Fairouz stirs controversy with 'love' of Hezbollah chief

FairouzAn iconic Lebanese singer has stirred controversy by expressing her love for the leader of the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah.

Ziad Rahbbani, an accomplished songwriter in his own right and son of Lebanese singer Fairouz, caused a furor when he told a website that his mother “loves the sayyed very much,” a reference to Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s general secretary.

Although Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, it is a dominant player in Lebanese politics with an active social component that operates alongside its paramilitary activities.

The organization, a leading force in what is widely called by Lebanese the “resistance” to Israel, has sent fighters to Syria to back President Bashar Assad. That support has exacerbated an already tense political standoff at home with Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim-dominated March 14 bloc.

Lebanese media outlets generally reacted in keeping with their stance on the nation’s political divide, with some racing to defend and even laud Fairouz while others vilified her. In an interview on the pro-Hezbollah Mayadeen news channel, Fairouz’s son was unapologetic.

“It seems it is not acceptable in a time of conflicts for the princess of the prestigious Arab art to express her love for the master of the resistance,” Rahbbani said. He added defiantly: “Whoever attacks Fairouz and Nasrallah is defending Israel.”

Fairouz, a Syriac Orthodox Christian born in Beirut’s Zokak Al-Balatt neighborhood in 1935, is among the best-known and most beloved vocalists in the Arab world. Her passionate ballads are fixtures in cafes and restaurants and are virtually played on a loop on the region’s radio stations.

Dubbed “the Voice of Lebanon” and “Harp of the Orient,” among other names, she is known for her torch songs such as “I Loved You in Winter, I Loved You in Summer” as well as nationalist quasi-anthems about Jerusalem, Beirut and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This is not the first time Fairouz has courted controversy. She performed in Damascus in 2008 at a time when relations between Lebanon and Syria were strained, with fans reportedly coming out to greet her on the streets as her motorcade crossed the border between the two countries.

Fairouz, whose son claims to be speaking in her name “because she prefers silence,” has been absent from the stage since 2010.

On the other hand , her son Ziad Rahbani has a long standing relationship with Lebanese leftist movements, and is a self-declared communist and atheist. He is reportedly very closely associated with the Syrian regime and has been accused of working for the Syrian Intelligence Mukhabrat.

Jumblatt: Fairouz is too great to be criticized

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt made clear Friday that his love for the singer remained unchanged. “Fairouz is too great to be criticized, and at the same time too great to be classified as belonging to this or that political camp or to this or that axis,” he said in a statement.

“The high-quality art she performed and still performs is far greater than drowning in narrow political and group interests,” Jumblatt added. “Let us keep her in her supreme position and not push her to something she has nothing to do with.”

Nasrallah: No one is allowed to love.”

In an indirect comment on the uproar Friday, the Hezbollah chief alluded to the statement in a speech honoring an assassinated party commander. He said Lebanon was witnessing a period when love was banned in the country.

“We have reached a stage in the country when somebody says he loves somebody and this could lead to the country’s destruction,” Nasrallah said. “No one is allowed to love.”
LA Times/ Agencies

  • hezzies are terrorists

    What a cow. Never liked her suicidal music anyway.

    • Suicidal music lol, glad you told me! most of the time I am so depressed that you have to keep sharp objects away from me :)P I wont listen to her songs!! hope you are doing well

      • hezzies are terrorists

        I have tried istening to her music but she just so boring. Yeh doing better than some unfortunately. How’s you?

        • doing well, record high temps in florida (hope Prophetttt is reading) :)P
          Are you familiar with Katherine Jenkins? great singer and stunningly beautiful, also check out Haley westerna beautiful voice too.

          • Peaceforleb

            Geo, don’t listen to certain people, her music is beautiful. It’s just you need a brain to appreciate her music. I bet had she said she hates Hezbollah, The comments would be different. Or maybe its because she’s not wearing a burqa. After all, all Sunni extremists think that any woman who doesn’t wear a burqa is a slut.

          • Prophettttt

            Greeting geo, record high in central park:70 degrees. Put my shorts on . lol

          • Good morning to the Prophetttt, do you ever show up unless you are provoked any more? lol I had to check the new York forcast to verify 70 degrees I guess I believe that part but not keeping your shorts on :)P Provoke,Provoke,Provoke lol

          • Prophettttt

            Good morning geo,
            This mother nature of our time has no respect for any calendar.Tourists are complaining because Rockefeller center Crew can not keep the skating ring icy and cold enough. Someone needs to explain to these people that worse things happen in life.lol

        • Prophettttt

          Whatever you think of Fairuz,do not touch her art or her music.She defined Lebanese music and songs.Artistically,She is the most respected and admired Arab singer of our time .Just because she is liberal minded and progressive ,you can’t insult her art .
          I still remember many people attacking her after she sang for Jerusalem and Palestine. No surprise she is under attack now .She is the only non sectarian Lebanese human being I know of.She was banned from east Beirut by Geagea and gang because she openly supported the Palestinian cause.
          Can’t believe you provoked me to reply and comment.

    • Tk

      man, that is not a true story. She never got involved in politics.

  • hezzies are terrorists

    What a cow. Never liked her suicidal music anyway.

    • Suicidal music lol, glad you told me! most of the time I am so depressed that you have to keep sharp objects away from me :)P I wont listen to her songs!! hope you are doing well

      • hezzies are terrorists

        I have tried istening to her music but she just so boring. Yeh doing better than some unfortunately. How’s you?

