Syrian singer Asala graced the Tyre Hippodrome on Saturday, July 14, to officially close the city’s two-week festival with its most successful performance. More than 5,000 people from Lebanon and the region filled the ancient stadium and received the talented singer with a thunderous cheer, according to Thisiscyberia.com.
Accompanied by an excellent band, she opened with a jazzy remix of her hit single Albi Byertahlak, after which she greeted the crowd, expressing her “gratitude for being invited to sing in such a prestigious festival,” as it was Asala’s first solo concert in Lebanon.
Popular hits like Samehtak, Malu, Ya Khali, and Wala Tsadaa followed. The surprise of the night was a new, patriotic a capella song, which Asala dedicated to the martyrs.
“I want my voice alone to echo the pain of our people,” she said.
The moment she started singing, the entire stadium fell into a deep silence. Nothing could be heard but her startling voice flowing out of the ancient stadium. It was a moment of unsurpassed reverence.
With tears pouring out of many eyes, the crowd screamed frantically as the star covered her face with her hands and cried with them.
The second half of the concert boasted some of Asala’s heavier repertoire: the Tarab songs that distinguish her from every one else. She began with Katabtak, Leh Koulel Nass and then got to the most anticipated song of the evening, the brilliant Alli Gara. Originally written for the late Tunisian singer Oulaia, the song was never that popular until Asala started singing it. And in Tyre, she outdid herself with the Tarab song, making endless variations on the notes and soaring to new heights with her voice.
The Syrian beauty continued with more popular hits, Ya Sabra Yana, Ma Bahibish Had, and the much loved Ya Meen Allah. The concert was slowly coming to an end, but Asala was certainly not leaving without a bang. And what better way to end the evening than with her smashing hit and most popular song to date: Ya Magnoun.
Asala will soon return to Lebanon to collaborate with composers Ziyad Botros and Samir Sfeir on a new album due out in September – Albawaba.com