Fairuz

Fairuz

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Nouhad Wadi Haddad (born November 21, 1935), famously known as Fairuz is a Lebanese
Lebanese people
The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

 singer who is widely considered to be the most famous living singer in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 and one of the best known of all time. Her songs are constantly heard throughout the region, and still spark Lebanese national pride.

She was first noticed at the International Festival of Baalbek, where she performed many of her songs. She became famous after appearing on the "Lebanese Nights" part of the festival for many successive years.
Fairuz is commonly known as "Ambassador to the Stars" and "Neighbor to the Moon".

1935-1950s - The early years



See Timeline of Fairuz
Timeline of Fairuz
This is the timeline of Lebanese artist Fairuz :-1935-1950s:1935* November 21, Nouhad Haddad is born in 'Jabal Al Arz' village, Lebanon to Wadi Haddad and Lisa El Boustani.1946...

.
Nouhad Haddad was born on 21 November 1935 in , Lebanon into a Syriac-Maronite family. The family later moved into a home in cobblestone alley called 'Zuqaq el Blatt' in Beirut. Living in a single room of a typical Lebanese stone house facing Beirut's Patriarchate school, they shared a kitchen with the neighbours. Her father Wadīʿ was from Mardin
Mardin
Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for its Arabic-like architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria.-History:...

 and of the Syriac Orthodox
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

 faith, and worked as a typesetter in a print shop. Lisa, her mother, stayed home and took care of her four children, Nouhad, Youssef, Hoda and Amal.

Nouhad was a shy child and did not have many friends at school. However, she was very attached to her grandmother who lived in Debbieh (Shuf area), where Nouhad used to spend her summer holidays. Nouhad seemed to enjoy the rural village life. During the day, Nouhad would help her grandmother with house chores and fetch fresh water from a nearby water spring. She would sing all the way to the spring and back. In the evening, Nouhad would sit by the candlelight with her grandmother, who would tell her stories.
By the age of ten, Nouhad was already known at school for her unusual singing voice. She would sing regularly during school shows and on holidays. This was how she came to the attention of Mohammed Fleyfel, a well known musician and a teacher at the Lebanese Conservatory
Conservatoire Libanais
Le Conservatoire libanais national supérieur de musique or The Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music was founded in the 1930s by Wadih Sabra, composer of the national anthem of Lebanon. Sabra's goal was to establish an institute of higher learning for music. The Conservatoire, which is...

, who happened to attend one of the school's shows in February 1950. Impressed by her voice and performance, he advised her to enroll in the conservatory
Conservatory
Conservatory may refer to the following:*Conservatory , a large, highly detailed residential solarium or a greenhouse where plants are cultivated*Music school or a school devoted to other arts such as dance...

, which she did. At first, Nouhad's conservative father was reluctant to send her to the conservatory; however, he eventually allowed her to go on condition that her brother accompany her. That having been said, Nouhad's family as a whole encouraged her in her musical career.

Mohammed Fleyfel took a close interest in Nouhad's talent. Among other things, he taught her to recite verses from the Koran (in the Recitative style known as Tajweed). On one occasion, Nouhad was heard singing by Halim el Roumi, head of the Lebanese Radio Station and a prominent musician in his own right (also the father of the famous Lebanese singer Majida Roumi). Roumi was impressed by her voice and noticed that it had a rare flexibility that allowed her to sing both Arabic and Western modes admirably. At Nouhad's request, El Roumi appointed her as a chorus singer at the radio station in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and went on to compose several songs for her. He chose for her the stage name Fairuz, which is the Arabic word for turquoise
Turquoise
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl648·4. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue...

.

A short while later, Fairuz was introduced to the Rahbani brothers
Rahbani brothers
The Rahbani Brothers , Assi Rahbani and Mansour Rahbani , were Lebanese composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights/dramatists, philosophers, and poets...

, Assi and Mansour, who also worked at the radio station as musicians.,and they discoverd her talent, The chemistry was instant, and soon after, Assi started to compose songs for Fairouz, one of which was 'Itab (the third song he composed for her), which was an immediate smash hit in all of the Arab world, establishing Fairuz as one of the most prominent Arab singers on the Arabic music scene. Assi and Fairuz were married on 23 January 1955.

Fairuz and Assi had four children: Ziad
Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. His compositions are well-known throughout the Arab world...

