Fri 21 Oct 2016 | 11:58

Lebanese officials, artists bid adieu singing legend Sabah

Wed 26 Nov 2014 at 13:08

NNA - Lebanon lost on Wednesday a big part of its joyful history with the loss of its renowned folklore singer, Sabah (Jeanette Feghali), at the age of 87.

Lebanese officials, the Syndicate of Professional Artists, and the Feghali family, somberly eulogized this sad loss and confirmed that a funeral mass will be taking place at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday the 30th of November, at Mar Gorgeous Maronite Cathedral - Down Town Beirut, for her burial to take place in her hometown of Bdadoun.

Condolences could be offered at Mar Gorgeous Maronite Cathedral on Monday and Tuesday the 1st and 2nd of December from 11 a.m. till 6 p.m.

"As Sabah departs life, Lebanon incurs a huge loss. Her fame surpassed Lebanese limits. She was an Arab artist that invaded every Arab country, especially Egypt. She played a big part in the rise of Lebanese art and folklore," Information Minister, Ramzi Jreij, said in tribute to the deceased singer.

He stressed the paramount importance of aptly honoring late Sabah. "I shall be personally following up on the matter with the Ministry of Information and will also contact the Ministry of Culture to make sure we properly honor the late singer for her long journey giving and enriching the Lebanese culture," the Minister pledged.

In turn, Former Lebanese President, Micheal Sleiman, also bewailed Sabah's loss.

"The news of Sabah's loss was painful to me and my wife, who had met her and appreciated her," he said, hailing Sabah's long cultural journey which carried Lebanon's national and humanitarian values to different parts of the world.

PSP leader Walid Jumblatt said in his words of eulogy, "Sabah is a legend that will never happen again. With her departure, a huge part of Lebanon's beautiful past has gone."

Sabah, known locally as "Al-Sabbouha" was born in Bdadoun, Lebanon. Her father was severe towards her, even beating her sometimes. When she started making a small amount of money out of her movies, he used to take it away from her. She married early to leave her father's overbearing financial control. Her brother killed her mother because he believed she was seeing someone outside marriage.

She began singing and acting in the 1940s in Egyptian movies when Egyptian filmmaker Henry Barakat recognised her talent. Although a Lebanese national, the majority of her films were co-produced with or focused on Egypt. She starred with many famous actors, such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Kamal El Chenawi, Ahmad Mazhar, Rushdy Abaza and Hussein Fahmy.

Until 2009, she performed both in concert and on television, including such programs as Star Academy (the Arabic equivalent of the United Kingdom's Fame Academy), where she sang her new single onstage opposite a line of mannequins displaying costumes from several of her early films and musicals.

She was known to her affectionate fans as "Sabbouha". She was also famously known as "Al Chahroura" (The Singing Bird), because of her poet uncle who was named "Chahrour Al Wadi".

She suffered from many illnesses before her death due to several Thrombus in her brain. This caused her to lose control of her left hand and foot. However, she did not lose her memories, but suffered from a diminished ability to concentrate.

Sabah got married seven times. Najib Chammas (5 Years), Egyptian violinist Anwar Mansy, Egyptian television presenter Ahmed Farrag, Egyptian actor Rushdy Abaza, Lebanese deputy Joe Hammoud, Lebanese artist Wassim Tabbara, and Lebanese artist Fadi Lebnan.