100 most powerful Arab women 2012
Fairuz
13

Fairuz

Industry: Culture and society

Designation: Singer

Country: Lebanon

Known as the Arabs’ ambassador and the Jewel of Lebanon, Fairuz is still considered one of the greats of the Middle East music scene.

Born in the Cedar Mountains area in Lebanon in 1935, under the name Nouhad Haddad, Fairuz grew up in a modest orthodox family who lived in a single room, traditional Lebanese stone house and shared a kitchen with the neighbours. Fairuz received her education in Beirut and started her musical career as a chorus singer at the Lebanese radio station. In the 1950s, her career took off as her music became more popular and her status grew dramatically. Today, she is revered in the region and is often received by royalty, presidents, and other dignitaries. Although she has never sung in Jerusalem, the key to the holy city - presented to her during a private visit with her father, is among her most prized possessions. Fairuz is the mother of singer and composer Ziad Rahbani, and of the director and photographer Rima Rahbani.

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