Immigration Minister Nabila Makram met with the youngest Egyptian opera singer from Vienna, Austria, Egyptian Maryam Tahoun, 16, to celebrate her success and discuss her participation and the promotion of the presidential initiative “Etkallem Araby” (speaks Arabic).
Makram welcomed the young girl and her father, Islam Tahoun, and expressed pride in her achievement, setting an example to follow and adding a new balance to Egyptian excellence in the artistic field and the gentle forces of the Egypt which consolidate its global position.
Makram also invited Tahoun to participate in the “Etkallem Araby” presidential initiative, as she is one of the second and third generations of Egyptian immigrants abroad. She praised her as an ideal role model to promote the initiative as an Egyptian born and raised abroad and having not given up on speaking in her mother tongue.
She pointed out that the initiative aims to deal with the loss of identity of many expatriate children and to consolidate the spirit of patriotism in the hearts of Egyptian children residing abroad.
Tahoun expressed his great joy at the minister’s desire to meet her, stressing that Egypt enjoys a high artistic reputation in the world and that the Egyptian political leadership represented by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spares no effort to nurture Egyptian talent in Egypt and abroad.
Tahoun also welcomed the participation in the initiative, declaring: “I am proud of my Egyptology and my national language, which I want to speak all the time, even though I was born and raised in Austria”, agreeing to give any support to the initiative.
Tahoun spoke about her upbringing and her journey playing music and singing opera. She was born in Vienna and started learning the guitar at the age of three.
She then learned to play the piano, which marked a major turning point in her life, as her teacher convinced her that she had a good voice and that she had to join the school choir.
When Tahoun reached the age of eleven, she joined the Austrian opera tests and passed all with distinction, becoming the first Egyptian and the youngest member of Austrian opera. She has also won several awards in international competitions, the most recent of which was at the Moscow International Online Music Competition in February.
Edited translation of Al-Masry Al-Youm