By Ramadan A. Kader
Any new song by Lebanese icon Fayrouz is a landmark event. She is one of the greatest Arab singers of all time. Her last album was released in 2017. But in recent years, the prima donna, now aged 82, has been out of the public eye. Even though, her voice continues to be captivating for millions of fans around the Arab world.
Last week, Fayrouz, nicknamed the “Moon’s Neighbour” and “The Heaven’s Lyre” staged a well-timed comeback. Her daughter Reem Al Rahbani uploaded a video song by Fayrouz in solidarity with Jerusalem.
The holy city has riveted Arab and global attention since December when US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing Washington’s long policy that the status of the city should be settled at the negotiating table.
On May 14, the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem amid a deadly crackdown by Israel on Palestinian protesters.
In her video song, Fayrouz appears clad in black with an image representing Jesus Christ in the background. As she sings in a hymn-like plea, still images of Palestinians brutalised by Israeli forces, flash across the screen, highlighting their decades-long ordeal under occupation.
Impersonating Jerusalem, Fayrouz desperately croons in the video: “Till when God you will keep forgetting me? For ever? Till when will you keep looking away from my face? Till when will my enemy prevail upon me?
“Look at.me. Listen to me, God. Illuminate my eyes lest I should fall into the death sleep. Lest my enemy says ‘I’ve overpowered you’. Those who prosecute me, feel jubilant if I fall. As for me, I rely on your mercy.”
The four-minute video, aptly titled “Till When?” has gone viral online since it was released.
The song comes 50 years after Fayrouz’s iconic song “The Flower of Cities” was released after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.
BUCHAREST, Romania, May 15, 2018 (News Wires) - Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis says the country should remain a predictable partner to both the US and the European Union, criticising the government for trying to relocate Romania’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
President Iohannis urged the government to co-operate in a “loyal and correct” way during a meeting Tuesday with Premier Viorica Dancila to iron out differences in Romania’s foreign policy.
Iohannis, who’s in charge of foreign policy, is also angry with the government after Romania was among three countries to block a EU statement calling the US Embassy move in Israel “unwise.” Romania has no immediate plans to relocate its embassy.
After the meeting, Iohannis said the government should act “in the national interest,” adding that the premier had agreed. He is a rival of the left-leaning government.
JERUSALEM, May 7, 2018 (News Wires) — Jerusalem's city hall says it has put up road signs pointing to the new US Embassy, which is set to move to the city next week.
Mayor Nir Barkat placed the first signs on Monday in the southern Jerusalem neighbourhood where the embassy is to be located. According to a picture sent by Barkat's office, the white signs read "US Embassy" in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
The new US Embassy in Jerusalem is to be opened on May 14 with a huge American delegation expected to attend, perhaps including President Donald Trump.
The embassy move comes after Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital last year, heightening Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Israel claims the entire city as its eternal capital. The Palestinians seek the eastern sector as capital of their hoped-for state.
CAIRO, March 29, 2018 - The Supreme Council of Culture announced yesterday that it would hold a seminar titled "The Image of Jerusalem in International Literature" at the Council's conference hall next Monday.
The Council said that the seminar would be attended by a host of specialists in various foreign languages who would comment on the image depicted of Jerusalem in foreign literary works.