Mohamed VI said he learned with great emotion the sad news of the death of Moroccan singer Hamid Zahir, in a letter addressed to the artist’s family, on Tuesday.
The monarch expressed his heartfelt condolences and sincere feelings of compassion to the family members of the deceased, friends and admirers.
The King described Zahir as “one of the pioneers of the Moroccan folk song” who contributed during several decades to the enrichment of Morocco’s artistic repertoire with high quality songs and masterpieces.
Zahir died Monday in Marrakech, his birthplace. The prominent Moroccan singer had suffered a stroke and battled with renal insufficiency, spending 10 days in the intensive care unit.
The singer and lyricist was born to a Syrian mother and a father from El Kelaa des Sraghna in central Morocco and discovered his passion for music at a young age.
His songs “Lalla Fatima” and “Lalla Souad” are some of the best-known classical Moroccan songs.
Between 1947 and 1951, Zahir began performing in Marrakech’s famous square, Jemaa El Fna, where multiple forms of art flourish, from the long-lasting storytelling genre known as “Al Halqa,” to dancing and magic performances.