Shakira sings at “magical” cedars of Lebanon, land of her ancestors

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Colombian singer Shakira visits Tannourine Cedars Reserve, in Tannourine, Lebanon on Friday. (REUTERS)
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Colombian singer Shakira visits Tannourine Cedars Reserve, in Tannourine, Lebanon on Friday. (REUTERS)
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Colombian singer Shakira performs in the opening of the Cedars International Festival In Bcharre, Lebanon on Friday. (REUTERS)
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Colombian singer Shakira reacts during her visit to Tannourine Cedars Reserve, in Tannourine, Lebanon on Friday. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2018
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Shakira sings at “magical” cedars of Lebanon, land of her ancestors

  • Shakira, who was born in Columbia to a Lebanese father and Columbian mother, first performed in Lebanon in 2011
  • Shakira planted a cedar tree at a nearby nature reserve

BCHARRE, Lebanon: Shakira performed at the ancient cedars of Lebanon on Friday in a mountaintop concert in the land of her ancestors.
The Colombian singer-songwriter delighted a crowd of thousands gathered under the stars near the “Forest of the Cedars of God” in northern Lebanon, where she said she was proud to be singing in the land of her grandparents.
“Lubnaaan! It’s amazing to be in this magical setting, it’s surreal, thank you so much for having me tonight,” she said after her opening songs, using the Arabic word for Lebanon.
“This means so much to me to be singing in the land of my grandparents,” she said. “I feel so proud of these cedars, so proud of my heritage and so proud of you,” said Shakira, 41, to cheers from the crowd.
Shakira, who was born in Columbia to a Lebanese father and Columbian mother, first performed in Lebanon in 2011.
Earlier in the day, she planted a cedar tree at a nearby nature reserve. The Forest of the Cedars of God and nearby Qadish valley are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Shakira performed songs from her 11th album, El Dorado, which was released last year as well as classic hits such as ‘Estoy Aqui’ and ‘Whenever, Wherever’. She also belly danced.
Part of a world tour, the Shakira concert marked the start of the Cedars International Festival, one of a number of music festivals hosted by Lebanon each summer.


El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.