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Maryem Tollar (born 1968 in Cairo, Egypt) is a Toronto-based singer who primarily sings Arabic songs.[1] She played with her own band called Mernie!.

Maryem Tollar
Cairo, Egypt
Associated actsMernie!

Born in Cairo, Maryem went to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with her parents when she was one years old in 1969. Four years later, her father began working in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, so her family moved back to the Middle East and stayed there until she graduated from The American University in Cairo. Throughout those times, Maryem always had a taste for music and sang in every school production. Her parents were originally against the idea of Maryem becoming a singer, but after university, Maryem started pursuing her dream. She first performed with Toronto-based Arab band Hot D.A.M. and later sang in Arabic for her brother's compositions. Later, she went to Syria and Egypt to further her studies and gained recognition from the Canada Council. She began receiving calls to perform with different groups as well as for recording sessions for commercials and films. Eventually, Maryem started a music group called "Mernie!" with her husband, Ernie Tollar. The band is a 10 piece ensemble while she and her husband compose all of the music and everyone in the band come from different cultural backgrounds. Together, they have made one CD so far, entitled Flowers of Forgiveness.[citation needed]

In 2007, director Liz Marshall made a Bravo!FACT funded video for the Arabic lament "Mawal Saba".[citation needed]

Maryem sung "Mayya Mayya" song for the 2007 Bollywood film, Guru, composed by A. R. Rahman.[citation needed] She also sings the theme song used in the Canadian sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie (the press kit on her website misidentifies[citation needed] the show as "Little Mosque on the Prairies").[2]


  • Book of Life album featuring Stolen Childhood and other songs


  1. ^ Jazz Times - Volume 38 Page 184 2008 "Egyptian-Canadian singer Maryem Tollar's Enya-like chants help "Europa" maintain its duel optimistic and haunting qualities."
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2009-10-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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