The high committee, headed by Ambassador Salih Saleem, at the Ninth Cairo International Song Festival in Egypt has honored Lebanese singer Majida Al Roumi with an award for best singer. A number of composers and poets such as Foad Hilmi and Salah Faiz were also honored at the festival, reported the London based daily, Al Sharq Al Awsat.
The festival is divided into two competitions, one for best Arabic song and the second for best Western song. A panel of judges for each competition will begin the process of eliminating all non-eligible participants to present the final list by end of March.
The festival, which began in 1993, is intended to link arts with tourism. "With the festival, Egypt becomes an arena for arts as well as an attractive destination for tourists who appreciate music and songs, especially from the Arab region," Minister of Tourism Mamdouh Al Beltagui stated.
Apart from the competition at the conference site, there were also a number of large concerts at major tourist sites.
The increasing participation of internationally renowned singers every year at the Cairo Song Festival, and the warm reception they receive is living proof of the festival’s success. Apart from being an event to expose singers from outside the Arab world to an Egyptian audience, the festival is also an opportunity for Arab singers to gain international profiles, and the song festival has helped many Arab singers on the road to fame. Iraqi singer Kathem Al Saher and Diana Haddad, Wael Kafouri and Nawal Al Zoughbi from Lebanon, have all received popular exposure from participating in the festival in the past.
On a different note, Al Roumy has been nominated for the leading role in a new French documentary film “Ramad Al Founeesheen” (Ashes of the Phoenicians) produced by the French production company Mita Lapord. The film reveal different civilizations in Lebanon a story retrieved from the literature writings of Father Mansour Libky with the help of Lebanese screenwriter Ameen Ma’louf.
The film, which is almost an hour and a half in length, is to be shot in Lebanon with musical effects by Lebanese Jan Mary Riashi. Majida is currently occupied with a number of French singers preparing a selection of songs she will be performing in the film.
French directors Romald Siora and Valerie Vanspan will direct the film. The documentary will be produced in honor of the Francophonia in Lebanon, which was hosted this year.
Majida Al Roumi is the daughter of singer/ musician Halim Al Roumi, a well-known composer for the Rahbani brothers. Surrounded by artists and musicians ever since her childhood, Majida Al Roumi started singing for family and friends at an early age. Like so many others who are now famous singers, she had her breakthrough in Studio Al Fan in 1974 – Albawaba.com