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Young Fairouz(Nouhad Haddad)

 

One day in 1935, Wadi' Haddad moved his wife and two children into a new home on the cobblestone alley called "zuqaq al-blat", an old neighborhood in Beirut where the poor of all denominations have for generations found company and shelter. The Haddads new home consisted of a single room on the street level of a typical stone house that faced Beirut's Patriarchate school..

The eldest child in Haddad's family was a girl named Nouhad (meaning "sigh" or "splendour"), who would later grow up to be Fairuz, one of the most famous singers of the Middle East and a legend in her own time


 

From her early childhood, Fairuz displayed natural flair for singing. Many a winter night, in the neighborhood gatherings she would surprise everyone by suddenly bursting out into a song. The father put aside some of his meager income for his children's education, so Fairuz was able to attend school, where her voice was immediately recognised as having a unique quality that could transmute ordinary national hymns into something beguiling. Fairuz had a keen artistic sensibility and a memory so sharp that she was able to learn by heart in two hours four pages of poetry or five of notation.

Her first song was composed by Halim Al-Rumi, with words by Michael Awadh, and went : I left my heart to follow you but ended up burning far away from your love. The second one in an atmosphere of magic and beauty was in a Egyptian dialect. Al-Rumi, so excited about the talent he had discovered, introduced Fairuz to Assi Rahbani, a policeman by profession and an aspiring composer who was already aware of the talented new voice and was anxious to me her.

The young singer was known to her listeners as Yola or as Fatat Al Jabal (mountain girl). Al-Rumi suggested she take the "stage name" Fairuz (which means "turquoise") because her voice reminded him of a precious stone

One day Fairuz, in passing, told Assi that she did not like the way he paid attention to a certain girl in the station. This innocent remark did not go unnoticed. She still kept to herself and persisted in her obstinate rejection of the idea of marriage. But on a certain spring day in 1953, while they practicing together at the edge of a pond, Assi Repeated an earlier offer of marriage. This time Fairuz said yes.

 

Useful Links:

Fayrouz Legand & Woman  a good documentary of  everything about fayrouz.

Almashriq Fairouz: Legend and Legacy, deep look at the origions of the Legend, from the 112 page book published by the Forum for International Art and Culture

Fairuz and The Rahbani Brothers