Monday, October 14, 2013

The Late Legendary Wadie El Safie, Never Stopped Smiling #Lebanon

The man who has never stopped smiling, even in the last reported picture of his last days. He kept that loving smile.

Wadih El Safi , (born Wadi’ Francis), a famous Lebanese singer , songwriter, and actor died Friday at the age of 91. A Lebanese cultural icon,El Safi is often called the “Voice of Lebanon”. Born in Niha, Shouf of Mount Lebanon , Wadih El Safi started his artistic journey at the age of seventeen when he took part in a singing contest held by Lebanese Radio and was chosen the winner among fifty other competitors.

El Safi’s health s severely deteriorated about this time last year , following a surgery to a broken leg

El Safi toured the world, singing in many languages, including Arabic, Syriac, French, Portuguese and Italian.

Lebanese music lovers took to the Internet over the weekend to demand a national day of mourning in honor of the iconic singer Wadih al-Safi, who passed away Friday at the age of 92.

The Lebanese Higher National Conservatory for Music announced it would close Monday out of respect for Safi. Andre Hajj, the head of the Lebanese Oriental Orchestra and a professor at the conservatory, called on caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to follow suit. Politicians, kings, heads of states, presidents all have send in their condolences.

“The state has its own considerations, but it would be shameful if they didn’t announce a day of mourning,” he told The Daily Star, adding that the conservatory did not hesitate to close Monday as soon as word of Safi’s death spread.

Last fall, Hajj helped organize a special concert to honor Safi’s 75 years on the stage, a responsibility he described as one of the great honors of his life.

“[Safi] left so much more to Lebanon than we realize,” Hajj said. “Now people are noticing because he died, but I would say he lived a full life.”

Safi suffered a stroke at his son’s house in Mansourieh Friday night and was transferred to the Bellevue Medical Center where he passed away.

Safi’s funeral service is scheduled to be held Monday at 3 p.m. at St. George Cathedral in downtown Beirut. As of press time Sunday, Mikati had not announced a day of mourning.

Safi was considered a giant of Lebanese classical and folk music and often rhapsodized about his homeland in song. Some of his most famous tunes include “Andak Baharia” (You Have Sailors), which speaks of Lebanon’s proud seafaring history and “Lubnan, Ya Qataat Samaa” (Oh Lebanon, Piece of Heaven).

Wadih El Safi will be laid to rest on Monday in his hometown of Niha in the Chouf region of Mt Lebanon, his family revealed “so that his grave will serve as a cultural landmark for all Lebanese and all his admirers throughout the world.” On Sunday, President Michel Suleiman hailed via Twitter El Safi’s long and prolific career, adding: “His death is a national loss for Lebanon’s heritage.”

وديع الصافي (انت وانا يا ليل+ ابو الزلف

7-8 - Wadih el-Safi & Group - Mawal ya sayf y Zahher ya sayf

صباح و وديع الصافي موال رائع


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