It is difficult to say who is the most significant cultural figure in the U.S. There are many choices and all are good, Elvis, Sinatra, Babe Ruth, Mohamed Ali, or John Wayne. It gets even harder as younger Americans are not as familiar with these icons. It would be even harder to say who is the most significant cultural figure in the Western world, add in the Beatles or one of the big soccer stars. What is interesting about the Middle East is that it is not difficult. Hands down it is Umm Kulthum. She is known as the voice of Egypt, but really, she sings to all the Arab world to all young and old. Her concerts on the first Thursday of the month shut down everything so people could listen. More than any other person, she brought the Arab world together.