, a musician and a composer, Layal (died in 1987 of a brain stroke), Hali (paralysed since early childhood after meningitis
Meningitis
Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs...

) and Rima, a photographer and film director.

Fairuz's first large-scale concert took place in 1957 as part of the Baalbeck International Festival
Baalbeck International Festival
The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival...

, which took place under the patronage of then President of Lebanon Camille Chamoun
Camille Chamoun
Camille Nimr Chamoun was President of Lebanon from 1952 to 1958, and one of the country's main Christian leaders during most of the Lebanese Civil War ....

, and where she performed alongside the British prima ballerina Beryl Goldwyn
Beryl Goldwyn
Beryl Goldwyn - now Beryl Karney - is an English ballet dancer.Born near London, she started dancing at the age of three. She attended the Royal Ballet School and performed with the Royal Ballet in The Sleeping Princess , with Dame Margot Fonteyn, when the Royal Opera House reopened after the...

 and the Ballet Rambert. Fairuz was paid one Lebanese pound
Lebanese pound
The Lebanese pound is the currency unit of Lebanon. It is divided into 100 piastres but inflation has eliminated the subdivisions....

 for that show. Musical operettas and concerts followed for many years, eventually establishing Fairuz as one of the most popular singers in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world.

1960s - The establishment of a new star


As the 1960s wore on, Fairuz became known as the "First Lady of Lebanese singing", as Halim Roumi dubbed her. During this period the Rahbani brothers
Rahbani brothers
The Rahbani Brothers , Assi Rahbani and Mansour Rahbani , were Lebanese composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights/dramatists, philosophers, and poets...

 wrote and composed for her hundreds of famous songs, most of their operettas, and 3 motion pictures.

In 1969, Fairuz's songs were banned from the radio stations in Lebanon for six months because she refused to sing at a private concert in honour of Algerian President Houari Boumedienne. The incident only served to increase her popularity. Fairuz made it clear then and since that while always willing to sing to her public and to various countries and regions, she would never sing to any individual.

1970s - International fame and the Lebanese Civil War


In 1971, Fairuz's fame became international after her major North American tour, which was received with much excitement by the Arab-American and American community and yielded very positive reviews of the concerts.

On September 22, 1972, Assi suffered a brain hemorrhage and was rushed to the hospital. Fans crowded outside the hospital praying for him and lighting candles. After three surgeries, Assi's brain hemorrhage was halted. Ziad Rahbani, the eldest son of Fairuz and Assi, at age 16, gave his mother the music of one of his unreleased songs "Akhadou el Helween" (that he had composed to be sung by Marwan Mahfouz in "Sahriyyi" Ziad's first play) and his uncle Mansour Rahbani re-wrote new lyrics for it to be called "Saalouni n'Nass" (The People Asked Me) which talked about Fayrouz being on stage for the first time without Assi. Three months after suffering the hemorrhage, Assi attended the premiere performance of that musical "Al Mahatta" in Piccadilly Theatre on Hamra Street. Elias Rahbani, Assi's younger brother, took over the orchestration and musical arrangement for the performance.

Within a year, Assi had returned to composing and writing with his brother. They continued to produce musicals, which became increasingly political in nature. After the Lebanese Civil War erupted, the brothers continued to use political satire and sharp criticism in their plays. In 1977, their musical "Petra" was shown in both the Muslim western and Christian eastern portions of Beirut.

In 1978, the trio toured Europe and the Persian Gulf nations, including a concert at the Paris Olympia. As a result of this busy schedule, Assi’s medical and mental health began to deteriorate. Fairuz and the brothers agreed to end their professional and personal relationship in 1979. Fairuz began to work with a production team helmed by her son, Ziad Rahbani, and Assi and Mansour composed for other artists such as Ronza.

During the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 (1975–1990), Fairuz never left Lebanon to live abroad and did not hold any concerts there with the exception of the stage performance of the operetta "Petra", which was performed in both the Western and Eastern parts of the then-divided Beirut in 1978. However, during that time period, Fairuz held many very successful and record-breaking concerts and tours in numerous countries around the world.

She made her first European TV appearance on French TV on May 24, 1975, in a "Carpentier special show" called "Numero 1" dedicated to French star Mireille Mathieu. She sang one of her big hits "Habbaytak Bissayf
Habbaytak Bissayf
"Habbaytak Bissayf" is an Arabic language song performed by Lebanese singer Fairuz. The lyrics and music were written by the Rahbani Brothers....

