NEWS/Lebanon Loses Legend Wadih El Safi
With great sadness, we heard the news of the death of one of the "cedars” of Lebanon and the Arab World, Wadih El Safi. What words can describe our shock!
The renowned Lebanese singer passed away on Friday 11th of October at an age of 91 after a long struggle with illness at Bellevue Medical Center. El Safi's health had severely been deteriorated about this time last year, following a surgery from a broken leg.
After the news of his death was released. many artists shared their feeling on social media to lament the loss of the cultural icon, as well as many fans that loved Wadih El Safi and all his songs. Raghed Alama tweeted: "We have lost a Lebanese cedar, the world will have to wait a long time before witnessing such a voice, such ethics, and such humility."
Wadih El Safi, in a career that has spanned almost seven decades, has put a mark on Lebanese music and culture that is tangible and unshakeable. Called "the voice of Lebanon", he sang about this piece of heaven that he called home. His songs are known to all Arabs across the world and are a pride to the Lebanese people.
Born in November 1, 1921 in Niha-Shouf Lebanon, Wadih Francis soon nicknamed El Safi was at an age of seventeen as he started his journey. He took part in a singing contest held by the Lebanese radio and was chosen as the winner among fifty other competitors.
In 61 years of active artistic career, he has written more than 3000 songs and shared prominent singers, composers and artistic Lebanese and Arab icons, like Mohammad Abdel Wahad, the Egyptian legend, Fayruz, Sabah and Al Rahbani brothers, Assi and Mansour. Lining- up our Lebanese music trend, rising-up our folk music among the Arab World, Wadih El Safi performed and composed songs that drew upon his rural upbringing and love of traditional melodies.
Even though, he traveled in 1947 to Brazil with a band, he could not stay away his beloved country, so he got back in 1950 to start a long journey full of success, art, and ethics.
El Safi reportedly received medals from many countries and participated in several major festivals, and always dedicating his art to God and uniting people's heart, with his voice full of artistic technics that revive humane.
Throughout his career, he devoted his art to the human values, to the love of the country, with humility that he believes in. Performing his songs with spontaneity and simplicity, the power of his talented voice led him to be one of the very few singers that can perform all kinds of songs with the same high skills. Worthy of sitting at the throne of the genuine Arab music, thus, he always chooses to be with his fans, close to their hearts, where his voice remains.
Wadih El Safi, one of the three giants in Lebanon, with Fayruz and Sabah, bid this world farewell, perhaps it is very easy to mourn the loss of this legend, the national symbol, but we have to choose to cherish his treasure of songs, that will remain here, in our hearts. We will miss you, our legend Wadih El Safi, but your voice will remain here in our hearts, and our prayers for God to give us another voice just like yours, to rise-up our souls. No more words can describe our love to his line and to his memory.
by Jamil Rachine
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