Story of iconic Fairouz's life told in French-Lebanese documentary

Published August 8th, 2016 - 08:45 GMT
The French-Lebanese production narrates the story of the famed Lebanese singer. (File photo)
The French-Lebanese production narrates the story of the famed Lebanese singer. (File photo)

A documentary film on Lebanese musical icon Fairouz, and carrying the same name, is due to screen at Cairo’s Magnolia on Saturday, 13 August. 

Directed by Frédéric Mitterrand, and produced by France and Lebanon, ‘Fairouz’ is a one-hour long documentary that tells the story of the famed singer in her own words, and also includes rare archival footage, according to Magnolia’s Facebook event page.

Born in 1935 as Nihad Wadie Haddad, Fairouz’s musical vocation commenced in the 1950s as she sang at the Lebanese national radio station where her relationship with Assi Rahbani, whom she would marry in 1954, and his brother Mansour developed in vibrant musical collaborations.

For the next two decades, Fairouz would achieve regional and international fame with her stunningly beautiful voice

Fairouz did not shy away from experimentation, as evident in musical collaborations with her son, the celebrated Lebanese musician Ziad Rahbani. 

The icon’s repertoire also comprises important musicals, including Mais Al-Reem (The Deer's Meadow), Al-Mahatta (The Station) and Biyyaa Al-Khawatem (The Ring the Salesman) and the films Bent Al-Hares (The Daughter of the Guard) and Safar Barlak (A Trip to Barlak), among others.

Over the decades, Fairouz sang of — and for — the Arab world and its hopes and grievances, and thus came to be celebrated as “the singer of cities and homeland: Jerusalem, Cairo, Beirut; Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon,” reads her biography on the website of the American University in Beirut (AUB).

“Her interpreter once explained, "She prefers to sing about the human side of the Lebanon, the things that bring people together. It's not political, but it's very patriotic."

Fairouz recently gave her fans a special treat by appearing in a short online video hours before the opening of 2016, and in celebration of the New Year. 

The one-minute long video opened with Fairouz standing in front of a set of candles with family photos in frames adorning the background. 

In the next shot, Fairouz was facing the camera as she held a candle and slowly beamed a small smile. 

The shot unfolded as her voice unraveled, singing the following lyrics in Arabic: “The snow sheaths the land / January revisits / A year has ended / A new one has dawned / We have yet to know how it will be.”


Saturday, 13 August, 7.15pm

Magnolia. Leaves of Art: 12 Mohamed Anis Street, Zamalek, Cairo

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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