Oum Kalthoum may easily be Egypt's most important singer, period. More beloved than most Americans can even comprehend, Kaltoum's songs defined one of the most tumultuous periods in Egyptian history, as the country made its transition from British rule to freedom and self-governance. Singing in classical Arabic, Kaltoum began performing -- dressed as a boy -- at an early age to supplement her family's income. She went on to wide fame in the Arab world, interpreting songs with such passion, depth and finesse that crowds begged her to sing a single line repeatedly, sometimes for hours. To this day, Kaltoum's songs pervade Egypt, somewhat like Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. A true find on the Internet.