’Fairuz is a red line,’ Lebanon enraged at ‘slandering’ article

’Fairuz is a red line,’ Lebanon enraged at ‘slandering’ article
Updated 16 December 2015

’Fairuz is a red line,’ Lebanon enraged at ‘slandering’ article

’Fairuz is a red line,’ Lebanon enraged at ‘slandering’ article

BEIRUT: A magazine in Lebanon has come under fire for describing iconic singer Fairuz as a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad and a “lover of money.”
Government ministers, media personalities and music fans condemned the Al-Shiraa magazine after it published this week an article online under the headline: “What you do not know about the Lebanese Ambassador to the stars: Fairuz, an enemy of the people, a lover of money ... and an Assad conspirator.”
Fairuz, 80, has long been seen as a unifying voice in a country that continues to witness political upheaval, even after the end of a 15-year civil war, and whose communities are still largely segregated.
The Al-Shiraa article sparked anger among many Lebanese social media users, including prominent personalities, with some calling for legal action against the magazine.
A Twitter user said: “The Lebanese government should sue Al-Shiraa magazine. It’s a slander against Lebanon.”
Ramzi Jreij, the Lebanese communication minister, said that the article “was not an insult against Fairuz only, but an insult against Lebanon.”
“Fairuz for the past half a century occupied the throne of music in Lebanon and is loved by the Lebanese and millions of Arabs,” Jreij said.
A number of Lebanese on social media called on the editor of Al Shiraa, Hasan Sabra, to apologize.
However, Sabra said he “was not regretful and will not apologize,” adding that the statements he made in the six-page article were based on a personal visit to her house.
Hashtags on Twitter named “Sabra, the vulgar” and “Fairuz is a red line” were trending in Lebanon.
Responding to the recent allegations made by the magazine, the daughter of Fairuz, Rima Al-Rahbani, said in a statement published on her Facebook page that the attempts to “politicize Fairuz are doomed to failure.”