Google Doodle commemorates life of Arab singer Sabah

Lebanese veteran singer Sabah (in a file photo) posing on the set of a film in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria on Egypt’s northern coast. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Google Doodle commemorates life of Arab singer Sabah

JEDDAH: Friday, Nov.10, marked the birth anniversary of renowned Lebanese singer and actress Sabah nicknamed “Empress of the Lebanese Song.”
In recognition of her talent, Google Doodle commemorated the life of the singer and showed her picture with a group of men and women doing the dabka (folk dance) behind her.
Sabah was born Jeanette Georges Feghali in November 1927. She emerged at a time when the Arab music scene was already crowded with formidable competitors.
Considered a “diva of music” in the Arab world, she released over 50 albums and acted in 98 movies, as well as over 20 Lebanese stage plays.
She had more than 3,500 songs in her repertoire, and was among the first Arab singers to perform at the Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House.
Sabah was considered one of the four Lebanese icons along with Fairuz, Wadih El Safi and Samira Tawfiq. She also acquired several affectionate nicknames, including “Shahrourah” and “Sabbouha.”
In addition to being Lebanese, Sabah held Egyptian, Jordanian and US citizenship and continued to perform and make television appearances into her 80s.
In her last years, she did not stop singing, especially on television programs, but her illness and advanced age became an obstacle. She died in her home country, Lebanon, on Nov.26, 2014, at the age of 87.
Al-Shahrourah, a TV drama based on her life, was aired during Ramadan 2011 in which she was portrayed by actress and singer Carole Samaha.
Sabah’s reaction was mostly positive toward the series and she was happy that it was a success, though she commented about certain inaccuracies.


Prince Harry raises Invictus Games flag over Sydney Harbor

Updated 35 min 4 sec ago
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Prince Harry raises Invictus Games flag over Sydney Harbor

  • The sporting event, founded by Prince Harry in 2014, starts on Saturday
  • Prince Harry and his wife, American former actress Meghan Markle, will attend the opening and closing games ceremonies.

SYDNEY: Prince Harry scaled the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Friday to raise a flag marking the arrival of the Invictus Games, his brainchild and the focus of his current royal tour of Australia and the South Pacific.
The sporting event, founded by Harry in 2014, starts on Saturday. It gives sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball and to find inspiration to recover.
The fact that the Duchess of Sussex never planned to climb the world’s tallest steel arch bridge with her husband had fueled speculation that she is pregnant. The speculation was confirmed on Monday when Harry and the former Meghan Markle announced that their first child is due in the northern spring.
Harry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, four members of the Australian team and the widow of an Australian veteran climbed more than 1,000 steps up the back of an arch to raise the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 flag.
“The Sydney Harbor Bridge is an Australian icon and I can think of no better place to raise the ... flag,” Morrison said in a statement.
During the descent, Harry hugged fellow climber Gwen Cherne, a games ambassador whose husband Peter Cafe, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, took his own life in February.
“We were talking about mental health and really working on changing the way that our global community looks at mental health and deals with it,” Cherne said later.
The flag will fly 134 meters (440 feet) above Sydney Harbor until the games close on Oct. 27.
Harry and his American former actress wife will attend the opening and closing games ceremonies. Around 500 athletes from 18 nations will compete in venues around Sydney.
The couple earlier Friday walked barefoot on Bondi Beach to meet a group of surfers focused on mental wellbeing.
The group, OneWave, meet weekly in an “anti-bad vibe circle” on the sand.
While the group dressed in loud and outrageous fluorescent outfits, Harry and Meghan were more subdued, but their message to the group was clear.
“They’re super passionate about mental health. They are showing that mental health does not discriminate,” OneWave co-founder Grant Trebilco said.
Charlotte Connell, a OneWave member, said Harry spoke of his own experiences seeking counselling more than 20 years after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997 when he was aged 12.
“Harry said it took him not six months, but 18 months to find the right person to speak to. ‘You’re not going to find the right person to speak to straight away,’” Connell said.
Both Harry and Meghan used exercise as a way of keeping well, Connell said.
“Even in her jetlagged state, she got up in the morning and did yoga at 4.30am,” Connell said.
“She said it’s so good for healing her mind,” Connell added.
After Bondi, the couple made an unannounced visit to Macarthur Girls High School in Parramatta in central Sydney.
The shrieking students gave the couple a rock star welcome to a school assembly.
“When they walked in, I felt like my heart stopped. Their presence just made everyone shocked,” 15-year-old student Rhiannon said.
The couple finished their day’s events with formal meetings with Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Harry and Meghan will also visit Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand during their 16-day tour.