Fairouz: Still going strong at 80

Updated 22 November 2015
0

Fairouz: Still going strong at 80

BEIRUT: For decades, almost all radio stations in the Arab world have been starting their morning broadcast with a Fairouz song. The tradition continues today even as the Arab diva, also known in this part of the world as ‘Our Ambassador to the Stars’, turned 80-years-old on Nov. 21.
Nuhad Haddad, who became known later as Fairouz, was born in 1935, to a Lebanese family that is Christian Maronite and Syrian Orthodox, according to her website. She later converted to the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith when she married savvy musician Assi Rahbani, the eldest of the two Rahbani brothers who effectively shaped Fairouz’s career, reported Al-Bawaba.
Since her first song in the mid 1940s, the Arabs fell in love with Fairouz. In a career spanning more than six decades, she recorded nearly 1,500 songs, 85 CDs, 20 musicals and three movies. Although she began performing on air in the mid 1940s and produced her first album, Etab, in 1952, her first international appearance was in 1957, at Lebanon’s famed Baalbeck International Festival, alongside British prima ballerina Beryl Goldwyn and the Ballet Rambert. She was paid one Lebanese pound for that show, Fairouz reportedly said in an interview years later. But she won big. The concert established her as one of the biggest stars of that era when the Arab music arena was crowded with legendary names such as the great Umm Kulthoum, Shadia, Najat and Faiza Ahmad.
Her last album, produced in 2010, was titled, appropriately, Eh . fi amal (Yes, there is hope).
Her son, Ziad, in an interview last year didn’t rule out a new one. Millions of her fans cling to hope.


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 18 January 2019
0

Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”