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The Zaki Nassif Arabic Ensemble celebrates Salwa Al Katrib and Romeo Lahoud
2/23/2017
Dana Abed  |  Office of Advancement  |  media@aub.edu.lb  | 
The Zaki Nassif Arabic Ensemble celebrates Salwa Al Katrib and Romeo Lahoud

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The Arabic Ensemble of the Zaki Nassif Porgram for Music at the American University of Beirut held a concert under the title “A Tribute to Salwa Al Katrib and Romeo Lahoud” as part of the 2016-​17 music festival: Remembering and Discovering. The concert, which was held in AUB’s iconic Assembly Hall on February 23, was attended by Romeo Lahoud and his family, as well as Al Katrib’s family, Zaki Nassif’s family, and hundreds of enthusiastic music lovers.

The ensemble, conducted by retired General Georges Herro with choir director Manal Bou Malhab, presented some of the renowned and much-admired songs of Salwa Al Katrib, such as ‘Khedni Maak’ and ‘Yemkin Halla’ Yemkin Boukra’ as well as other songs composed by Romeo Lahoud such as ‘Ya Ahl el Habayeb’ and ‘Ya Ostaz El Abjadiye.’

A short welcome remark was delivered​ by AUB Trustee Emeritus and president of the Zaki Nassif Program Friends Club​ Ali Ghandour. Dr. Ghandour stressed on the importance of preserving the Lebanese Musical Heritage and in that sense on the accomplishments of the Zaki Nassif Program. He also called on the audience to support the Program by joining its Friends Club. Two acknowledgment trophies in the name of the Program were then handed to Mr. Romeo Lahoud and his brother Nahi, husband of Salwa Al Katrib.​
 
Dr. Nabil Nassif, director of the Zaki Nassif Program, explained that its aim is “not only to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Zaki Nassif but also the legacy of other composers who have been principal actors in the musical renaissance that took place in Lebanon between 1950 and 1980.”

“As the Ensemble has now well taken off, it delivered yesterday a wonderful performance and a vibrant tribute to Romeo Lahoud and Salwa Al Katrib in a fully packed Assembly Hall,” said Nassif. He added that the public “expressed instantaneous enchantment”, and was stunned by the fact that Al Katrib and Lahoud’s presence is still as vivid as ever.

The concert was preceded by a reception held in West Hall attended by the concert’s attendees. During the reception, Mrs. Leila Bissat, chairperson of the events subcommittee of the Zaki Nassif Program for Music, expressed her happiness with the Ensemble and how it is celebrating Lebanese heritage. 

“The program seeks to develop the teaching of music through a series of concerts, conferences, and seminars, letting the culture of music become part of the curriculum, part of the life of every adult,” said Bissat. 

Salwa El Katrib was a talented singer born in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1953. Her talents were discovered by music composer and theater director Romeo Lahoud and she became the star in 12 of his musicals. She has won many awards throughout her career including the Said Akl award and the Jarash Event first prize. She won the Murex d’Or in 2005 and 2009, and was granted the golden medal of the Lebanese Republic during the same year. Al Katrib passed away at the age of 55 in 2009. Al Katrib is considered to be one of the most prestigious singers in Lebanon and the Arab world. To her credit are more than 150 songs composed by Romeo Lahoud, Zaki Nassif, Toufic Al Bacha, Elie Choueri, Elias Rahbani and Melhem Barakat.

Romeo Lahoud was born in 1931 in the village of Hobaline. He began his career in 1955 as impresario, bringing to Lebanon major stars such as Louis Armstrong and Sacha Distel. Romeo Lahoud has played a major role in developing the culture of theater in Lebanon. On the regional and international levels, Romeo Lahoud founded in 1967, the Libyan folkloric troop. During the same year, he inaugurated the Imperial Opera of Teheran, l’Opéra Impériale de Téhéran, in the presence of Shahbanou Farah Diba. In 1969, he was the first Lebanese and Arab artist to perform at the famous “Théâtre de l’Olympia” in Paris and at the “Palais Royal des Beaux Arts” in Brussels.

Story Highlights
  • ​​​​​The Arabic Ensemble of the Zaki Nassif Porgram for Music at the American University of Beirut held a concert under the title “A Tribute to Salwa Al Katrib and Romeo Lahoud” as part of the 2016-17 music festival: Remembering and Discovering.
  • The concert, which was held in AUB’s iconic Assembly Hall on February 23, was attended by Romeo Lahoud and his family, as well as Al Katrib’s family, Zaki Nassif’s family, and hundreds of enthusiastic music lovers.
 
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