Abdelwahab Doukkali: Morocco’s Musicologist

His name is Doukkali, but contrary to what one might think, he is not from the Doukkala tribe in Chaouiya. Rather, he was born and raised in Fez and immersed himself in the morales of its inhabitants; this can be seen in his refined style, whether in the way he dresses or speaks, or in his songs choices.

Abdelwahab is our Moroccan musicologist; the one who made Moroccan song known in the East and even made the great Lebanese and Egyptian singers want to understand its words despite the difficult dialect. This can be manifested through the love of the Lebanese diva Sabah for his song “Mana illa bachar” whose recording with Sabah’s voice exists, as well as the warm welcome that the Egyptians, artists and press, gave him during his visit to Cairo in the early 1960s. It was this welcome that led him to reside for some time in Egypt, before realizing that his country needs him more. He decided to return to Morocco after reaching the peak of his glory in “Hollywood of the East”.

Abdelwahab Doukkali owes the beginning of his success to the song “Ya lghadi f’ tomobil” which entered the history of Moroccan song, after sales reached, at that time, one million records. Later, his songs and successes followed one another, making him, for half a century, a great artist in the Moroccan artistic scene. Among his famous songs are “Attoult al khali” “Souk al bachariya” which won the grand prize at the Cairo festival; “Montparnasse”, without forgetting his masterpieces “Kan ya ma kan”; “ka taajabni”; “Marsoul al houb”; “Lahla yzid ktar”; “Annadra fatnaha”; “Mawlid al qamar”; “Al walf saib”; “Hadi hya nti”; “Aini mizani”; “Biya wala bik”, among other songs that this artist composed, set to music and performed, and that popular masses, all over Morocco, hum to this day.

Abdelwahab Doukkali, whom the Vatican has honored twice, has also had some experience as an actor. He received training in this field in his youth, as was the case for drawing, which he began to focus on in recent years. He worked with the famous Maamoura group and trained in theatre before playing several roles in films such as “Al hayat kifah”, “Rimal min dahab”, “Ayna toukhabi aana achams?” and “Ayyam Shahrazade al jamila”, but all these roles remained below the level of his creativity in singing.

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