Ziad Rahbani    



Ziad Rahbani

Name : Ziad Rahbani
Country : Liban
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Ziad Rahbani biography

Ziad Rahbani (Arabic: ???? ??????, born 1956) is a Lebanese composer and a writer (for radio shows and theatre). The son of the famous Lebanese singer Fairouz and composer Assi Rahbani, he succeeded in conveying the cosmopolitan and pluralistic culture of his native city Beirut. He composed many songs for Fairouz and other singers. Many of his musicals satirised the political situation in Lebanon during and after the civil war; others addressed more philosophical as well as political questions. He played the main role in all his plays.

On the first of January 1956, Nuhad Haddad (A.K.A. Fairuz) gave birth to her first-born boy. And she, along with her husband Assi Rahbany, decided to call him Ziad... Both parents were talented and famous, they never thought that their son would become the controversial yet great musician, poet and play writer he turned out to be...

Little Ziad Rahbani was elected the best looking child in a contest he participated in... He still thinks the photos aren't his, since he could never imagine that the child in the photo could grow up to look like he does nowadays...

At the age of 6, he used to stop his homework, in order to judge if a tune that Assi, his father, had written was beautiful or not and to see what was missing in it... "Assi didn't always choose the version that I, the 6 year old child, preferred. But it was his way in making me feel that I had an opinion of my own" Says Ziad Rahbani. Later on, Assi heard Ziad repeating a musical tune over and over, he then asked him if he had heard it anywhere else, and Ziad's answer was negative, he only heard it in his head... It was then that Assi began realizing his son's musical talents...

Ziad's first known work, wasn't musical though. It was a divan called "Sadiqi Allah" in Arabic ( ????? ???? ) that he had written between the years 1967 and 1968. Any reader can't but acknowledge that no one but a true genius could write a similar book at the age of 12 or 13.

At the age of 17, in the year 1973, Ziad Rahbani composed his first music for Fairuz, his mother. Assi was then hospitalized and Fairuz was destined to play the leading role in "Al Mahatta" by the Rahbany brothers, so Mansour wrote the lyrics of a song about Assi's absence for her to sing in the play and gave Ziad the task of composing its music. "Saalouni El Nass" became instantly a great hit. Everyone loved it and were amazed by Ziad's musical talent... Ziad Rahbani appeared for the first time on stage in that same play "Al Mahatta" where he played the role of the detective. He also appeared later on in the Rahbany Brothers' Mays el Rim in the role of one of the policemen who ask Fairuz for her "first name, last name and Village".

In Bkennaya, a group of young people used to present new versions of the Rahbany brothers' plays, with Madonna the Lebanese show singer in the role of Fairuz. In the year 1973, they contacted Ziad Rahbani and told him that, for once, they wished to do an original play, with an original script, new songs and a whole new story. Ziad Rahbani agreed to take the job, and "Sahriyeh" was played on the "Bkennaya Theater". That play followed the Rahbany bros style. it was Ziad's first step into theater. The other plays that came after, were totally different. They treated political and realistic plots that touched people in their everyday life; So were his new songs...

The first play of that type was "Nazl el sourour" in 1974, followed by "Bennesbe La Boukra Shou?" in 1978, "Film Ameriki Taweel" in 1980, "Shi fashel" in 1983, "Bikhsous el karameh we' Cha3b el 3aneed" in 1993 and "lawla fos7at el amali" in 1994.

Ziad Rahbani was married to Dalal Karam and had a son "Assi junior" with her, but his marriage was doomed to fail... The couple got divorced, they weren't in good relation with each other... That led Dalal to write her life with Ziad Rahbani in the gossip magazine "Ashabaka"... And Ziad Rahbani to compose some songs about their relationship "Marba el Dalal", "Bisaraha" and so on... Their separation, along with the fact that each of them was living in a different part of Beirut during the war (Ziad in West Beirut and Dalal in East Beirut), kept Ziad from seeing his son until he was nine years old...

After his separation, Ziad Rahbani lived a well-publicized 15-year relationship with actress Carmen Lebbos. Their relationship ended after Carmen realized that Ziad wasn't able to offer her the stability she needed... In one of her rare interviews, in which she accepted to talk about her relationship with Ziad, Carmen maintained that Ziad, a controversial figure who has invited praise and criticism alike, was simply the man she once loved... she then added "never, during all the 15 years of being together 24 hours a day, did I regard Ziad in the light other people saw him in. To me he was the man I loved and lived with and drank coffee with every morning... And that is that.”

