Fairuz Overload

Fairuz: When we loved each other so muchWe had an enjoyable evening last night. Amal came over and we cooked a Chinese dish with cashew nuts for dinner along with some banana bread for dessert. They both turned out very well. Following our brief dinner, we watched a Dutch documentary entitled Fairuz, We Hielden Zoveel Van Mekaar, or "Fairuz: When we loved each other so much." The documentary, which Amal worked on as a field producer, examines the Lebanese infatuation with the diva Fairuz, explaining how she provided the soundtrack to the lives of so many Lebanese during the civil war that shattered that country’s soul.

Those interviewed talked passionately about their attachment to Fairuz songs and how she helped shape their emotions and nationalism while growing up in a war weary world.

Fairuz in profileNaturally, the soundtrack of the movie was Fairuz songs, which did make enjoyable listening. But after watching the documentary I felt the urge to bring up a controversial topic in these parts: Fairuz overexposure. I know this might offend the many ardent Fairuz fans out there, but I really have had enough of her. Wherever you go — at least in Jordan — a sampling of Fairuz melodies is required. You hear her everywhere and I mean everywhere: The bus, the cab, on national TV, all radio stations, even your neighbor’s CD player.

When it is Christmas, we hear Fairuz singing Laileh Eid or "A festive night." When it it is snowing she chants Talj, Talj or "snow snow." When there is a Palestinian solidarity campaign we hear Ya qudos or "Oh, Jerusalem." There is a Fairuz song to suit every occasion.

It is just too much! I know most of her songs by heart but sometimes I wish they would just stop playing them! I don’t hate her beautiful melodies or her tantalizing voice; don’t get me wrong. I’m just suffering from Fairuz overload! I cannot allow myself to hear her songs anymore. I have had it! Enough!! It is about time for a new diva to step into the limelight.

Ok. I’m finished venting. Attack me if you will 😉

28 thoughts on “Fairuz Overload”

  1. Roba,
    I understand, I really do, she has an amazing voice but don’t you guys ever get sick of hearing her songs over and over again!

  2. I like Fairuz, but I can not stand Um Kalthoom. Yes, Fairuz songs although very nice and classy, but are ” worn out” from the so much use.

  3. I kind of agree with you..
    I do love fairuz but – yeah could be overdosed sometimes..
    Some other singers from the same genre that I love and think people could listen to more..
    Marcel Khalifa
    Ahmad Qa3boor
    Julia Botros

  4. Natasha,
    I can understand your frustration with hearing Fairouz ALL the time. But maybe because I wasn’t exposed to her as much as you were growing up I can still handle hearing her all the time? But it was really cute hearing you chime in and sing along to the tunes during the film 🙂 People-she literally knows all the words!

  5. Anonymous coward,
    Here is the Banana bread recipe:

    • 2 large size banana mashed
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 1/2 cup of oil
    • 1 1/4 cup of flour
    • 1 tsb baking soda
    • 1/2 cup pecan or walnuts- chopped
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

    Combine and mix the dry items then combine and mix the liquid ones. Then mix them together with the mashed banana and chocolate chips and nuts.
    Pour into a buttered loaf pan- bake for one hour at 180 C.

  6. Okay, now its my turn to say something. The reason so many in the Middle East love Fairuz is because not only is her voice angelic, graceful and just so awesome, but she as well reminds them of good music, plain and simple. The reason a new diva will never replace her is becuase look at who all the arab female singers are. Many of them have great voices, are beautiful, but thats it. They all do plastic surgery, even our old friend sabah, they all want to be the it girl, and thats all they care about.
    Fairouz has class. You can still listen to her and respect her, unlike sabah, who every time she comes out on television i laugh because she reminds me of michael jackson: her face looks differnt everytime due to her so many plastic surgeries.
    Any time a Fairouz song is played here at a party, wedding, or concert, everyone goes crazy, and they should. Just like when a Abd al Haleem Hafez (spelling?) song is played. They are what Arabic music was and still is about. (on a side note, i think kazem el shaer rocks).
    Anyway, just like Americans will never get sick classical music from the past, Arabs will never get sick of Fairouz, well except for you Natasha 🙂 you made that clear.

  7. I quite have a different experience. I never listened to her anywhere, it’s like I listen to her whenever I want.
    I wish she was over exposed, better than 50 cent’s in da club. for almost a year, it was the only song you can hear wherever you go

  8. Natasha, Think you could save me a piece of that that banana bread! Glad you didn’t post a pic of that…otherwise I would have salivated all over my keyboard 🙂
    I only wish I could understand the lyrics to Arabic songs. I think a lot gets lost in the translation so that doesn’t give me much to go on. I am really amazed as how attached and focused the listeners become to these classic songs. The passion that the songs evoke…Amazing!

  9. And Amal??? Amal posts here? Oy vey…
    Hey Metalordie here.
    Many have thought my name means Metal Lordie. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. That’s funneeee.
    But, sigh, no.
    Its Metal or Die.
    Having said that, Abba rubs me the right way, as does Foreigner and … wait for it … Fairuz.
    I like her Habaytak fil Saif…song.
    Magda al-Roumi also …akhhh akhmed! Wot an angel, innit?

  10. I was just referring to her popularity, Arash. I realize they have different styles. And just for the record, I like Googoosh’s style much; “Gharib Ashena” (apoplogies if I distorted the name) remains one of my most liked songs.
    Metalordie, I thought you only listen to Marilyn Manson.

  11. Oh yeah the great gogoosh! and Persian music in general….
    The perfect accompagniment to a suicide attempt.
    Sorry dude, Persian poetry, Perian carpets, and Persian food are great, but give me or any sane person more than 10 minutes of Persian music and you’d find me pulling my own nails out.
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh i get epileptic fits just thinking about it.

  12. Thanks for the link onzlo, I think I must have seen that website before. That or it must be very common to divide Arabic music into those sub-categories. Anyways, to further your suicidal inclinations I invite you to watch this Persian rap video clip by some godforsaken soul named Farez. Other than this case, I’d say Persian music’s alright to me!

  13. Your welcome, I think this division is the usual geographical/social etc.. division in the Arab world, sort of like East Coast, Midwest etc… in the US.
    About the so called ‘rap’ video, all i can say is: hahahahahahhahahahaaaa, but thanks for giving me an entertainingly disturbing 5 minutes.

  14. I wish Fairouz were more overexposed in the U.S., but I can understand how people could get tired of hearing her constantly. (I’m more of an Oum Kalthoum man myself, anyway. I like the improvisation, for one thing.)

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