The art of late legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthoum was honoured on Friday (July 21) at the opening of Baalbek International Festival, 48 years after her last appearance in Baalbek fortress in eastern Lebanon.
The music of the iconic singer was brought to life by Egyptian singers Marwa Nagy and Mai Farouk.
Photos of Umm Kulthoum projected on the walls of the ancient Temple of Bacchus and the melodies of her masterpieces created a lovely atmosphere for Nagy, who said she felt the spirit of the legendary singer surrounding her.
“You feel there is an energy in the place, the souls of the legends are here around you,” she said.
The internationally renowned Baalbek music festival will host a wide array of local and international artists for various nights at its historic venue among Roman ruins in the Bekaa Valley.
The eastern town of Baalbek is home to some of the best preserved Roman temples, in which acclaimed musicians including American jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and British singer Sting have performed.
It is one of scores of international and local summer cultural festivals in Lebanon, held mostly in the open air.
Founded in 1956 by then-President Camille Chamoun, the Baalbek festival is considered the most prestigious of the country’s annual festivals, having welcomed the Arab world’s musical legends such as Um Kulthoum and Fairouz.
The Egyptian icon performed three times in Baalbek in 1966, 1968 and in 1970. She died in Cairo in 1975, at the age of 77.
Baalbek International Festival runs until August 18.
Sharjah24 – Reuters: