Lebanon Says Farewell to Sabah

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
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The funeral service of famed singer and actress Sabah was held on Sunday at the St. George Maronite cathedral in downtown Beirut amid a heavy official and popular presence.

Prayers were led by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

"She died poor and left behind her a letter of joy," al-Rahi said.

Sabah's songs were played at the beginning and the end of the service outside the cathedral in accordance with her last will as the Lebanese said goodbye to her.

Pallbearers struggled to get Sabah's coffin out of the vast cathedral, pushing through a sea of mourners, as others pressed forward to try to touch the coffin, causing it to tilt several times.

Military Commander Maj. Gen. Jean Qahwaji ordered the Lebanese Army's music squadron to play Shahroura's songs in a final farewell to her.

The Army's music squadron is comprised of 40 musicians.

Sabah was wearing a white dress designed by Bassam Nehme.

Several dancers preformed the traditional folk dance called dabke on her songs near the Brazilia Hotel, where she has been residing.

Sabah was buried in her hometown of Bdadoun.

Born Jeanette Gergis al-Feghali, known as Sabah, the diva was famous across the Arab world for her powerful voice, musical talent and joyful brazenness and is considered among the last of the "giants" — a crop of celebrated Lebanese singers that represent a golden age, including Fayrouz, Wadih el-Safi, Nasri Shamseddine and others.

She produced more than 3,000 songs and appeared in more than 90 films and over 20 stage plays.

Sabah was the first Arabic singer to perform at Sydney Opera House, Albert Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and Olympia in Paris.

She brought out her first song in 1940, while her parallel screen career began three years later in Egypt, the center of the Arabic film industry.

She held Egyptian, Jordanian and U.S. citizenship as well as Lebanese, and continued to perform and make television appearances into her 80s.

Sabah was nicknamed "shahroura," Arabic for "singing bird" and "the Sabbouha," a diminutive for "Sabah" by millions of fans across the Middle East.

She was universally admired for her love of life and positive outlook even in her old age.

Condolences will be accepted at the cathedral on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Comments 6
Default-user-icon flamethrower (Guest) 30 November 2014, 13:19

RIP Flamethrower

Thumb Machia 30 November 2014, 15:39

"She died poor and left behind her a letter of joy"

She died poor financially but she has enriched and inspired our culture, our souls and our minds and will continue to do so for a very long time.
If dying rich was that important then humanity would never have progressed.

Thumb lebnanfirst 30 November 2014, 20:40

جيب المجوز يا عبُّود كان لصباح اكبر وجود she will be dearly missed. During her lifetime Lebanon was what we all wanted it to be and long for it to come back to إن شائالله

Thumb Thunderbaby 30 November 2014, 21:15

The interesting fact was how the nightly news of every Lebanese TV channels LBC, OTV, MTV, AlJadded, NBN and Tele Liban started their newscasts with funeral of Sabah and how the Lebanese mourned their cultural icon.
On Al Manar their news intro was about something Khamenei said.

Missing un520 01 December 2014, 12:13

Yes, I noticed that, too. It really makes you wonder if there are any possibilities for a common ground at all between the lebanese. It was nice however to observe at least some people coming from places like Nabatieh to show their respect to a person who brought so much joy to everyone. So perhaps the support of the mullahs isnt that unwavering.

Missing un520 01 December 2014, 12:16

On a sidenote. Sad to hear that Sabahs daughter wasnt there. A lot of rumours circulate, and there is every reason to believe that she is in a bad condition nowadays.