When Music Enchants

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“I feel that music on the screen can seek out and intensify the inner thoughts of the characters. It can invest a scene with terror, grandeur, gaiety, or misery. It can propel narrative swiftly forward, or slow it down. It often lifts mere dialogue into the realm of poetry. Finally, it is the communicating link between the screen and the audience, reaching out and enveloping all into one single experience.”

Film composer Bernard Herrmann.

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The Dance

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The Dabke is an Arabic folk dance that started in the mountainous regions above the Mediterranean coastline and the Tigriss River. It is of possible Canaanite or Phoenician origin. According to some sources the Phoenicians were the first teachers of the dance in the world, and the Dabke is a representative descendant of the Phoenician dances.

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The Voice of Beirut

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Beirut windows slowly awaken

Houses piled up one on top of the other,

Whatever she does complements her

Together we live,

Each one on his own window

And life is ahead of us with its flowers and thorns

Beirut windows slowly awaken

Read in her coffee cups and tell me what do you foresee for her

She has seen a lot

Sweet days and sour ones

She doesn’t get enough of legends and life is still at its beginning

Beirut windows awaken slowly

Our stories hanging on clothesline, forgotten,

Colorful canvases on grey rooftops

Beirut windows slowly awaken

She stands in the early morning light

And puts kohol in her eyes

Someone will definitely drop by to visit her

And the sea with its ebbs and tides

Never tires and never stops

And no matter how old she gets

Only he is affectionate towards her

(lyrics translated from her song Shababik Beirut _ Beirut’s Windows)

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The Voice of Belonging

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I long for my mother’s bread

And my mother’s coffee

And my mother’s touch…

My childhood grows within me

Day after day

I love my life because

If I died,

I would be embarrassed by my mother’s tears

Take me, if I return one day

As a scarf for your lashes

And cover my bones with grass

Baptized by the purity of your heel

Tie me up

With a lock of hair

With a thread that points to the tail of your dress

Perhaps I will become a god

A god I would become

If I felt the bottom of your heart

Put me, if I return

As fuel to light your fire

And a wash-line on your house’s roof

Because I’ve lost my strength to stand

Without the prayer of your day

I’ve grown old… return the stars of childhood

So I can share with the sparrow chicks

The way back

To the nest of your waiting

(translation of the song Oummi)

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Fayrouz

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Nouhad Haddad, famously known as Fayrouz, meaning Turquoise gemstone is certainly one of the greatest Arab singers of the 20th century. A true gem, whose songs have become the soul of her country.

It was Lebanon’s civil war, from 1975 to 1990, that both shattered the country’s tolerant society and cemented Fayrouz’s reputation, refusing to leave the country, as a cultural symbol beloved by Arabs of any political or religious stripe. When shellfire ripped through Beirut and its residents cowered in their basements, radio stations of all persuasions broadcasted her plaintive ode to the city called Li Beirut, (To Beirut).

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