Om Kulthoum's necklace to be auctioned

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LONDON: An antique necklace with some 1,888 pearls that belonged to music icon Om Kulthoum will go up for auction next month, Christie s said Monday.

The nine-row necklace is expected to fetch $120,000 when it goes for sale in Dubai, the auctioneer said.

Christie s is thrilled to be offering this historic jewel from one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, said David Warren, Christie s director of jewelry Middle East.

Om Kulthoum was born in 1904 in Egypt s Nile Delta and learned to sing from her father, a village imam. She made her first recordings in the mid-1920s and by the 1930s, she was already at the top of Cairo s music scene.

Her emotive sound transfixed audiences across the Arab world. One of her songs even served as Egypt s national anthem between 1960-1979.

An active fundraiser and outspoken supporter of Arab causes, she traveled throughout the Middle East, where she was received by heads of state.

Millions lined the streets of Cairo after her death in 1975.

Christie s spokeswoman Clare Roberts said Om Kulthoum received the necklace in the early 1970s from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the United Arab Emirates president from 1971 until 2004.

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