Detroit museum to host Lebanese pop singer Yasmine Hamdan concert

Lebanese pop singer-songwriter, Yasmine Hamdan, has garnered global attention since the release of her debut solo album, “Ya Nass,” in 2013 and patrons headed to the Detroit Institute of Arts can enjoy a free show from the rising star on Dec. 7.

Hamdan will perform at 8 p.m. as part of the city museum’s Friday Night Live! Series, which often packs the Rivera Court performance area.

In a release, the museum called Hamdan’s album a “personal, modern take on Arabic pop music.”

The same album was lauded by NPR as a redefinition of Middle Eastern music in 2014. Reviewer Banning Eyre called Hamdan “one of the most free-thinking and inventive artists singing in Arabic today.”

A 2014 review from the UK-based outlet The Guardian said Hamdan deserves to be the next female celebrity from the Arab-speaking world.

“She has a sultry, seductive voice and gift for melody that is reminiscent of Souad Massi, and her best songs rely on acoustic guitar rather than the swirling synths,” the review said.

Hamdan's arrangements include elements of Western electronic, pop and folk music, according to the DIA. (Photo provided/Yasmine Hamdan)
Hamdan’s arrangements include elements of Western electronic, pop and folk music, according to the DIA. (Photo provided/Yasmine Hamdan)

Hamdan has performed on four continents, and recorded a song for the 2013 vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive” directed by Jim Jarmusch, a release said.

As part of their Arab Film Series, the Dearborn-based Arab American National Museum will be hosting a free screening of the film on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Hamdan. Register for the event at the AANM website.

To learn more information about the free Detroit Institute of Arts concert, click here.

In a song called “Beirut,” featured on the album, Hamdan sings:

“Beirut, a flower out of its season, what a waste if it withered.”

Take a look at the video for the song:

Lebanese film director Khalil Zaarour to appear at Michigan screening

Lebanese film director Khalil Zaarour is set to appear at a Michigan film screening of his 2017 drama “Nour,” which follows the story of a 15-year-old girl forced into marriage.

The Lebanese American Club of Michigan (LACOM) is hosting the screening Oct. 24 at the Landmark Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich., about 15 miles from Detroit.

The event begins at 7 p.m. with a meet-and-greet with Zaarour, who is traveling from Lebanon. Tickets are $15 per person.

According to its website, “Nour” features the story of a young girl forced to marry a boy she despises.

“Her carefree summer days morph into claustrophobic confinement and household chores,” the film’s synopsis said. “Nour mourns her lost childhood and scattered dreams. Easy summer days full of dreams, love and joy were the world of Nour and her group of friends who are torn apart by an event that changes Nour’s life forever.”

WATCH: Trailer for “NOUR” a film by Khalil Dreyfus Zaarour:

Zaarour is an award-winning writer and director known for his films, “Malaki” and “The Window,” which received the Best Film Award during the 13th European Film Festival.

Khalil Zaarour is an award-winning screenwriter and director. (Facebook/Nour)
Khalil Zaarour is an award-winning screenwriter and director. (Facebook/Nour)

For tickets to “Nour” in Royal Oak, Mich., click here. Zaarour is also appearing at a Washington, D.C. screening of the film, hosted by the LAU Alumni D.C. Chapter. Tickets to the D.C. event can be purchased here.

St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church opens in Michigan

Named after a saint known for his miracles around the world,  St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church announced its opening of a 29,000-square-foot church in Clinton Township, Michigan.

The church is home to one of the largest Maronite communities in the United States. It was formerly located in Warren, but moved to Clinton Township as part of a major expansion and construction project.

St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church is located at 43888 Hayes Road in Clinton Township, Michigan. (Lebanese Examiner)
St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church is located at 43888 Hayes Road in Clinton Township, Michigan. (Lebanese Examiner)

“We are delighted to welcome our parishioners to their new home,” said Chorbishop Alfred Badawi, pastor of St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church. “This beautiful new church helps accommodate our growing parish, which is a testament to the vibrancy of the Maronite Catholic faith in Michigan.”

