Lebanon, UAE
MusicThe Arts

Daughter of Fayrouz Documents Performance in Sharjah 1979

We all know her as Fayrouz, but she was born Nuhad Rizq Wadīʿ Ḥaddad, 1935 in Jabal al Arz, Lebanon. The woman who was the voice of Arab music for years gained her stardom after growing up in a shared kitchen listening to the radio. She took on the stage name of Fayrouz and went on to meet the Rahbani brothers, marrying one of them, Assi Rahbani.

In 1952, at the young tender age of 17, the Rahbani brothers began composing songs for her, including her first international hit, ‘Itab (Reproaches), which catapulted her to stardom across the Arab world! Fairouz had four children:  Ziad Rahbani  (زيد الرحباني), Layal Rahbani  (ليال الرحباني), Hali Rahbani and Reema Rahbani (ريما الرحباني).

She was a rolling stone after that. Piercing the hearts of many Arabs, most of her songs expressed longing and the power of love. Songs like Habaytak Bissayf (I Loved You in Summer) and Kifak Inta (How are you) expressed powerful emotions to her listeners, making them feel as if her feelings were their own.

During her illustrious career, Fayrouz has performed all across the globe. Widely admired by the Arab world till this day, she possesses an astonishing repertoire of around 1,500 songs. In loving memory of her father’s death, Reema put together a video of her mother’s performance in Sharjah, 1979.

Reema was 13 years old at the time, following her parents around with her small camera that recorded with no sound. Capturing rare and never-before-seen footage of that sensitive time, she painstakingly put together this video by adding voice clips to the visual. The video has over 22,000 views on her official Youtube channel and she captioned it on Facebook,

“To commemorate your 30th year in passing, Music Day and Father’s Day, greetings can only be from you to yourself.” (“بِذِكراك الثلاثين وعيد المُوسيقى وعيد الأَب التَحيّة مَا فيها (لا يمكن أن) تكُون إلا منَّك إلَك”)

With the lyrics of her late husband that mingle in our minds, Fayrouz is a musical legend and her star shines far brighter than our TV and computer screens. She is the one and only Fayrouz, and the Arab world will preserve her memorable music to the fullest.

Enjoy the music and don’t forget to leave a smile 🙂 !

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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