Fairuz, was born as Nouhad Haddad, in the district of Zhak el Blat in Beirut. The eldest of a modest Maronite family , she early develops a true passion for music. As her parents are too poor to afford a radio, the young Nouhad spends most of her time listening to it at the doors of her neighbours. She memorises songs rapidly and sings some of them at school celebrations. And at one of these events, in 1947, she impresses the composer Mohamed Fleyel with her vocal abilities. He manages to convince Nouhad�s parents to have their daughter registered at the National Conservatoire. The sound of her beautiful voice soon reaches the ears of the composer and talent spotter Halim El Roumi who is also the Director of the Lebanese Radio. Fascinated, he auditions her and immediately integrates her into the chorus of Radio Beirut. He also changes her name to Fairuz (means �Turquoise�)and becomes her appointed composer. Later, Halim introduces Fairuz to Assi el Rahbani, a young avant-garde composer who wants to modernize Lebanese songs with his brother Mansour. The young Fairuz rapidly falls in love with Assi and marries him in 1954 (their love story will end at Assi Rahbani`s death in 1986). With the release of their first songs, the heavenly trio create a true musical revolution. In 1957, Fairuz opens the International festival of Baalbek which takes place in a roman temple composed of six columns. From this first meeting with her audience, who welcome her triumphantly, Fairuz is given the name of "seventh column". Three years later, she conquers Syria and gains a fan in the person of Ahmed Assa, the Director of Radio Damas. Faced with their growing success, the Rahbani brothers keep innovating musically. They write some fifteen musicals for Fairuz between 1962 and 1976 in which she has the role of a woman who looks for True love, the plain and innocent one who symbolises Hope. She also acts in several movies including the "Ring Thief" in which she acts with the Egyptian equivalent of Jerry Lewis, the famous Ismail Yassine, "The Daughter of the Officer" produced by Barakat. However she soon puts an end to her film career as she prefers to concentrate on music and conquers the heart of the whole Arab World with the song "El Qods" which is dedicated to Jerusalem. She also cements her ties with her fans while expressing her emotions, her anger and her sincerity in the wonderful and moving composition "Jisr El Aouda" dedicated to the Palestinian drama. In 1975, Lebanon sinks into Civil war. Fairuz deserts the music scene but not her country, rejecting the idea of giving in to the temptation of a comfortable exile. She only leaves the country of cedars to be the messenger of the sufferings of Lebanese people. The tragic beauty of her words and her angelic voice touch and pierce the most inpenetratable hearts. In September 1994, after ten years of an intentional silence, Fairuz performs again in Beirut for a population who has lost its identity but who has never forgotten the moving voice of its diva.
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