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LAU events commemorate the Rahbani brothers

[photo]
The first of the CLH series of events dedicated to the Rahbani brothers paid tribute to Mansour Rahbani's innovation in theater and music.

[photo]
Elias Rahbani, the brother of Assi and Mansour, with CLH Director Henri Zoghaib.

January 27, 2010—

Starting in January, LAU’s Center for Lebanese Heritage is dedicating its monthly lectures to the famous Lebanese artists Rahbani brothers following the Ministry of Education’s decision in May 2009 to introduce the study of their contributions to Lebanese culture into the Lebanese curricula.

The lectures dedicated to Assi (1923-1986) and Mansour (1925-2009) Rahbanis will carry on until June, and will be held on the first Monday of each month.

Poet Henri Zoghaib, the CLH director, says that the Rahbani brothers’ contribution to Lebanese culture is fundamental — as composers, musicians, songwriters, authors, playwrights, dramatists, philosophers and poets. They are also known for their work with renowned Lebanese singer Fairuz, Assi’s wife.

“They are the culture of Lebanon,” Zoghaib says, explaining that they shaped the modern culture of the nation with their tremendous originality in music, poetry, theater, etc.

The first event of the series, held on January 4 on the Beirut campus, paid tribute to the late Mansour Rahbani, who passed away one year ago.

Guest speaker Ghazi Kahwaji, a scenographer and long-time collaborator on the theater productions of the Rahbanis, spoke about the concept of place in Rahbani theater. Another guest speaker, Hala Nahra, a music expert and critic in local newspapers, gave a talk on Mansour Rahbani’s innovation in music.

The event also featured a short film by Ghadi Rahbani about his father, Mansour, as well as segments of film footage from Mansour’s theater productions, The Last Days of Socrates, Zanoubya and The Return of the Phoenix.

No event will be held next month, due to the CLH’s poetry festival{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}-called “Love Poems to the Star of Beirut” on January 29, and the center’s English creative writing workshop on February 18.

The March event will feature talks on the human values in Rahbani theater as well as Mansour Rahbani’s point of view on philosophy. The themes of the April, May and June lectures have not been announced yet.


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