As if time has taken us back and stood still at a scene from an old movie like “Shat’ Al Gharam” (Beach Of Love) when Steven Rusty whispers into Mimi Shakib’s ear as he was pointing to the late singer Laila Murad while she was singing “Ya A’az Min Aini” and saying ‘is this the one you wanted to put down, anyone that seen her has been wowed by her.’ More than 50 years has passed since that seen, but there is nothing that describes better the look on many faces who had criticized Lebanese singer Carol Samaha for being chosen to stand on the Egyptian Opera House Stage during the Arab Music Festival 16th season.
According to the London daily Elaph, many critics thought Carol would fail, yet on the contrary Samaha took away her fear and worry and gave herself assurance in order to have the best performance. Samaha stood on the stage that many great Arab singers have stood on and gave a spectacular performance. Samaha proved her critics to be wrong and dared them not by words, but through her soft performance and her ability to sing old traditional songs, which many have enjoyed listening to.
Before the celebration started, Samaha stated that her performance at the Opera House would be as a new look for her performance through singing ‘Rahbani’ songs. Samaha feels that the Rahabani is where she had her music schooling. She also added that the Opera House Stage is different than any other place, where singers are overwhelmed when they performed on it.
In a red dress that was designed by famous Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, Samaha appeared simple when the curtains opened up accompanied by the music orchestra with maestro Khaled Fouad. The first song Carol sang was “Habeet Delwa’ti” (I Just Fell In Love) written by Baha Al Deen and composed by Muhammad Yehya, and then she sang “Habib Qalbi” (My Beloved) written and composed by Marwan Khoury. It was very obvious that Samaha was nervous while singing the two songs, which are aimed to younger generations.
She took a deep breath and stopped for a moment and said that singing on the Opera House stage is one of her dreams and the dream became a reality now. After the audience’s warm and sincere clapping she took another breath and went on with her singing. She stole the audience’s hearts while she started singing “Etala’ Feyeh” (Look At Me), everyone started cheering her on.
She also sang for the late legend Laila Murad and “Rajeen Ya Hawa” for the great Lebanese singer Fairouz.
Carol went back to her last album and sang “Isma’ni” (Listen To Me). She left the stage feeling overwhelmed with the experience and leaving behind her an audience that was very pleased with her talent and voice.
After the festival, Samaha stated that she was very please to have the opportunity to stand on the powerful and great stage. She added that she hasn’t noticed any negative criticism about her, because ever since she got to Egypt the Egyptian people and media were very welcoming. She also feels that Egypt is her second home and is preparing a new solo single in the Egyptian dialect.