The church features architectural influences from among the world’s most historic churches in Lebanon, where St. Sharbel was born and lived as a solitary hermit. St. Sharbel was beatified Dec. 5, 1965, and canonized Oct. 9, 1977.

Thousands of tourists from around the world visit St. Sharbel in Annaya, Lebanon annually. (Lebanese Examiner)
Thousands of tourists from around the world visit St. Sharbel in Annaya, Lebanon annually. (Lebanese Examiner)

“It is humbling to build an honor for St. Sharbel, who has performed dozens of miracles right here in metro Detroit, and who inspires devotion among Christians of all denominations, “Chorbishop Badawi added. “This move to Clinton Township secures the foundation of our future and safeguards the mission of the Maronite community, allowing us to preserve the treasures of our traditional values and culture for decades to come.”

For more than three decades, St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church has served a diverse population of parishioners in southeastern Michigan, including a large population who immigrated to Detroit from Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.

Detroit Tigers to host Arab American Night at Comerica Park

The Detroit Tigers baseball team is hosting an Arab American Night Sept. 22 at Comerica Park during a Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals game.

According to its website, the Tigers are offering a package that supports an Arab American nonprofit based in Dearborn.

The package includes:

  • One ticket to the Sept. 22 game
  • A Saad Meats Sharifa Halal Knockwurst voucher
  • Donation to Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities
The nonprofit Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities is located in Dearborn. (File photo/Lebanese Examiner)
The nonprofit Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities is located in Dearborn. (File photo/Lebanese Examiner)

Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities, formerly known as the Lebanese American Heritage Club, is a human services nonprofit that works to support educational, social and economic projects in southeast Michigan.

The Sept. 22 game starts at 6:10pm. Tickets start at $25.

To learn more about Arab American Night, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Massari to perform at American Lebanese Cultural Festival in California

Lebanese-Canadian pop singer Massari is set to perform at the American Lebanese Cultural Festival this weekend in a Los Angeles suburb.

The annual festival is hosted by Our Lady of Mount Lebanon Church in Arcadia, California. The festival is in its 16th year.

Massari is best known for combining Arabic beats with western culture. He has won many awards, including Best International Arabian Artist and Dance Artist of the Year.

He has worked with some big names around the world, including French Montana, Mohammed Assaf and former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

RELATED: Lebanese man plants cedar tree in town of Lebanon, Tennessee

The festival starts on Aug. 25 at noon until midnight PST, and will feature authentic Lebanese food, dabke, backgammon and tarneed tournaments.

The festival will take place on August 25th and will feature musical performances by Massari and Fidel Fayad (Facebook screen grab)
The festival will take place on August 25th and will feature musical performances by Massari and Fidel Fayad (Facebook screen grab)

Admission to the festival is free, but parking is $10.

To find out more information and RSVP to the event, visit their Facebook event page here.

Maronite church in Virginia to hold large Lebanese food festival

Members of a Maronite Catholic community in Virginia are planning a large Lebanese food festival from May 18 to May 20 on church grounds.

St. Anthony Maronite Church in Glen Allen, Virginia will serve up a smorgasbord of Lebanese dishes — everything from spinach and cheese pies to shawarma sandwiches.

lebanese food festival va 2

The three-day festival is a glimpse into Lebanese food, dessert and culture for the Virginia town and its nearby communities.

lebanese food festival va 1

For the first time this year, festival organizers invited members of the St. Rafqa Choir from Lebanon to perform folk and religious music on Friday and Saturday night.

Admission is free, but food prices range from $2 to $9. The festival is fundraising opportunity for the church.

For a full list of menu items, click here. For more information about the festival, click here.

Lebanese Americans vote in parliamentary elections

Lebanese Americans began voting Sunday in the first parliamentary elections held by Lebanon in nine years. The historic occasion marks the first time Lebanese citizens are allowed to vote abroad.

Sunday’s vote in 33 countries comes two days after Lebanese expatriates voted in six Arab countries.

