Jumblat Calls for Keeping Fairuz Out of Political Controversy

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Friday called for keeping Lebanese diva Fairuz out of political controversy, after remarks voiced by her son Ziad Rahbani sparked an uproar in Lebanon and the Arab world.

“Fairuz was and will always be one of the icons of Lebanon's national heritage, after her voice carved diverse pictures and scenes in the collective memory of all the Lebanese,” Jumblat said in a statement.

“She sang for Palestine and Jerusalem in one of her greatest songs … and she sang for Damascus, which had always been glittering, like the rest of Syria's regions, before the regime's violence and the international conspiring dragged it into the whirlpool of civil war,” the Druze leader added.

In an interview with the Hizbullah-affiliated Al-Ahed News Website, the diva's son Ziad, a prominent composer, playwright and leftist political commentator, said “Fairuz admires Sayyed Hassan (Nasrallah) a lot,” in reference to Hizbullah's secretary-general.

That line alone was enough to ignite social networking websites with criticism and counterarguments. Some of the critics of Damascus and Hizbullah's intervention in Syria were outraged by the announcement while others strongly defended Fairuz and said she is free to appreciate whomever she wants.

The controversy prompted Ziad to appear in an interview on al-Mayadeen TV, during which he said whoever criticizes Fairuz and Nasrallah would be indirectly “defending Israel.”

In his statement, Jumblat stressed that Fairuz must be kept out of criticism and “at the same time must not be categorized as being part of a certain political camp or axis.”

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