" and was thanked and embraced after performing it by Mireille Mathieu.

1980s - A new production team


After the artistic divorce between Fairouz and the Rahbani Brothers in 1979, Fairuz carried on with her son, composer Ziad Rahbani, his friend the lyricist Joseph Harb, and composer Philemon Wehbe.

Fairuz made a second and final European Television appearance on French TV on the 13 October 1988 in a show called Du côté de chez Fred. Fairuz, who had scheduled a concert at the POPB of Paris Bercy concert hall three days later on 16 October, was the main guest of French TV presenter Frédéric Mitterrand
Frédéric Mitterrand
Frédéric Mitterrand , a Franco-Tunisian citizen, is the French Minister of Culture and Communication. Throughout his career, he has been an actor, screenwriter, television presenter, writer, producer and director.-Biography:...

, today France's Minister of Culture
Minister of Culture (France)
The Minister of Culture is, in the Government of France, the cabinet member in charge of national museums and monuments; promoting and protecting the arts in France and abroad; and managing the national archives and regional "maisons de culture"...

 (2009). The program features footage of her rehearsals for her concert at Bercy in addition to the ceremony featuring then French Minister of Culture Jack Lang
Jack Lang (French politician)
Jack Mathieu Émile Lang is a French politician. A member of the Socialist Party, he served as France's Minister of Culture from 1981 to 1986 and 1988 to 1992, and as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993 and 2000 to 2002. He was also the Mayor of Blois from 1989 to 2000...

 awarding Fairuz the medal of "Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres". It also includes a video montage of her previous movies and concerts. In that show, Fairuz also sang the three songs "Ya hourrié", "Yara" and "Zaali tawwal".

1990s–present


In the 1990s, Fairuz produced six albums (two Philemon Wehbe tributes with unreleased tracks included, a Zaki Nassif
Zaki Nassif
Zaki Nassif is one of the first generation of Lebanese composers who accompanied the rise of Radio Liban in the 1940s, and continues today as a force in Lebanese folk music.-Biography:...

 album, three Ziad Rahbani albums, and a tribute album to Assi Rahbani orchestrated by Ziad) and held a number of large-scale concerts, most notably the historic concert held at Beirut's Martyr's Square in September, 1994 to launch the rebirth of the downtown district that was ravaged by the civil war. She appeared at the Baalbeck International Festival
Baalbeck International Festival
The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival...

 in 1998 after 25 years of self imposed absence where she performed the highlights of three very successful plays that were presented in the 1960s and 1970s.

She also performed a concert at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Arena in 1999 which was attended by over 16,000 spectators, mostly Arabs. Ever since, Fairuz has held sold out concerts at the Beiteddine International Festival (Lebanon) from 2000 to 2003, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 (2001), Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 (2002), the United States (2003), Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 (2004), Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 (2005), Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, Baalbeck, BIEL (2006), Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 (2007) Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, and Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 (2008).

Fairuz now works exclusively with her composer son Ziad. Her first album in the new millennium "Wala Keef", was released in 2002.

Her 2008 performance in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 caused considerable controversy in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, given the tense relationship between Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. Several members of parliament publicly asked her to cancel the concert. She went to Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 where she was received by a crowd of 7000 fans, screaming her name at the borders, as her car passed into Syrian grounds. Mosques and prayers on radio were all held back as Fairouz's songs played day and night through almost every media outlet in the Syrian nation. Radio channels, TV channels, the Syrian satellite broadcasters, restaurants and cafes, and newspapers were all focused on Fairouz's legendary return after 20 years absence. However big this controversy was, it seems it has not affected her popularity in Lebanon as she held the Orthodox Good Friday Prayer Mass in West Beirut as hundreds and hundreds crowded the church premises.

Fairuz's new album titled "Eh... Fi Amal" was released on the 7th of October 2010, produced by Fairuz productions and written entirely by Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. His compositions are well-known throughout the Arab world...

. Two concerts took place at BIEL Center in Beirut, Lebanon on the 7th and 8 October. Fairouz’s last appearance in Beirut was in December 2006 during the re-make of the play “Sah El Nom” by the Rahbani brothers. Later a concert in Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 was cancelled in March 2011. She performed in Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 for the first time in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 on the 26 June 2011.

Live concerts


Fairuz has performed once or more in each of many countries around the globe including Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, The United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, The United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, and her native Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.

