Episode 59: Zohra El Fassia

Zohra El Fassia was born around 1905 near Fez, Morocco. She sang from the time she was a girl, and by the mid-20th century, she was a star. El Fassia recorded hundreds of songs for international record labels and performed regularly for the king in Rabat. When she moved to Israel in 1962, her career took a hit, but she sought out smaller venues and was soon rediscovered by younger Moroccan Israeli artists. Zohra El Fassia died in 1994. Writer and ethnomusicologist Tamar Sella tells her story for Can We Talk? and for JWA's revised and updated edition of the Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women.

Zohra El Fassia's 1950s recordings are digitized by Chris Silver at Gharamophone. Also visit Abiadi, Neta Elkayam, and Amit Hai Cohen's musical tribute to Zohra El Fassia.

Released May 11, 2021
  • Record of Moroccan musician and singer Zohra El Fassia released by Zakiphone (later Koliphone). Courtesy of Uri Wertheim.

  • Moroccan musician and singer Zohra El Fassia, c. 1950s. From Tallia Amos family album, courtesy of Tallia Amos.

  • Advertisement for performance by Moroccan musician and singer Zohra El Fassia in the pro-colonial Casablanca-based daily Le Petit Marocain on July 29, 1946.

  • An illustration of Moroccan musician Zohra El Fassia by Dotan Moreno for Neta Elkayam and Amit Hai Cohen’s Abiadi. Courtesy of Dotan Moreno.

  • Record of Moroccan musician and singer Zohra El Fassia
  •  Zohra El Fassia, c. 1950s
  • Advertisement for performance by Zohra El Fassia
  • Illustration of Zohra El Fassia by Dotan Moreno

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Episode 59: Zohra El Fassia." (Viewed on June 22, 2021) <https://jwa.org/podcasts/canwetalk/episode-59-zohra-el-fassia>.

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