Cultural icon Damari in serious condition

Fabled singer Shoshana Damari was in serious condition on Sunday at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center suffering from severe pneumonia. However, her doctors, headed by Prof. Patrick Sorkin - head of the general intensive care unit - said there was some room for hope, as she had begun to react to treatment. At 82, Shoshana Damari is a symbol for an entire era of Israeli culture, during which the local music scene was born and matured. Born in Yemen, Damari came here as a two-year-old child in 1925, and began performing in radio skits and theatrical performances as a young adolescent. In 1945, Natan Alterman wrote Damari the song "Anemones," which became her signature hit. Damari's first record was released in 1948. Over the following decades, her voice stood for the voice of a land in the process of renewal, full of optimism and hope. In the early years of the state, the singer - who was renowned for her beauty - first brought the flavor of Middle Eastern music and its guttural pronunciation to mainstream Israeli culture. Together with Yaffa Yarkoni, Damari was also considered to be the quintessential singer for soldiers, for whom she performed in times of both war and peace during the 1960s and '70s. In the mid-'80s, Damari returned to the limelight singing a duet with Boaz Sharabi. More recently, she collaborated on several songs with the singer and composer Idan Raichel. Damari is receiving activated protein C, which is found in too-small quantities in patients suffering from infectious diseases, as well as antibiotics, in an effort to reverse the collapse of bodily systems that began on Saturday. Sorkin said that she was showing some response, but that it was not yet certain that her life could be saved.