- Title: Songs and images light up Baalbeck ruins for Fairouz birthday
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: LEBANESE FLAG ON ROMAN COLUMNS/LEBANESE NATIONAL ANTHEM
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 13:14
- Keywords: Lebanon Fairouz Baalbeck ruins music songs images
- Location: BAALBECK, LEBANON
- City: BAALBECK, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Reuters ID: LVA00759IXLCL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The ancient Roman temple of Bacchus in Baalbeck lit up with images of singer Fairouz on Monday (November 21) in tribute to the singer on her 81st birthday and the 60th anniversary of her first performance on stage in Baalbeck.
The city has been a venue for international music festivals for decades and Fairouz began her musical career performing there, organizers said.
Fairouz's face was projected on the columns of the Baalbeck ruins as her songs played out in a ceremony attended by fans and local officials.
The legendary singer's birthday also coincided with the country's celebration of Independence Day, and comes just weeks after a new president was elected after a vacuum of more than two years.
Fairouz fan Hani Moustafa Abboud praised Fairouz for her music which brought people together.
"She made distances shorter, she turned deserts into green hills and rose bushes, she planted hope. I wish those days will return, the days of her singing with the Rahbani brothers and the days of all the legends,'' he said referring to Fairouz's late husband Assi and brother-in-law Mansour who together created Lebanon's most cherished musicals.
Another fan said Fairouz was an icon.
"Fairouz is an icon of Lebanon and a symbol. She is the goddess of song in Lebanon and everyone who walks in her footsteps is the same, an icon of singing in the Arab world," Claudi Heybeh said.
Fairouz's last live performance on stage in Baalbeck was in 2006. She is best known for her songs about Beirut as well as her love songs, especially the ones composed by her husband Assi Rahbani and later by her son Ziad.
Baalbeck governor Bachir Khodo said the tribute was the least the country could do for Fairouz.
"Fairouz began her career here and we wanted to honour her from here as well because she made us proud of her abroad in all the international venues because of her art and her culture,'' he said.
Fairouz, whose real name is Nouhad Rizk Haddad, was born in 1935.
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