** (Lyrics to the song below and in the video)

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The words of the hashtag which followed the horrific explosion in the port in Beirut last week are taken from the famous Fayrouz song: “Li Beirut” (To Beirut).

Nouhad Wadie’ Haddad, known by her artist name Fayrouz (84 years old), is a Lebanese singer from Beirut, who is considered by many as this generation’s greatest Arab music icon.

The song, written by the Lebanese poet Joseph Harb was recorded in 1984 and published amid the height of the sectarian civil war in Lebanon. Throughout the war, the song became an expression of the division of Lebanese patriotism, for which the Lebanese people paid the price. The lyrics of the song speak of nostalgia and sadness that perpetuated the devastation caused by the war to Lebanon and its beloved city, Beirut.

Today, 36 years later, the song’s lyrics take on a new meaning with the explosion of the port, as if the lyrics were written mere days ago in sorrow for the horror that the city is experiencing these days…

Lyrics in English:

To Beirut,

From my heart a greeting to Beirut

And kisses to the sea and the houses,

To a rock shaped liked the face of an old sailor…

She is wine from the spirit of the people

From its sweat (the people), she is bread and jasmine.

So how did its taste become the taste of fire and smoke

To Beirut

A glory from the ashes, for Beirut

Of blood, of a child held in its palm

My city has extinguished its lamp

She (my city) closed its door

Became at night alone

Alone with the night

You are mine… You are mine

Oh, embrace me; you are mine

My banner, and the stone of tomorrow, and the waves of my travel.

The wounds of my people have blossomed

The mothers’ tears have blossomed

You, Beirut, are mine

You are mine

Oh, embrace me…

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Picture of Ibrahim Abu Ahmad

Ibrahim Abu Ahmad

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