Fairouz: Still going strong at 80

Updated 22 November 2015
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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.


’Unusual air activity’ over Ireland sparks investigation

Updated 13 November 2018
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’Unusual air activity’ over Ireland sparks investigation

  • The Irish Aviation Authority said it was looking into “reports from a small number of aircraft”
  • The bright lights were seen Friday morning by pilots from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic

LONDON: Irish aviation officials are investigating reports of bright lights moving quickly in the skies over Ireland.
The Irish Aviation Authority said Tuesday it was looking into “reports from a small number of aircraft” about what was called “unusual air activity” on Friday.
“The report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process,” the authority said in a statement.
Press reports indicate the bright lights were seen Friday morning by pilots from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
The airlines did not immediately respond to request for comments.