Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday middle eastern pop star of yore: Fairuz

Fairuz fairuz-dot-com
image courtesy

Fairuz was born Nouhad Haddad in 1935 to a poor Christian family in Lebanon. She was really big throughout the Arab world in the 50s and 60s, and quite a few of her albums are available at Amazon.

In 1969, her music was temporarily banned in Lebanon by the government because she refused to sing at the honor of visiting Algerian president Howari Boumedianne.

In 1970 I was in the 1st grade in Beirut, and unaware of Fairuz, because that was grown-ups music, although I was aware the Beatles had broken up. One day my paternal grandmother in Connecticut sent me a poster of all the world flags of the UN member nations, and I donated it to my class and the teacher put it up on our wall. A day or two later a couple of Lebanese Red Beret soldiers came by and told Mrs Mansour to remove the Israeli flag from the poster, which she did, naturally. Of course they did this because somebody must've told the authorities and because Lebanon did not recognize the Israeli government, but I didn't know any of that when I was six. The soldiers probably gave a brief speech explaining themselves, but I don't remember what they said. All I remember of my impressions of that day was my sense of surprise that something we 1st graders did somehow caught the attention of the world out there, and the soldiers.

see also Fairuz online.