The Rahbani Brothers Biography
Part 6: Assy :|
While working on a television series on the 27th of September of 1973, Assy felt strong headaches, and therefore he was rushed by Mansour to the clink of their personal doctor Alfred Sah'arawi. After a panel of doctors checked Assy, he was taken immediately to Rizk Hospital and placed under intensive care. After the analysis, it was clear that he was suffering from an strong internal bleeding in his left part of the brain. All the doctors, but Farid Abu Jawda, agreed that there was no hope for a cure, on the other hand, Dr. Abu Jawda fought this idea and refused to let him go like this.
A meeting was held in which were Mansour and Fairuz, and in this meeting Abdalla Elkhoury pushed for an operation to Assy at any cost. Dr. Gad'eon Mohaseb advised them to call the French professor Claude Guro. Mohaseb did the calls and upon his insistence, Guro, who had other plans, agreed to come to Beirut.
Pr. Guro arrived and he decided that doing the operation has a great chance of saving Assy. They all agreed and the operation was done, and afterwards the professor told Mansour that while Assy maybe able to compose, he wouldn't be able to write. Assy began to gain consciousness in the hospital now surrounded by thousands of fans. Gradually he regained his strength and was up on his feet. He only suffered sometimes from not being able to say some words straight. The opening the doctors made in his throat in order not to suffocate was later infected and caused him problems while breathing. They had been preparing to take Assy to the United States to be operated upon by Dr. Herms Grilo to clear his throat, when their friend doctor Bashir Seaada advised them to pass by Paris and have Assy checked upon by George Fris. And in Paris it was where the operation was done.
When they returned to Beirut, they had been working on Elmahatta play, and Mansour wanted to make it a tribute to Assy from him, Fairuz and Ziad. Ziad had written music and didn't have the lyrics for it, and then Mansour took it and wrote the lyrics, and it was Saaloony Enas. Assy also joined in the composing and the first piece he wrote after his illness was Riaah Eshemal Elhazinii. In order not to cause him any excitement, they didn't allow him to attend the premiere of the play, but afterwards, Dr. Abdelrahman Ellaban convinced Mansour to let Assy attend and that he will supervise him. He used to go every night afterwards and he took charge of conducting the orchestra afterwards. Assy was not the same, not being able to write down things, he dictated them to Mansour. This was how he wrote most of Petra.
In 1975 and while the Rahbani brothers were writing Zaman Alissa for Baalbeck, Assy knew that it's not happening, and he was right and the civil war broke. Assy continued working with Mansour until he died on the 21st of June 1986.