Culture and Arts Lebanon
Lebanon, a cultural melting pot, has seen the birth of brilliant artists. We have chosen to present two of the most famous.
Kahlil Gibran (Djubran Kahlil Djubran) is a poet, philosopher and artist. Born in 1883 in Bécharré, he died in 1931 in New York. He wrote first in Arabic and then in English when he moved to New York in 1912. His poems have been translated into more than twenty languages. His drawings and paintings have been presented in the most beautiful capitals of the world. The Prophet, his major book, expresses his spiritual quest and his vision of the absolute. His books of poems, illustrated with his mystical drawings have won over a large number of readers all over the world.
Amin Maalouf has lived in France since 1976. He is certainly one of the most talented Lebanese French-speaking writers of his generation. He has written numerous historical novels mainly relating to the Middle East. A long-time contributor to the weekly Jeune Afrique, of which he was editor-in-chief, he has traveled around sixty countries and covered many events, including the Iranian Revolution.
Le Lebanese traditional song draws its origins from the sad and nostalgic chants hummed by the shepherds in the mountains, or the port workers on the coast.
Ephrem the Syriac, father of the universal Church and considered the father of sung music, was inspired by it in the XNUMXth century to compose rhythmic religious poems. In the XNUMXth century, Romanos le Mélode, a fine scholar, poet and musician from Beirut, unified Aramaic and Byzantine melodies and enacted the first laws of religious music. It is on these tunes and melodies that all the liturgical chants from Eastern churches. It is assumed that the songs of the muezzins were inspired by it.
In the twentieth century, Lebanese musicians such as the Rahbani brothers, Zaki Nassif and Philemon Wéhbé, among others, evolved this melody by modernizing it and introducing Western instruments.
This musical tradition is still alive today through 2 great Lebanese voices.
Fairuz, known as "the greatest Arab singer since the disappearance of Oum Kalsoum", expressed her immense talent in very varied genres, interpreting equally well, in the purest classical tradition, Arab-Andalusian works, Mouwachahs and Qacidas that drawing on the more contemporary repertoire of operettas and modern songs. She also sings her Christian origins in a large number of religious songs for Easter and Christmas. Her career took off in the XNUMXs when she began working with avant-garde composers who supported the revival of Arab music (the Rahbani brothers). From the sixties, she became the undisputed star of the entire Arab world. However, she remained faithful to Lebanon where she lived and worked continuously despite the war.
Sister Marie Keyrouz
Sister Marie Keyrouz, known as the "Sister scholarly singer", the "Messenger of peace", the "Light of sacred music", or even the "Mysterious voice of the East", was born in Deir-El-Ahmar, near the Roman city of Baalbeck, a Maronite in family and Melkite in a religious congregation, it embodies the tradition of Christian song of the Eastern Churches. At the crossroads of religions, his records have met with international success and have won him numerous invitations to sing around the world. Her passion for singing has also led her to in-depth research in this field (she has a doctorate in musicology and founding president of the Institut International de Chant Sacré in Paris).
The Francophonie in Lebanon
In Lebanon, French is a fact of culture and a choice of society. The teaching of French was introduced to Lebanon by the religious missions which founded, from the XNUMXth century and throughout the following centuries, a large number of schools, then universities, open to all Lebanese and where the he teaching was given in French and Arabic.
Le bilingual education, from kindergarten to the final year, has always been the rule in Lebanon and has been maintained even after independence on the initiative of all communities without any legal or regulatory provision determining the choice of the second language which, next to Arabic, must thus be taught.
Enjoying a long tradition of pluralism and openness, Lebanon enjoys one of the most developed freedom of expression in the region. The press is plural and deliberately satirical. Television too.
The country has several French-speaking publishing houses. Lebanon is the leading producer and the leading importer of French newspapers and books in the entire Middle East. The written press includes many newspapers and magazines including L'Orient-Le Jour (daily), Magazine, La Revue du Liban (weekly) and several monthly reviews including Mondanite, Noun, Prestige, Femme, etc. The reading rate of the French-speaking press is around 27%. Several radio stations are totally or partially French-speaking. On the other hand, there is no longer a French-speaking television channel since the abolition of Canal 9 in 2001.
Le french cinema enjoys wide distribution, but it is the american cinema - like everywhere else - which holds the upper hand. All foreign films are subtitled in Arabic and French.