Saiid Akl | Joesph Harb | Talal Hayder | Michel Trad
A famous poet from Lebanon. Born in Zahlé in 1918, he quickly became a force in Lebanese literature and produced 20 books of poetry, ranging from romantic to patriotic. He is well remembered for excellent poems on Palestine and Syria. He wrote almost twenty songs for Fairuz to sing at the Damascus festival in the 1960s and 1970s (Ya Sham Aad As-sayf, Sa'ailini, etc). His lyrics for Jerusalem won Fairuz important success in the Arab World. In fact, Fairuz chose her CD on Jerusalem as a gift to Cofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary general, when he visited Beirut last year. Currently, Said Akl still writes poetry and literary commentaries to the Beirut daily As-Safir. It is interesting to contrast his fiery poems for Syria and Palestine before the Lebanese war and his politics during the war.
Akl's Biography By Kamal Dib
Harb was born in the mid forties to a police officer who moved quiet often from Alnakoora to Soor to Tarazieh in Qadaa Jebayel where he, with his sister, went to Dar Elrahbat 'Nuns School' for 5 years. There he was the only boy in his class. He used to read the scriptures and that exposed him to the language. He wrote and published his first poetry book/Diwan when he was 17 years old. He is a Marxist, like his friend Ziad Rahbani. They both worked on a number of songs which Fairuz has performed. Harb also wrote poems which the late Philemon Wehbe composed and Fairuz also sang. There are other songs which he wrote and late Riad Alsounbati composed but haven't been disclosed yet. Joseph Harb has also written a number of television series. He's been the general manager of the Lebanese Writers Organization/Union since December 1997. You can read his poems in the numerous poetry books he wrote or in Fairuz' songs like 'Belayl we Chiti', 'Wahdon', 'Chants Philemon Wehbe' and other albums.
His love for Baalbeck is great. There he was born on the 22nd of August 1937. He majored in Philosophy. He worked in many fields including as a teacher. He handled managment and wrote in many newspapers and magazines. He worked in the theater, one of his famous plays is 'Mourjan and Yaqoot' in which Nidal Alashker and Roger Assaf both starred. Other plays include 'Alfaraman' which he co-wrote with Nadia Eltwiney. He wrote and starred in a film called 'Alsaber/Patience' in which he walked around the monuments and civil war ruins of Beirut speaking of old times, people and nostalgic past. He also worked with Karakallah in Alysar and Fall of Andalucia. He's currently working on a film about Gibran. His poems were sung by many artists including Marcel Khalife, Mageda Elroumi, Sabah, Wadi' Elsafi and Omaima ElKhalil. His songs for Fairuz include the amazing 'Wahdon' as well as 'Ya Rayeh'. The first was composed by his friend Ziad Rahbani and the second one by Philemon Wehbe. Of his poetry books are 'Biaa3 Azaman' and 'Khayal Berj Alasad'.
He spent his life a poor man. He started his life as a simple officer of which his salary was 18 Lebanese Liras. After that he worked as a teacher in the 'Three Moons' school, then as a writer in the National Book Organization in Beirut. His last job which he spent 33 years doing was working as an officer in the Castle of Baalbeck antiquities department. He wrote the poems which Fairuz sang like 'Kam Banafsaghi' as well as poems that were taken from his poetry book 'Jolnar'. Others include Marcel Khalife and Wadi' Elsafi also sang his poems. He wrote other poetry books, 'Dolab', 'Kas 'aa Shefaf Eldenii' and his last book 'Elmarkeb Eltaih' was published a couple of weeks before he died. His poetry was translated into English and French. He died on Febraury the first 1998 leaving behind his wife and Agni Abi Hayder three children.