I had promised friends in Cairo live footage a massive amount of photos and potentially recordings of parts of the play in attempt to share the experience.
To all of those I am extremely sorry, security measures were insane and we were stripped of all potentially sound and imagry related articles.. and I mean EVERYTHING. They have made us check our gadgets at the door then subjected us to metal detectors and bag searches. Figures they would… couldn’t make up my mind whether I was upset I could not immortalize this experience, document it in film and print, record it for prosperity… on the other hand I understand how this could prove do be a distraction, an invasion of the intimacy of the performance itself (not to mention a threat to the privacy of ruling family which was there to attend.)
Forgive me; I’ve over looked giving you the facts.
Place: Sharjah University City Hall
Time: May 6th at 8:30 pm
Event: Fairouz’s rendition of Sa7 El Nawm
We’d made countless phone calls, made futile roundtrips to Sharjah and ended up paying courtesy of Master Card. Then on the day of the event I stood in queue an hour or so early to pick up my tickets from the box office at the gate.
We got in and seated with what must have been the largest group of Lebanese citizens I’ve ever seen in one location. Was nice hearing the pre-show hype. I sat there trying to memorize it all, so I could be accurate in my account. To tell you about the odd shaped theatre that had been stretched an odd way leaving you with excellent view but no leg room whatsoever. To describe to you the plush interior of gold, wood and blue Iranian designs in Moroccan style wood panels on the walls.
The musicians where no where to be seen, yet sure enough come 8:30 the famed Rahbani tunes filled the air. It had begun! There she stood her back to us holding her umbrella (Rihanna has completely branded that word for life); silent… still.. then she breaks into songs and the crowd rise to their feet in appreciation as the clapping goes on for minutes almost making the play impossible to complete, yet she sings through it all… loud … clear… majestically.
The play itself is a classic musical with all the elements that define Lebanon: politics, music, dabkeh, humor and phenomenal singing. I loved the simplicity of the story and the moral of the tail. I soared with Fairouz as she hit notes I can’t believe she can still muster and just lost myself to the music of the Ra7abna with every chord. I got sucked into the tale and enthusiastically clapped and tapped my feet with every dabka.
When the curtain hit the stage, I was disappointed it was over. More so that I couldn’t share that experience with all of you. You know what the funny thing is, the story of the play still holds true. For all who know what I’m talking about “Sa7 El Nawm”.