Screencap of Ziad Rahbani, March 26, 2018 – Youtube/ ayouta chriki
CAIRO – 26 March 2018: A tribute to Lebanese composer, journalist, playwright and pianist Ziad Rahbani will be held on Friday.
Born in Beirut on January 1, 1956, Rahbani is the son of Lebanese singer Fairuz and composer Assi Rahbani of the Rahbani Brothers. The young Rahbani showed a musical gift early on, and was educated in a Jesuit school which allowed him a taste of more culture and politics beyond the Arab world. He composed his first ever song when he was only 15 years old, and it was sung on the Lebanese drama "From Day to Day" (1971) by Huda.
His first taste of acting came when he was cast alongside his mother Fairuz in a play written by the Rahbani Brothers in 1973 called "The Station". Eventually, he would compose music for his mother's songs by the time he was 17, with the songs becoming quite popular. Seeing the talent he had for music, Rahbani continued to develop and hone his musical skills alongside his pursuits of acting and playwriting.
As he grew older and more certain of his identity as an artist, Rahbani began to drift into politics. Indeed, Rahbani's political satires are just as famous as his artistic works; some of his best known works include a radio satire show called "We're still alive, thank Allah!", which was heavily critical of the Lebanese government. He later created a new school of drama playwriting called the "Rahbani School" which used drama to promote the content of songs.
He's even worked as a Journalist, writing for al-Nidar, al-Akhbar and al-Nahar. Many of his plays would focus on the social and political realities of his time, a fact which drew him great praise but also criticism from those he opposed. Rahbani, staunchly leftist, made no qualms on frequently bashing the right-wing governments, a fact which continues to put him at odds with the Lebanese government to this day, but makes him no less of a beloved national treasure.