Ketab”, uniting Christians and Muslems.

 The purpose of “Ahl El Ketaab,” was to create national unity and understanding between all Egyptians. We are all human beings and the world is becoming smaller and smaller, and we are all affecting each other. It is important to me that people of all faiths and cultures live peacefully, and respect and love one another. I wanted to contribute to national unity so I went to renowned composer, Khaled El Bakry, and lyricist Nader Ezzat. 

I was sad that I didn’t have a video clip, so my husband, Mohamed Soliman, sat down at the computer and produced this beautiful clip for "Ahl El Ketaab". Reverend Paul Gordon Chandler asked me to sing this song for the opening of the Caravan Festival of the Arts. He heard about it from my mother’s friend, Terry Miller, and Barbara Comar, Director of the Maadi Community Choir. I would love to do concerts around the world and sing for Love and Peace and a better world.

 When you are not singing about peace, what else do you do?
I was delighted to be selected to sing and act the voice of Disney’s Cinderella and the voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”, both in Arabic.

 I am also a PreK-KG music teacher at CAC and the BISC (British International School), and a certified Kindermusik educator, opening the first Kindermusik in Egypt, which is the best music and movement program in the United States, and now internationally!*

Maadi Messenger - J u n e 2 0 1 2