According to the state-run Lebanese National News Agency, 82,970 Lebanese expatriates are registered to vote around the world. Australia has the largest number of registered voters with 11,826.

Canada has 11,438, followed by the United States with about 10,000, the news agency added.

lebanese americans vote in parliamentary elections in detroit michigan 4

Metro Detroit, home to one of the largest populations of Lebanese Americans in the U.S., established three polling locations in Michigan for expatriates to vote. Registration was required in advance, officials said.

The Detroit Consulate, which handles consular duties for 13 other states, also established one polling location in Ohio, one location in Minnesota and one in Illinois.

lebanese americans vote in parliamentary elections in detroit michigan 2

Voting inside Lebanon will be held next Sunday.

According to the Consulate, Lebanese citizens eligible to vote need to bring a Lebanese ID, a valid Lebanese passport or a recently renewed or issued temporary passport.

In South America, thousands of Lebanese citizens are also expected to cast their ballots Sunday. Leila Smidi, a mother of four living in Brazil, said she feels closer to her native land after voting.

“Today’s voting is very important because for the first time we will have a voice in Lebanese affairs,” Smidi, who has lived in Brazil for 11 years, told the Associated Press.

Lebanon’s current legislature has extended its own term several times, citing security threats in Syria.

WATCH: How Lebanese Expatriates Vote:

Man goes on racist rant against Arab Uber driver

NEW YORK – A man in Queens, New York was caught on camera howling racial slurs at an Arab American Uber driver last Thursday.

In a Facebook video shared by Karim Metwaly, an unidentified man driving a white SUV is heard yelling obscenities to the driver.

“You’re an Arab; you’re a f****** loser,” the man said.

At one point, the driver tells the Uber driver he will be deported under Trump’s leadership.

“Trump is president a**hole, so you can kiss your f****** visa goodbye scumbag,” he said. “They’ll deport you soon. Don’t worry, you  f****** terrorist.”

The video has since gone viral with more than 5.3 million views. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, reports of intimidation and harassment have spiked since Election Day.

WATCH the incident below (Warning: profanities):

Lebanese American journalist recognized as ‘Trailblazer’

DETROIT – Former CBS News correspondent Aleen Sirgany was recognized Saturday as a ‘Lebanese American Trailblazer’ for her career in journalism and service to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The gala was held in Detroit by the Lebanese American Club of Michigan (LACOM), a non-profit organization which aims to preserve Lebanese culture in the state.

“I’m honored by this recognition,” Sirgany said. “Lebanon is always in our hearts, in our lives, in our family.”

The former journalist now serves as a senior advisor to the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, the fundraising wing for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

As a Washington-based CBS correspondent, Sirgany covered dozens of global headlines, including the White House, the attacks on September 11 and Hurricane Katrina.

She was born in Beirut, and spent the first five months of her life in a Lebanese orphanage.

While covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2005, Sirgany wanted to visit Lebanon and see the orphanage where she was born.

“I thought, there is no way I’m going to be so close to Lebanon and not go see my family,” she said. “I did not know I could not have my passport stamped.”

It took Sirgany 10 years to make the trip.

“I fell in love with Lebanon,” she added. “It was so emotional, that it was almost surreal.”

WATCH: Aleen Sirgany Tribute Video

St. Sharbel relics make rounds through Metro Detroit

(DETROIT) — The historic relics of Saint Sharbel made rounds through Metro Detroit this month, appearing in three Maronite parishes for believers to see and pray over.

More than 2,000 people visited the relics on Saturday at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Hundreds of Chaldeans packed an evening mass presided over by Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean diocese.

“We’re very proud and we’re happy that it gets all the community together with the Lebanese people,” Lamia Sitto, a Chaldean parishioner from St George Chaldean Catholic Church, said.

Hundreds of people stood in line to touch and pray over the relics, which are visiting the U.S. from Lebanon.

“The Chaldean people have been shopping, praying and coming through for the last two days all day long,” St. Sharbel parishioner Char Fortuna said. “We kind of expected a huge crowd tonight.”

WATCH St. Sharbel Relics Visit Detroit: