Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ziad Rahbani: the beating heart of Arabism

There is no way to present Ziad Rahabni, son of Assi Rahbani and Lebanese Diva Fayrouz, in a few lines. The wiz kid published his poems at the age of 13 and shortly thereafter became a comedian, a playwright, a songwriter, a composer, a singer, a radio host, before he turned more recently to jazz music.

And it is the jazz composer and player who has been officially invited to perform in Damascus, for the first time is his whole career. Two hours before the beginning of the show, the audience was already there, clapping hands and singing by heart the most famous hits of the Lebanese composer and singer.

Thus, a real event, at the musical and the political levels, since Ziad Rahbani is a major icon of the Arab left wing. Indeed, his coming to Damascus, within the official frame of the (very successful) celebrations of “Damascus, Capital of the Arabic Culture”, means that things are changing in the country, at least at some level and even if Fayrouz’s son is not anymore the trouble maker he was.

It means also that the relationship between Lebanon and Syria is certainly more complex and deep-rooted that what we usually read in the main-stream media.

The text of the original post in french (with other links) and a video by a fan.

No comments: