Baalbeck International Festival
The Baalbeck International Festival (Arabic: مهرجانات بعلبك الدولية) is a cultural event in Lebanon. Since 1955, people from around the world have gone to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival. Classical music, dance, theater, opera, and jazz as well as modern world music are performed each July and August in the ancient Roman Acropolis. Presidents : Aimée Kettaneh from 1956 to 1969, Salwa Said from 1970 to 1974, May Arida from 1975 to 2010, Nayla de Freige from 2011 till present
The festivals date back to the mid 20th century with the first organizing activities being held in 1955. After one year, President Chamoun named it the Baalbeck International Festival, which became a governmental institution whose goal was to promote tourism and Lebanese culture. The festival was held in July and August in the ruins of the Roman temples. In 1966, it established a drama school for the promotion of works done by Lebanese authors.
After the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and the cessation of festival activities for a quarter century, the festival reopened for incoming spectators in 1997. Cultural events such as classical music, opera, jazz, modern world music, Lebanese Nights, rock and pop music as well as ballet and theater regained their past location with over 40,000 yearly spectators watching in the unique historic setting of Baalbek.
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