Umm Kulthum needs no introduction - along with the call to prayer, her magnanimous voice has reliably been one of the few daily constants across the Arab worlds' sonic landscapes over the past century. From Aleppo to Alexandria, Baghdad to Beirut and Cairo to Casablanca, in 1934 and for the following forty years her live broadcasts on the first Thursday of each month would see streets and workplaces deserted as millions rushed home to tune in; Umm Kulthum triumphantly became the beating pulse of a new post-colonial Arab world order, and the embodiment of Egypt's cultural renaissance. Perhaps most remarkably, she spearheaded the remoulding of gender norms across the Middle East by setting an example of what dignified, perseverant and unabashedly Arab women can go onto achieve - she was incredibly business-savvy, actively engaged in public circles at the highest levels, and firmly devoted to her career over traditional family life. Her formidable presence extended to her fervent voice - being a contralto and in all her glory, she would stand at least three feet away from a microphone when singing. Her exalted tone and mastery of Maqaamat (Arabic melodic scales) allowed her to sing intricately layered Arabic poetry while evoking in listeners, be they peasants or aristocrats, a trance-like state of Tarab or rapturous enchantment where time and space dissolved into the music.