        • doing well, record high temps in florida (hope Prophetttt is reading) :)P
          Are you familiar with Katherine Jenkins? great singer and stunningly beautiful, also check out Haley westerna beautiful voice too.

          • Peaceforleb

            Geo, don’t listen to certain people, her music is beautiful. It’s just need to brain to appreciate her music. I bet had she said she hates Hezbollah, The comments would be different. Or maybe its because she’s not wearing a burqa. After all, all Sunni extremists think that any woman who doesn’t wear a burqa is a slut.

          • Prophettttt

            Greeting geo, record high in central park:70 degrees. Put my shorts on . lol

          • Good morning to the Prophetttt, do you ever show up unless you are provoked any more? lol I had to check the new York forcast to verify 70 degrees I guess I believe that part but not keeping your shorts on :)P Provoke,Provoke,Provoke lol

          • Prophettttt

            Good morning geo,
            This mother nature of our time has no respect for any calendar.Tourists are complaining because Rockefeller center Crew can not keep the skating ring icy and cold enough. Someone needs to explain to these people that worse things happen in life.lol

        • Prophettttt

          Whatever you think of her,do not touch her art or her music.She defined Lebanese music and songs.Artistically,She is the most respected and admired Arab singer of our time .Just because she is politically progressive,and socially liberal, you can’t insult her art .
          I still remember many people attacking her after she sang for Jerusalem and Palestine. No surprise she is under attack now .She is the only non sectarian Lebanese human being I know of.She was banned from east Beirut by Geagea and gang because she openly supported the Palestinian cause.

    • Tk

      man, that is not a true story. She never got involved in politics.

  • Maborlz Ez-Hari

    Her son has always been a loser.

  • Maborlz Ez-Hari

    Her son has always been a loser.

  • Tk

    I am sure that Fairouz don’t get involved with politics since the beginning of her career. I think her son is a pot head. She should come up in media and deny the story. But if true then she lost her legitimacy.

  • Tk

    I am sure that Fairouz don’t get involved with politics since the beginning of her career. I think her son is a pot head. She should come up in media and deny the story. But if true then she lost her legitimacy.

  • Constantin7

    The idiot Ziad has to stop talking in politics and keep composing music. I am pretty sure that our diva Fairouz did not want/plan/wish to be in this awkward situation. Even if she likes Hassan, she would not make it public to be sensitive to Lebanese and Arabs who don’t. So Ziad just shut up and don’t talk in the name of your mother!

  • Constantin7

    The idiot Ziad has to stop talking in politics and keep composing music. I am pretty sure that our diva Fairouz did not want/plan/wish to be in this awkward situation. Even if she likes Hassan, she would not make it public to be sensitive to Lebanese and Arabs who don’t. So Ziad just shut up and don’t talk in the name of your mother!

  • Guest

    A married woman cannot express love for another married man. This would be considered adulterous.

  • Guest

    A married woman cannot express love for another married man. This would be considered adulterous.

  • nagy_michael2

    For those who insulting Fairuz stop it and I am against hezbollah but the lady is an Icon and I am sure she didn’t want to share her feelings with the public. I could careless if she likes Nassrallah or not.. i care about the ones who are destroying lebanon.. talk is nothing and if lebanon is a democracy then stop picking on little things. Even some jews admired Hitler that didn’t mean they loved him. Fairuz is a great and patriotic lebanese and please do not use insults against her no matter what you’re political beliefs are . She is not a politician and could careless about politics. Ziad her son on the other hand was and still an idiot. he should not have spoke on behalf of his mother and he should keep his mouth shut. we have enough disputes between Lebanese and there is no need to add fuels to the fires. Fairuz should be to admire anyone she likes, as long she doesn’t harm anyone dignity and hurt anyone. Who said any politicians out there is not guilty especially those who were involved in the war.. it’s same with hezbollah who criticized Majedah al Roumeh for singing in Bahrain.. or having a citizenship or whatever was bothering Hezbollah. its none of their business too. so anyone who is supporting Fairuz should not have criticized Majedah al roumeh.. now we should all focus on getting out of the syrian quagmire and work on our problems so we can fill the potholes on the road and getting electricity for at least 2 hours a day.. lol

  • nagy_michael2

    For those who insulting Fairuz stop it and I am against hezbollah but the lady is an Icon and I am sure she didn’t want to share her feelings with the public. I could careless if she likes Nassrallah or not.. i care about the ones who are destroying lebanon.. talk is nothing and if lebanon is a democracy then stop picking on little things. Even some jews admired Hitler that didn’t mean they loved him. Fairuz is a great and patriotic lebanese and please do not use insults against her no matter what you’re political beliefs are . She is not a politician and could careless about politics. Ziad her son on the other hand was and still an idiot. he should not have spoke on behalf of his mother and he should keep his mouth shut. we have enough disputes between Lebanese and there is no need to add fuels to the fires. Fairuz should be to admire anyone she likes, as long she doesn’t harm anyone dignity and hurt anyone. Who said any politicians out there is not guilty especially those who were involved in the war.. it’s same with hezbollah who criticized Majedah al Roumeh for singing in Bahrain.. or having a citizenship or whatever was bothering Hezbollah. its none of their business too. so anyone who is supporting Fairuz should not have criticized Majedah al roumeh.. now we should all focus on getting out of the syrian quagmire and work on our problems so we can fill the potholes on the road and getting electricity for at least 2 hours a day.. lol