Ziad Rahbani

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Ziad Rahbani
زياد الرحباني
Born (1956-01-01) January 1, 1956 (age 58)
Origin Lebanon
Genres Arabic music, Lebanese music, Opera, Jazz
Occupations Composer, writer, performer.
Instruments Piano, electronic keyboards, accordion, buzuq, vocals.
Associated acts Fairuz
Salma Mosfi
Sami Hawwat
Joseph Sakr

Ziad Rahbani (also Ziyad al-Rahbany Arabic: زياد الرحباني‎, born 1956) is a Lebanese composer, pianist, performer, playwright, and political commentator. His compositions are well known throughout the Arab world. Many of his musicals satirize Lebanese politics both during and after the civil war, and are often strongly critical of the traditional political establishment.

Personal life[edit]

Ziad Rahbani is the son of the Lebanese famous composer Assi Rahbani and Nouhad Haddad,[1] the famous Lebanese female singer known as Fairuz.[2] Rahbani was married to Dalal Karam, with whom he has a boy named "Assi" but was later found out not to be his biological son. Their relationship later ended in divorce, prompting Karam to write a series of articles for the gossip magazine Ashabaka about their marriage. Rahbani composed a number of songs about their relationship, including "Marba el Dalal"[3] and "Bisaraha".[4]

On Friday April 3, 2009, the Lebanese press reported that Rahbani filed a lawsuit with the Lebanese courts, asking to disown his son, Assi Rahbani Jr., and stripping him of the Rahbani name on all official records, and voiding any legal obligation towards him as a father, after DNA tests proved that Assi Jr. is not his son.[5] Rahbani has also had a well-publicized relationship with actress Carmen Lebbos, which lasted for 15 years before the couple agreed to separate. Rahbani has a long standing relationship with Lebanese leftist movements, and is a self-declared communist and atheist.[6] Coming from a Greek Orthodox family, his politics and atheistic view point have meant that he has been at odds with some of his ex-coreligionists.[7] During the Lebanese civil war, Rahbani resided in mainly Muslim West Beirut.


Rahbani's first known artistic work was "Sadiqi Allah" (My Friend God), a collection of writings between the years 1967 and 1968 when he was in his teens. In 1973, at age 17, Rahbani composed his first music for Fairuz, his mother. Assi Rahbani, his father, was hospitalized and his mother Fairuz was to play the leading role in Al Mahatta by the Rahbani brothers. Mansour Rahbani, his uncle, who had written the lyrics of a song about Assi Rahbani's forced absence, gave Ziad Rahbani the task of composing its music. The song "Saalouni El Nass" (The People Asked Me)[8] gained Rahbani recognition in the music world.


Rahbani appeared for the first time on stage in Al Mahatta where he played the role of the detective. He also appeared later on in the Rahbani Brothers' Mays el Rim[9] in the role of one of the policemen. Rahbani's first step into theatre was with the Bkennaya Theater in Sahriyyeh.[10] He followed that with highly politicized string of plays.


Before, during and after the war, Rahbani released and co-released several albums like: Bi hal shakel, Abou Ali, Halleluja, Shareet Ghayr Houdoudi, Houdou Nesbi, Ana Mouch Kafer, Hakaya al Atfal, Bema Enno, Monodose (with singer Salma Mosfi) and Maaloumat Mush Akidi (with singer Latifa).[11]

He has also written the music for singles performed by others such as "Rafi2i Sobhi El Gizz", "Kifak", "Iza baddik" "Abban 3an Jidd".

He has done some orchestrations for songs like "Madih el Zoll el Ali", "Ahmad el Zaatar" and "Moussakafoun noun". Rahbani has also mixed several albums such as Al ra2i el 3aam and Moussakafoun noun.

He has held concerts like the Oriental Jazz Concert in the BUC Irwin Hall, the Las Salinas Concert, the Forum de Beirut Concert, the Picadilly Concert, and "Mniha Concert" in Mont La Salle Ain Saadeh, the latter with his cousin Ghassan


He also performs live occasionally in pubs like "Medusa", "Mon Général" and the "Téatro".

