Articles | Articles | Contents
Tributes | Files | Interactive | Lists | Special

Arab Dreamer's
Mansour is half of one whole: The Rahbani Brothers

Although I love many of the songs the talented Ziad composed for Fairouz, especially the early songs and the songs on her last album, “Mish kayen hayk tkoon”, I wish that Mansour and Fairouz will cooperate together to produce grand, magnificent songs and notable plays.

About Mansour Rahbani and his most recent song “Bi sabah el alf ettalet”, I think it is a very beautiful song both artistically and message-wise. The music is beautiful and elegant, and the lyrics are poignant and stirring. The lyrics are not repetitive, on the contrary they are original and innovative. The song directly addresses the issues of racism, sectarianism and suffering, and makes a clear statement using terms and vocabulary not used before in Rahbani songs. Such a song is desperately needed at a time when so many people around the world are suffering, and when so many countries are afflicted by wars and crimes of hate. Noble principles, aims and concepts of tolerance, justice and benevolence are not, and should never be considered “stupid old ideas”. Mansour was very successful in promoting such noble ideas using new innovative lyrics, and in sending the world a message of peace from the East at the dawn of a new millennium.

About Mansour’s plays, I haven’t seen or heard any of his plays in full. Mansour’s play, “The Last Days of Socrates” has an interesting theme, but it might have had less of an appeal to general audiences than the older unforgettable Rahbani plays because of the philosophical nature and cultural detachment it might imply. His new proposed play about Jesus Christ sounds very interesting, as it strikes the heart of many fundamental current issues. Now moving on to songs, many of the songs he has been composing (“Ya tefli elli jaye” for Julia Boutros, “Wehyatak” [Last Days of Socrates] and “Bi sabah el alf ettalet” for Carol Smaha, and “Lao fiyyi khabbeek” [Last Days of Socrates] for Hoda) have been very artistic and beautiful. Of course Carol Smaha’s voice cannot be compared to Fairouz’s magnificent and ethereal voice and her supreme singing abilities, but Carol did perform the song “Bi sabah el alf ettalet” well, even though I think it would have been a much greater song if Fairouz sang it.

However with all of this one might feel that there is something missing in the songs and plays Mansour creates... What’s missing is the ingenious Assi, the remarkable Fairouz, the distinguished Nasri Shamseddine... and an atmosphere of hopes and great expectations....