Baalbeck International Festival

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The Baalbeck International Festival (Arabic: مهرجانات بعلبك الدولية, French: Festival International de Baalbeck) is a cultural event in Lebanon.[1] 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.[2] The presidents of the festival have been as follows: Aimée Kettaneh from 1956 to 1969, Salwa Said from 1970 to 1974, May Arida from 1975 to 2010 and Nayla de Freige from 2011 to 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.[3]

On the 5th of July 2020, Baalbeck International Festival presented the first cultural event and premiere in the middle east after the COVID-19 confinement, under the title of "The Sound of Resilience". This non-profit concert was performed by the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra with the Choirs of the Antonine University, Notre Dame University and Qolo Atiqo, as well as young Lebanese musicians, under the baton of Maestro Fazlian and with the participation of Rafic Ali Ahmad. The premiere featured a visual show which included archive photos and visual creations is by Jean Louis Mainguy. The creation and production of the 3D mapping was done by the digital agency Cre8mania. [4]

Festival highlights[edit]


  1. ^ LBTAdmin (2018-07-05). "Get Ready for the Baalbeck International Festival". Lebanon Traveler. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  2. ^ Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine, BIF Venues.
  3. ^ Archived 2008-09-18 at the Wayback Machine, BIF The History. Retrieved on 2006-06-17.
  4. ^ ""The Sound of Resilience"".
  5. ^ Middle East International No 4, July 1971, Publishers Lord Mayhew, Dennis Walters MP; Editor Michael Adams; p.22 (August 21-22)
  6. ^ Middle East International No 4, July 1971, Publishers Lord Mayhew, Dennis Walters MP; Editor Michael Adams; p.22 (July 17)
  7. ^ "Mika Shares Letter to the Lebanese People 'Devastated by the Apocalypse'". Billboard. MRC. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.

External links[edit]