Fairuz has performed in many venues such as the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 in London in 1962, the New York Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

 in 1971, the London Palladium
London Palladium
The London Palladium is a 2,286 seat West End theatre located off Oxford Street in the City of Westminster. From the roster of stars who have played there and many televised performances, it is arguably the most famous theatre in London and the United Kingdom, especially for musical variety...

 in 1978, L'Olympia
Paris Olympia
The Olympia is a music hall in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Located at No. 28, Boulevard des Capucines, its closest métro/RER stations are Madeleine, Opéra, Havre – Caumartin and Auber....

 de Paris in 1979, London's Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected...

 in 1986, the Shrine Auditorium
Shrine Auditorium
The Shrine Auditorium is a landmark large-event venue, in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is also the headquarters of the Al Malaikah Temple, a division of the Shriners.-History:...

 in Los Angeles (1971, 1981, and 2003), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C...

 in Washington D.C. (1981 and 1987) among many others (for the complete concert chronology, see Fairuz Concerts
Fairuz Concerts
-1961:* North American Tour**UNESCO, USA**Montreal, Canada* South American Tour ** Argentina** Brazil* Damascus International Festival, Syria-1971:* North America Tour ** Carnegie Hall, New York City, New York** Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts...

).

Fairuz has yielded record-breaking performances in almost every concert she has held around the world. Fairuz, Assi, and Mansour have become the most famous and dominant music production phenomenon in the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 world, and their music has spread beyond the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 world to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

Of Fairuz's numerous concerts, few are officially released. They are the Damascus 1960, Olympia 1979 concert (audio and video released in the 80's), USA tour 1981, Jarash 1983, Royal Festival Hall London 1986, USA tour 1987, Baalbek 1998 (Video), Las Vegas 1999 concert (on DVD with make over and rehearsals), Beiteddine 2000 and Dubai 2001 (on DVD, it includes parts from concerts in 1997 and 2002 as well as rehearsals from 2001 and 2002 concerts, released May 2008). Pirated versions of other concerts exist: Kuwait 1966, Syria and Egypt 1976, Olympia 1979, Australia 1984, Syria 1985, Bahrain 1987, France 1988, Kuwait1989, Cairo 1989, London 1994, Beirut 1994, and parts of the four Beiteddine concerts (2000–2003), Parts of Dubai concerts (1990–2006), Paris 2002, Amman 2004, Canada 2005, parts of the play Sah Ennawm which was performed in Beirut (2006), Athens 2007 and Bahrain 2008. On June 26, 2011 Fairuz performed in the Royal Carre Theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Fairuz is known as the Jewel of Lebanon.

Theatrical works


Musical plays or operettas were the cornerstone works of the Rahbani Trio, Fairuz, Assi and Mansour. The Rahbani Brothers produced 25 popular musical plays (20 with Fairuz) over a period of more than 30 years. They were possibly the first to produce world-class Arabic musical theatre.

The musicals combined storyline, lyrics and dialogue, musical composition varying widely from Lebanese folkloric and rhythmic modes to classical, westernized, and oriental songs, orchestration, and the voice and acting of Fairuz. She played the lead roles alongside singers/actors Nasri Shamseddine
Nasri Shamseddine
Nasri Shamseddine was a Lebanese singer and actor. His recordings remain very popular in the Arab world. He performed in several films and was associated for many years with the Lebanese singer Fairuz....

, Wadih El Safi
Wadih El Safi
Wadih El Safi is a Lebanese singer songwriter, and actor of Assyrian/Syriac background. He is a Lebanese cultural icon, and is often called the "Voice of Lebanon"...

, Antoine Kerbaje, Elie Shouayri (Chouayri), Hoda (Fairuz's younger sister), William Haswani, Raja Badr, Siham Chammas (Shammas), Georgette Sayegh and many others.

The Rahbani plays expressed patriotism, unrequited love and nostalgia for village life, comedy, drama, philosophy, and contemporary politics. The songs performed by Fairuz as part of the plays have become immensely popular among the Lebanese and Arabs around the world.

