Lebanese singer Samira Tawfik, original name Samira Ghastin Karimona, was born in 1937 and began her career singing in major theatre productions in Beirut at the age of 13. She worked in Jordanian radio in the 1960s, distinguishing herself from her peers by singing Bedouin songs, a style that she became known for throughout her career. Samira was introduced to the Egyptian musician Tawfiq Bayoumi who gave her stage name “Tawfiq” (Success) when he told her al-Tawfiq Min Allah (success will come with the blessing of God). She also starred in several films during the sixties and seventies. Her songs are still repeated and sang by the public until today, despite her absence from the artistic scene.
My first and last encounter with her was when we were crossing the checkpoint between West and East Beirut when I was around 10 years old. She was asked by a man waiting for hours in the long queue if she would kindly sing for the people there. She went out from her car stood on the side of the street and began to sing. I still remember her in her green dress, her trademark beauty spot, her long dark thick black hair, and her big smile. She stood there and sang in the middle of the street. She sang what I later found out to be “3oudou ya hbaibi” (come back my dears). People started to get out of their cars to listen to her, one man started to cry as he held his handkerchief in his hand and was waving it around. For one day in what felt like an eternal war in Lebanon, she managed with her smile and musky voice to cheer up the people who were hanging on to hope and dear life for that matter.
For me, she embodies the spirit of the Lebanese people. She is full of life and pizzazz no matter the circumstances. Always smiling, no matter the difficulties. She is a true performer, no matter on which stage she’s on. Like all Lebanese who could not make their mark in their own country, she left somewhere else and started her successful career and came back stronger. Her spirit shines through her smile. Her big wide smile mirrors the soul of its people. For me, it’s like listening to an old lullaby song, it jut makes you warm inside.
Because Samira Tawfik taught me on that day, when i was 10 years old, stranded in no man’s land, that even when life is unbearable, it will somehow pass by with a smile and a song, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton
i love this song, I hope you get the chance to watch it:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDnS6HjUjeg