The Art of the Poetic Duel

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I said the matter is love

She said alas love!

I said there is a cure

She said there is none, my eyes

I said I am going to go mad and leave this land

She said there is no land without love

I said I will weep

She said in vain

I said I am going to go mad

She said ah mere words

I said I will vent my sorrows

She said mere words

I said I will moan

She said others have tried

I said where is the compassion?

She said it has been folded away

Sabah & Wadih el Safi

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Happy Birzday to You

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A picture perfect birthday, balloons, kids running around, pop corn, cakes, mummies and nannies, music, and last but not least the birthday cake. As we gather around to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy/girl, we gather all our strength and take a deep breath, as we know there will be a four-minute medley of happy birthday in all languages. Well, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but it is true. If we knew more then 3 languages in Lebanon we would probably be singing in as many as we could.

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When in Doubt, Sing

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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.

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