Monday, October 08, 2012

Wadad: Lebanese-Jewish singer

One of my lovely FB friends (I forget who) turned me on to the Lebanese Jewish singer Wadad (Bahiya Wahbeh) and her terrific song, from 1962, "Tindam" (You'll regret). Listen here.

وحياة عيوني بتندم
بدك تقهرني؟ طييب
غبلك شي غيبة وجرّب
ولما بترجع يا حبيّب يا حبيّب شو بدك تندم
يا كويس شو بدك تندم

According to Angry Arab Bahiya Wahbeh was originally from Aleppo. Wadad was one of the few Lebanese Jews who remained in Lebanon through the civil war, and she passed away in Beirut in 2009. She was married to the famous Lebanese composer Abdel Jalil Wahbeh, and, again according to Angry Arab, she never converted to Islam, and yet all the obituaries about her never mentioned that she was Jewish. (When the much more famous Egyptian singer and actress Leila Mourad passed away in 1995, the Egyptian papers for the most part did not mention her Jewishness either.)

There is a documentary out about Wadad called "Un instant mon glamour," directed by Shirin Abu Shaqra. It looks gorgeous, at least from this extract. Arabic title: لحظة أيها المجد.

I also found one other Wadad song on youtube besides "Tindam": دور يا حبيبي العين ضياء (Dor Ya Habibi al-'Ayn Dia'). It's a great one too. Music by Tawfiq al-Basha, lyrics Sami Sidawi.

Wish I could find out more about this great singer.

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