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Offbeat

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)
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.

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