The Fairuz-Rahbani collaboration produced the following musicals (in chronological order):
  • Ayyam al Hassad (Days of Harvest - 1957)

  • Al 'Urs fi l’Qarya (The Wedding in the Village - 1959)

  • Al Ba'albakiya (The Girl from Baalbek) - 1961)

  • Jisr el Amar] (Bridge of the Moon - 1962)

  • Awdet el 'Askar (The Return of the Soldiers - 1962)

  • Al Layl wal Qandil] (The Night and the Lantern - 1963)

  • Biyya'el Khawatem (Ring Salesman - 1964)

  • Ayyam Fakhreddine (The Days of Fakhreddine - 1966)

  • Hala wal Malik (Hala and the King - 1967)

  • Ach Chakhs (The Person - 1968-1969)

  • Jibal Al Sawwan (Sawwan Mountains - 1969)

  • Ya'ich Ya'ich (Long Live, Long Live - 1970)

  • Sah Ennawm (Did you sleep well? - 1970-1971 - 2006-2008)

  • Nass min Wara' (People Made out of Paper - 1971-1972)

  • Natourit al Mafatih (The Guardian of the Keys - 1972)

  • Al Mahatta (The Station - 1973)

  • Loulou - 1974

  • Mais el Reem (The Deer's Meadow - 1975)

  • Petra - 1977-1978

  • Elissa - 1979 (Never performed due to the separation of Fairuz and Assi)

  • Habayeb Zaman the old friends - 1979 (Never performed due to the separation of Fairuz and Assi)


Most of the musical plays were recorded and video-taped. Eighteen of them have been officially released on audio CD, two on DVD (Mais el Reem and Loulou). A pirated version of Petra and one pirated live version of Mais el Reem in black and white exist. Ayyam al Hassad (Days of Harvest) was never recorded and Al 'Urs fi l’Qarya (The Marriage in the Village) has not yet been released (yet a pirated audio record is available).

Discography


Fairuz possesses a large repertoire of around 1500 songs out of which nearly just 800 have been released. She has also been offered prestigious awards and titles over the years (see Fairuz Awards and Recognitions
Fairuz Awards and Recognitions
-1963:* Medal of Honour, awarded by King Hussein of Jordan.* Order of Cedars, awarded by Lebanese President Fouad Chehab;-1988:* Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by French President François Mitterrand-1997:...

).

Around 1985 Fairuz CDs, vinyls and cassettes have been officially released so far. Most of the songs that are featured on these albums were composed by the Rahbani brothers
Rahbani brothers
The Rahbani Brothers , Assi Rahbani and Mansour Rahbani , were Lebanese composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights/dramatists, philosophers, and poets...

. Also featured are songs by Philemon Wehbe, Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. His compositions are well-known throughout the Arab world...

, Zaki Nassif
Zaki Nassif
Zaki Nassif is one of the first generation of Lebanese composers who accompanied the rise of Radio Liban in the 1940s, and continues today as a force in Lebanese folk music.-Biography:...

, Mohamed Abd El Wahab, Najib Hankash and Mohamed Mohsen.

Many of Fairuz's numerous unreleased works date back to the 1950s and 1960s and were composed by the Rahbani Brothers
Rahbani brothers
The Rahbani Brothers , Assi Rahbani and Mansour Rahbani , were Lebanese composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights/dramatists, philosophers, and poets...

 (certain unreleased songs, the oldest of all, are by Halim el Roumi). A Fairuz album composed by Egyptian musician Riad Al Sunbati (who has worked with Umm Kulthum) was produced in 1980, but is unlikely to be released. There are also fifteen unreleased songs composed by Philemon Wehbe and 24 unreleased songs composed by Ziad Rahbani in the 80's.

Fairuz has also released an album on Folkways Records
Folkways Records
Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

, entitled Lebanon: The Baalbek Folk Festival.

Personal life


She was born in Jabal al Arz (Cedar Mountain) to a Syriac Orthodox
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

 and Syriac Maronite Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 family. She is of the Greek Orthodox faith, having converted when she married Assi Rahbani
Assi Rahbani
Assi Rahbani was a Lebanese composer, musician and producer. He was part of the Rahbani Brothers , with his brother Mansour Rahbani . He married Lebanese singer Nouhad Haddad, more famous by her stage name, Fairuz...

, one of the two brothers
Rahbani brothers
The Rahbani Brothers , Assi Rahbani and Mansour Rahbani , were Lebanese composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights/dramatists, philosophers, and poets...

 who helped shape her singing career. She is also the mother of the Lebanese singer and composer Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. His compositions are well-known throughout the Arab world...

 and the Lebanese director and photographer Rima Rahbani.

External links