Remembering a Lebanese legend


Lara El Mekkawi
Staff Writer

Lebanon and the entire Arab world lost one of its brightest stars Wednesday when the legendary Sabah, better known as al-Chahroura, passed away at the age of 87.

Born Jeanette Gergis al-Feghali in the town of Bdadoun of the Aley district, Sabah was an iconic Lebanese singer and actress with a career that stretched over 60 years. She released over 50 albums and acted in 98 movies, in addition 20 stage plays. A prominent fixture in Lebanese as well as Egyptian culture, Sabah has over 3,500 songs in her repertoire.

Over the course of her career, she worked with some of the biggest names in poetry and music including Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Mohamed El Mugi, Farid Al-Atrash, the Rahbani brothers, Assaad Sebaali, Mahmoud Beyram El Tounisi, Zaki Nassif, Toufic Barakat and Maroun Karam.

Not only was she a glowing figure in the Arab world, but Sabah was also the first Arab artist to perform at the Olympia theatre in Paris as well as other international stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Opera House in Sydney, the Palace of Arts in Belgium, and the Piccadilly Theatre in London, to name a few.

Aside from the glimmering lights of critically acclaimed performances, Sabah faced the dark side of fame as well, with the entire world keeping a close eye on her personal life. The Elizabeth Taylor of Lebanon, Sabah has been linked to many men, tying the knot with at least nine. She has been humorously mocked for not retiring, leaving the limelight, and instead holding on to her fading youth through surgeries, marriages to young men, and outrageous outfits.

If anything, Sabah is a symbol of Lebanese culture, a passionate and tragic figure. As an artist, she embraced her youth and established herself while still managing to enjoy the pleasures of life. She lived joyously and to the fullest. As much as she is loved, Sabah has been underappreciated and made fun of for her extraordinary way of life.

A beacon of light in a small country, in the ranks of Fairouz, perhaps in death Sabah will regain the respect of those people she has always loved. Pay tribute to this lover of life and Lebanon, listen to “Saat Saat,” watch “Guitar of Love,” to understand why the passing of Sabah is a true loss for the country and art in general.

8 thoughts on “Remembering a Lebanese legend

  1. Is -hak (sahag) BARSOUMIAN ..IN Londom/G.Britain

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    SABAH ah ya SABAH…who can replace you??? The joy that you did spread all around for 6 long decades in all the Arab world and abroad, was & is your immortal legacy.. Unique in your Presence/voice/Beauty and most of all your UNFORGETTABLE and CONSTANT smile, laughter and most of all your quips & sence of humour- brought enormous happiness to us ALL! but our great loss must be Eternity s giant gain .. But you will be tremendously .. missed here among us ..the mortals!@

  2. Is-hak (sahah) Barsoumian London

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    Hi again , just a slight error in printing( M )instead of( N )as IN London on top of my sabah comment I do apologise, please would you most kindly correct it?? much obliged and terribly SORRY! ,thank you in advance,and GOD BLESS.

  3. Is-hak Barsoumian/London

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    Hi there,its me again and after 53 weeks since we lost SABAH /Mrs.Jeannet FEGHALI …26 NOV.2014, after 65 years of constant contribution to Entertainment….SABOUHA or SHAMS AL SHMOUS, as her loyal colleague Late Mr. ABDEL SALAM NABOLSI called her and used it as a term of endearment; still her Laughter and voice echoes in our ears …she was and always will remain a part of our heritage….She never was selfish SUPERSTAR because she always shared her happiness with ALL, but when she grieved,, she done it …ALL ALONE !….SHE was flesh and blood t ,she had her ups and downs too like anyone else….but no one felt her anger or bad temper…it was stored in her heart and mind..like a burning /melting candle…that only brings darkness when it is burned to its hilt that was one thing S A B A H or Sweet Affectionate Beautiful Soul Heiress… will be remembered,may she always rest in HEAVENLY PEACE…from IS-HAK BARSOUMIAN/London

  4. isahak (sahag) Barsoumian/London

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    SORRY FOLKS/A SLIGHT CORRECTION concerning SABAH or what that Name: stands for Sweet..Affectionate..Beautiful.. Adorable..Heiress…..sincere APOLOGIES! from Barsoumian.

      1. is-hak barsoumian

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        OVSANA Horkour/SHAKEH+LUCINE+MARIE+ZAVEN/KASPAR/GIRAYR/HAGOP/ZOHRAB/SETA/ANAHIID+BOGHOS+MKERDITCH+MARIAM+MARAL+RAZMIG+VATCHEH & T A M A R akh TAMAR….LOVED YOU ALL, AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU ALL.. From SAHAG AMMO/London

  5. is-hak barsoumian

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    Dear BEDROS S. and you too Surely,…best wishes from uncle SAHAG(Is-hakYERVANT Barsoumian/London/my address is the same as it was in1994??? Please drop a line thanks!!

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