Latifa Bint Alaya El Arfaoui (Tunisian Arabic: لطيفه بنت عليه العرفاوي pronunciation: [ɫɑˈt̪ˤiːfæ bɪnt ʕælɛi̯jæ (e)l.ʕɑrˤˈfɛːwi]) (born February 14, 1968), better known as Latifa (لطيفة), is a Tunisian pop singer, Latifa standing for gentle in Tunisian Arabic.
Latifa Bint Alayah El Arfaoui was born in Manouba, Tunisia.
In 1983, shortly after her father died, Latifa and her family took a trip to Egypt to rest and mourn. During that time, she met composer Baleegh Hamdi, who advised her that she ought to move to Egypt for the sake of her career. However Latifa wanted to concentrate on her education. She returned to Tunisia to finish her high school final exams. Due to financial issues, she couldn’t go back to Egypt, so she attended college in Tunisia, studying Dutch literature for a year and a half. Her family decided to help her make her dream come true by sending her to Egypt, so she quit college in Tunisia and joined the Arab Academy of Music in Egypt, from which she earned her bachelor degree. She is preparing for her master’s degree.
Composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab
happened to hear her on the radio. Two days later he went to the
Academy to find out more about her, leaving Latifa speechless as she
discovered he wanted to speak with her. At the time Latifa primarily
performed long Tarab songs, but she was interested in doing something
new. She began to work with composer Ammar Al Sherai’ei and poet Abdulwahab Muhammed, whom she met during her first visit to the capital, Egypt.