x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Frozen into the winning Madonna position

Which lucky reader won our great Madonna ticket giveaway?

Feda Isam, left, and her sister Afraa. Christopher Pike / The National
Feda Isam, left, and her sister Afraa. Christopher Pike / The National

Most Madonna fans have one particular song that evokes memories from a certain period in their lives.

Feda Isam's most-loved tune may not have done her any favours in school, but it did help her realise that the Queen of Pop has devotees in the most unexpected places.

The 24-year-old librarian from Abu Dhabi was thrilled this week to find out The National's arts&life editors judged hers the winning entry to the department's Madonna ticket giveaway contest, earning her two spots in the Golden Circle to see the artist's show tomorrow on Yas Island.

As part of her winning entry, Isam, who is Sudanese but who has lived in the UAE all her life, recalled a time at school about a decade ago when her class were given an English exam.

One question asked students to describe a difficult situation they had faced and how they'd coped with it. Stumped, Isam found herself jotting down the lyrics to a haunting electro ballad from Madonna's 1998 Ray of Light album.

In her entry, Isam wrote: "I was one of the few lucky kids that had an mp3 player. It was so cool back then and I kept on playing Madonna's song Frozen 24/7 … I couldn't get the song out of my head so I ended up writing the lyrics on the exam with a minor modification. I never thought I would be caught, until we got our exam papers back and mine had the word "FROZEN" in big letters instead of my grade!"

Even worse, when Isam's parents found out, they took her mp3 player away as punishment.

"It was a huge shock for me when I received the paper back," explained Isam last week. "[My teacher] was quite old and didn't seem to be the type who would be a fan of Madonna."

Isam plans to take her older sister Afraa to the gig with her tomorrow night.

"I like so many of her songs, but if she plays Frozen in Abu Dhabi that will be a special moment for me," she said.

"Especially as because without that song, I wouldn't be at the show!"