No Haifa “Catwoman” Wehbe to be seen in Samo Zain’s new music video as promised?

Syrian singer Samo Zain held a press conference at the luxurious Four Seasons hotel in Beirut to launch his latest album “Zay Ay Tinain” (Like any Two).

During the conference, Samo said that he had previously hoped to have Lebanese diva Haifa Wehbe star in his music video for the single “Al Qittah” (The Cat), but the project was never implemented and the song was never filmed as a music video to begin with. He cheekily said that Haifa will always symbolize a beautiful cat in his eyes. Whatever rocks your boat Samo!

According to, Samo arrived to the conference fashionably late – 20 minutes to be precise – where members of the press were waiting for his arrival. The overall atmosphere was very friendly and he answered the majority of questions thrown by journalists at him.

Samo had specifically wanted his comeback to the music scene, and the launch of his new album, to happen in Lebanon.

“I know I have been absent from the music scene for some time now. Many have asked where I’d gone to and where my albums that I had released were at, but my albums are still in stores and are witnessing a great success. The real issue lies within the production company ‘Mazzika,’ but I’m now very optimistic with my new album and expect great things to come out of it.”

As for the rumored arguments between him and Egyptian superstar Tamer Hosny, Samo expressed his awe at such claims and stressed that he and Tamer are the closest of buds and all that has been said is untrue.

He said: “I think of my fans and the millions of members on my Facebook page, and I think of Tamer and his important place in the entertainment scene. So when him and I read about those rumors we did not care to give them much thought at all.”


Source: Albawaba

Ninety minutes of tarab with Shaar

BEIRUT: From behind the red velvet curtains of Metro al-Madina, four musicians emerge to take the stage, resplendent in matching black suits and red bow ties. Stage right sits Ziad Ahmadieh with his oud. Mohammad Nahas positions himself beside him, behind his qanoun. Alongside, violinist Ziad Jaafar prepares his instrument. Rik (tambourine) in hand, Bahaa Daou takes a seat stage left. Finally, veteran vocalist Abdel Karim al-Shaar takes his place at the center, says a warm welcome to his audience and sits down, just centimeters from the front row of tables.

The music begins.

This evening’s program features one single song, “Hayarti Albi Maak” (You Confused my Heart), a much-loved standard from the songbook of Umm Kulthum – the woman dubbed Star of the East back in the 1960s.

The tune of this rapturous 40-minute torch song was composed by Riad al-Santabli to accompany Ahmad Rami’s lyrics. The version performed by Shaar and his ensemble is 50 minutes longer than any extant recording of Umm Kulthum’s original but just as potent.

Like Umm Kulthum, Shaar studied the art of “Tajwid” (Quranic recitation) as a young man. The Tripoli-born vocalist is distinguished among his peers for his mastery of the vocal tradition that features both the tuneful articulation and ornamentation of Arabic phrasing as well as the mental and physical stamina needed for long hours of performance.

After decades of exposure to the 2.5-minute pop song model, it may be difficult to conceive of sitting through the concert performance of a single long-form piece. Yet, at Shaar’s March 20 performance of “Hayarti Albi Maak,” the audience at Metro al-Madina was transported through a wide array of emotions, emerging at the other end exhausted yet elated.

Shaar and his ensemble are faithful to Umm Kulthum’s version of the song, though they do repeat a few refrains more frequently, and the rhythm of the music is slowed to allow for this.

Shaar also introduces some of his own vocal improvisations – “layali” (from “layl,” night), an unmetered modal departure from the set lyrics. An hour or so into “Hayarti Albi Maak,” the audience’s classic music aficionados recognized the words of another Egyptian tune “Leh ya Binafseg,” (Why are You Alone) composed by Riad al-Santabli and made famous by vocalist Saleh Abdel-Hay.

Having referenced a line from “Leh ya Binafseg,” Shaar moves into a “layali” then back to “Hayart albi Maak,” holding his audience rapt. Later on, he weaves in the chorus of “Ghanili Shway Shway” (Sing to Me Little by Little) – an Oum Kulthum tune from the soundtrack of the 1945 film “Salama.”

Throughout Shaar’s performance, many audience members confidently sang along. As is often the case with well-performed tarab music, the sounds emitted by the performers were punctuated by eruptions of “Ouf!” and “Allah!” from the spectators.

The applause at the end was enthusiastic, and Shaar returned for a brief encore – some 30 minutes in length.

Abdel Karim al-Shaar will restage “Hayarti Albi Maak” at Metro al-Madina Saturday evening. Doors Open at 9:30 p.m. For more information, please see or call 01-753-021.

The Daily Star

Lebanese songstress Nancy Ajram records song for World Cup 2014

Lebanese songstress Nancy Ajram has announced that she finished recording the theme song for Coca Cola’s World Cup 2014 promotional commercial, al-Bawaba reported this week.

The diva’s 2010 World Cup anthem with Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan, “Wave your Flag,” was well received, becoming a chart topper.

Ajram’s latest album, “Nancy 8,” has topped the iTunes world chart at #1 in France and the U.S. while her latest hit single “Ma Tegy Hena” (Why don’t you come over here) has had more than three million YouTube views, after being uploaded a week ago.

Meanwhile, Colombian pop star Shakira released the official World Cup song for 2014 on last week, four years after super hit “Waka Waka” made huge successes during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The lyrics of the song titled “La La La” were written by Shakira, as a reworked version of the star’s new song “Dare.”

The World Cup is set to take place in Rio de Janeiro towards the end of 2014.

“It’s an upbeat, Brazilian track. The lyrics are personal and I’ve actually recorded a version for the World Cup,” said the 37-year-old singer, reported Britain’s Daily Star.



Right now it’s just “Words on Paper”: Haifa Wehbe’s upcoming film may not make it

Forgery’ll get ya nowhere, clearly. After Haifa Wehbe’s “Words on Paper” director Mohammad Sami was discovered to have faked his college diploma, he was swiftly stripped of his membership of the Egyptian Cinema Professions Syndicate.

According to, the Syndicate has demanded that all the legal actions be taken against Mohammad, and he may face a possible jail sentence for forgery of official documents.

Mohammad, who is currently filming the scenes of his new television drama “Kalam Ala Waraq” (Words on Paper) starring Lebanese diva Haifa Wehbe and Egyptian actors Majed Al Masri and Ahmad Zaher, may be forced to stop and the drama may never see the light, especially since he will be put under legal questioning and investigation.

One busy lady! Cyrine Abdel Nour is slammed with cinematic and music projects

Cyrine Abdel Nour is getting ready to film the romantic comedy “Sou Tafahum” (Misunderstanding) with fellow stars from Egypt and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, she’s also got a film on her slate this summer with producer Marwan Haddad and director Rami Hanna. The screenplay was written by Reem Hanna and co-stars her common on-screen partner, Syrian actor Maksim Khalil.

The starlet is one busy gal as her other drama, also with Maksim, “Sirat Hub” (Love Story) will air 90 episodes, starting in Ramadan.

Don’t forget bout her singing career either ’cause Cyrine revealed that a romantic duet is in the works with Lebanese singer and composer Marwan Khoury. She added that she is also preparing another song with Salim Assaf.

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