Ziad Rahbani, from his side, said that Carmen had every right leaving him, since he spent the whole 15 years telling her that the state they were living in, the apartment, the chaos... was only temporary... That he was going to fix the whole situation, but he wasn't able to do it... That is why he thinks that not only Carmen would have done that, but any woman if she was in Lubbos' shoes... Still, and till that moment, one can easily notice that the majority of Ziad songs are related in a way to his relationship with Carmen... He openly said, that one particular song talked about someone he knows' life with a woman he loved and who lived with him for a long time, that song is "Walla3t kteer" from Salma Mosfi's record "Monodose"...

With Fairuz's separation from Assi, Ziad took over. Six albums till now were the fruit of this cooperation. "Wahdon" (1979) was the first album. In it Fairuz sang "El Bosta"... "What do you want? Give us the song and take 500 LBPs and get it over with!!!" these words were Assi's to his son when he first heard el Bosta written and composed by Ziad, to be sung by Joseph Sakr in the play "Bennesbe La Boukra Chou?"... "Maarefti Fik" (1987) was their second album, Kifak Inta (1991) the third, "Ila Assi" the reorchestration of Rahbany songs (1995) came fourth, followed by "Mich Kayen hayk Tkoun" (1999), "Beiteddine Concert 2001" (2001) and lately "Wala Kif" (2001)... Fairuz's experiment with Ziad has been a complete change... Her songs were from now on based on the poetic reality, not the poetic words... Ziad's poetry came from his catching the poetic moment in the images of reality and its stories... In other words, Ziad's "poem", natural as it is, has shown more of Nuhad Haddad's personality in the image of Fairuz... Musically speaking, Ziad's music showed a maturity that most of the Rahbani's brothers works missed... his superb talent in musical composition (mostly inspired from Jazz and Bossa Nova) and complex arrangements gave the new Fairuz works a completely different level.

Ziad Rahbani has a long standing relationship with Lebanese leftist movements. He is ideologically close to the Lebanese Communist party - in fact, he is a self-declared communist. His politics meant that he was at odds with many of his co-religionists, who had adopted a much more right-wing agenda. During the Lebanese civil war, Ziad Rahbani resided in mainly moslem West Beirut.

His plays were at the core of the Lebanese consciousness and many generations considered them an integral part of Lebanese tradition. For reasons best known to him, Ziad, with the exception of "Sahriyyeh", was always opposed to filming his plays thereby depriving generations of fans worldwide from the nostalgic memory of such unforgettable art. When asked about the reason he never filmed his plays, his answer was, in the best humorous Ziad Rahbani's style, "Darb 7amraneh" meaning an act of foolishness.

Ziad's work wasn't restricted to his mother though. Before during and after the war, Ziad released and co-released few music and song records like: "Bi hal shakel", "Abou Ali", 'Halleluja", "Shareet Ghayr Houdoudi", "Houdou Nesbi", "Ana Mouch Kafer", "Hakaya al Atfal" "Bema Enno", and lately "Monodose"... He did political Radio Shows on the radio : "Ba3dna Taybeen Oulou Allah", " El 3akl Zeeneh" and some music related shows... He did singles to some singers and companies like "Rafi2i Sobhi El Gizz", "Kifak", "Iza baddik" "Abban 3an Jidd"... Some orchestrations like for "Madih el Zoll el Ali", "Ahmad el Zaatar" and "Moussakafoun noun, the song"... and some sound engineering for tapes like "Al ra2i el 3aam" and "Moussakafoun noun, the record"... Held concerts like : the Oriental Jazz Concert in the BUC Irwin Hall, the Las Salinas Concert, the Forum de Beirut Concert, the Picadelli Concert, and, lately "Mniha Concert" in Mont La Salle Ain Saadeh with Ghassan Rahbany, his cousin... That is in addition to his live playing in some pubs like the "Medusa", "Mon Général" and currently "Teatro"...

Starting Monday Oct, 9, 2006 Ziad Rahbani started writing a regular column in a local newspaper "Al-Akhbar" where he tackles recent political issues in a deep and/or satirical way.

In 2006, he collaborated with Latifa on her 2007 album, titled Maaloumat Akidi.

Ziad Rahbani, a controversial figure (politically, musically and poetically), has been gathering both fans and critics... Both groups defend their ideas, beliefs and tastes, accusing the other side of going too far... That only indicates the importance of Ziad in the Lebanese, Arabic and international artistic field...

Ziad Rahbani discography
discographie de Ziad Rahbani

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