Political works[edit]

Rahbani has also done many political shows on the radio like Ba3dna Taybeen Oulou Allah and El Akl Zeeneh and some music related shows. Since 2006, he has written a column for the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar.

Critical interpretation[edit]

A dearth or artistic-literary criticism exists on the works of the Rahbani Brothers, Ziad Rahbani, and Fairouz. One of the main reasons beings their works are seen from a Nationalistic point of view. Proper literary criticism remains to be created most probably in later years. However, one of the most important literary interpretations are found in Nizar Mroueh's "In Lebanese Arabic Music and the Rahbani Musical Theatre": "في الموسيقى اللبنانية العربية والمسرح الغنائي الرحباني"، نزار مروة

Critically, Fairouz and the Rahbani's real works or art ended with Assi Rahbani's illness - brain haemorage - in 1973. The plays that follows: Qasidat Hub, Lulu, Mais Il Rim, and Petra, were of mediocre quality musically and dramatically compared to the profound visceral plays of before. No real art that echoes the quality of pre-1973 was created after that except by Ziad Rahbani, and with Fairouz when she cooperated with Ziad in albums or in concerts. Otherwise, Fairouz's cooperation with other composers such as Zaki Nassif and Philimone Wehbe were as mediocre and the plays that the Rahbani Brothers tried to produce. Furthermore, Fairouz's concerts without Ziad Rahbani to this day are mediocre works of art with very stiff, course and unmusical renditions of songs. The music in the Las Vegas concert issued on DVD for example sound course, unimaginative, monotonous and uncreative.[12]

With Ziad Rahbani an orchestra with a full range on instruments is chosen that takes the listener to imaginative levels in composition and rendition, and a more visceral comprehensive program of songs is created that all together create a true work of art. The best example being "Fairouz Live in Beiteddine" CD of the year 2000 concert[13] and "Fairouz in London - Royal Festival Hall" 1986[14] and other unofficial television releases such as the concert in Bercy in France 1988 and London 1994. Ziad's concerts when alone also continue on his father's pre-1973 studio quest for the best sounding work of art.


Solo albums[edit]

  • Belly Dance (1972)
  • Bil Afrah (1972)
  • Sahrieh - Songs (1973)
  • Abou Ali (1979)
  • Ana Mosh Kafer (1985)
  • Hodou' Nisbi (1985)
  • Bema Enno (1996)
  • Amrak Seedna (2000)
  • Bnisba la boukra shou
  • Monodose (2001)
  • Live at Damascus Citadel (2009)

Music for Fairuz[edit]

  • Wahdon (1979)
  • Maarefti Fik (1987)
  • Kifak Inta (1991)
  • Ila Assi (1995) a reorchestration of Rahbani brothers' songs
  • Mich Kayen hayk Tkoun (1999)
  • Beiteddine Concert 2000 (2001)
  • Wala Kif (2002)
  • Eh, Fi Amal (2010)


  • Sahriyyeh (1973)
  • Nazl el sourour (1974)
  • Bennesbe La Boukra Shou? (1978)
  • Film Ameriki Taweel (1980)
  • Shi fashel (1983)
  • Bikhsous el Karameh wel Shaab el aaneed (1993)
  • Lawla Fos'hat el Amal (1994).
  • Lfasel L2khar (1996)


  1. ^ "Ziad biography". Nogomi Stars. 
  2. ^ "Fairouz our ambassador to the Stars". Al Mashriq. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Marba el Dalal". Amazon. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bisaraha". Amazon. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Patricia Khoder (2009-04-19). "Paternity scandal rocks Rahbani family". Gulf News. 
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fouTNTaIdTY
  7. ^ As'ad, AbuKhalil (2012-10-08). "The Cult of Ziad Rahbani". al-akhbar. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Sa'alouni El Nas". Amazon. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mays el Rim". YouTube. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sahriye". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ziad Rahbani on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Fairuz (Live in Las Vegas)". Amazon. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Live at Beiteddine 2000 [Live]". Amazon. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "At the Royal Festival Hall - London". Amazon. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 

External links[edit]