Majida El Roumi

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Majida El Roumi
Majida El Roumi in a portrait from 1994.jpg
Portrait of Majida El Roumi in 1996
Background information
Native name ماجدة الرومي
Birth name Majida Halim El Roumi Baradhy
Born (1956-12-13) 13 December 1956 (age 58)
Origin Tyre, Lebanon
Genres Arabic, classical, opera
Occupation(s) Singer, Lyricist, Actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active Early 1970s–present
Website Majida El Roumi Official website

Majida El Roumi Baradhy (Arabic: ماجدة الرومي برادعي‎; born 13 December 1956) is a Lebanese soprano. She is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador. She first garnered acclaim in 1974 when she participated in the talent show "Studio El Fan" on Télé Liban and performed songs for Asmahan and Layla Murad at the age of 16.

Majida on stage during her concert in the American University of Beirut, in July 2009.


1957-1970s: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Majida El Roumi Al Baradhy descends from “Al Baradhy” family from Tyre, South Lebanon. Her grandparents used to work on houseboats and travel to the lands of “Rûm”; that’s how they got their name at the time. Majida was born on 13 December in 1956. She is also the daughter of the great Lebanese musician Halim El Roumi[1] who was born in Tyre in 1919 and moved to Haifa in Palestine at the age of 2 with his whole family due to the crisis of World War I.[2] When Halim moved to Egypt to follow his musical career, he met Marie Loutfy, a Melkite Greek Catholic woman. They got married in Port Said and had three girls Maha, Mona, Majida and a boy Awad. The whole family moved from Egypt to Lebanon and settled in Kfarshima, which is part of Greater Beirut when Majida was at the age of 6 as she grew up in an artistic environment and family of artists. Kfarshima is also home to many Lebanese singers, musicians and poets like Philimon Wehbe, Melhem Barakat and Issam Rajji.[3] The residence of Halim El Roumi was a meeting place for many cultural figures as he worked with many singers with mentioning his discovery to many well-known artists, mainly the Lebanese star Fairuz.[4]

As a child, Majida used to listen to the works of Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Wadih El Safi and Asmahan and her musical talents started to appear at the age of 5 when she sang her first song “Miladak” (Your Birth) in reference to the birth of Jesus Christ and dedicated to her brother on his birthday.[5] Her vocal abilities attracted the attention of her family and neighbors, and she was featured in her school’s stage in Saint Coeur, Al Hadath. At the age of 14 she accompanied her father in an interview on Télé Liban with Najib Hankash when she firstly performed songs for Umm Kulthum and Fairuz. At the age of 16, Raymond Safadi, Majida’s cousin, noticed her musical capabilities and thought that she should pursue singing as a profession. She participated in the talent show Studio El Fan in 1974 after she sneaked out of the house with her brother and her cousins. From her first appearance on television, she performed for Layla Murad and Asmahan and knew a distinguished success and won the gold medal for oriental singing.[6]

Her fame spread in no time across Lebanon after the show and the reviews were so good they made her father change his mind and give her his blessings to pursue in singing as long as she continues her higher education. Later on, Majida graduated from the Lebanese University after receiving her BA in Arabic Literature. In 1975, Majida released her first single “Am Behlamak” (Im dreaming of you, Lebanon) with collaboration with Lebanese poet Said Akl and musician Elias Rahbani. The song made a huge spreading in Lebanon as it kicked off with the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in April 1975.[7]

After releasing her first album Wadaa (Farewell) in 1976, Majida got the attention of well-known Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine. She starred alongside Hisham Saleem in her first and only movie Awdat Al Ibn Al Dal (The Return of the Prodigal Son) and performed three soundtracks for it.[8][9]

Musical career[edit]

The 1980s-The 1990s[edit]

When she performed at Hunter College in May 1989 accompanied by a 19-piece orchestra, music reviewer Peter Watrous said: "she wandered between near-European pop and Middle Eastern pop".[10]

Majida on stage during her concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1994.

In 1991, Majida released "Kalimat" (Words,كلمات), her first pan-Arab hit, under the Music Master label.

Later in the 90s, exactly in 1994, "Ibhath Anni" (Look For Me) followed the template set by "Kalimat" was Majida's seventh released album.

In 1996; Majida signed with the Saudi label Rotana and released "Rasa'el" (Letters).

For the first time in Paris Olympia, Majida on stage during her concert in 1993.

Majida El Roumi released her ninth official album in 1998, titled "Ouhibbouka Wa Ba'd" (I Love You And More), working in the title song with Saudi poet Al Nasser and composer/singer Abdel Rab Idriss, who also produced. "Tawq Al Yasmin" (Jasmine Necklace) marked Majida's fourth collaboration with Qabbani and her first with Iraqi singer/songwriter Kadim Al Sahir. The song showed once again her operatic abilities to the high C6, it also had difficult music combining between tango style and oriental, mostly in the Kanun parts along with strings, not to forget a simple French interference from Charles Aznavour's Les Deux Guitares, that majida chose to take a paragraph and sing it as background for the song. Jamal Salameh composed three songs, "Al Qalb Al Maftouh" (The Open Heart) written by Lebanese journalist, the late Ghassan Tueni, as a letter to the beloved on the day of his open heart operation, "Inta El Madi" (You Are The Past) from Henri Zougheib's poetry with a strong belting on D5 at the end as a scream for refusing the comeback of her abandoned love. "Sayedi El Ra'is" (Mr. President), which was written by Henri Zougheib in collaboration with Habib Younes, in the form of a letter to the president reclaiming freedom and reject all faces of traitors who threaten peace and stability in the country.


In 2001, Majida El Roumi released a single titled "Nachid El Hobb" (The Hymn Of Love) with lyrics from Dam'a wa Ibtisama (A Tear and A Smile) written by the Lebanese artist and writer Gibran Khalil Gibran. El Roumi chose this text after the UN ceremony in 2001, when she was named Goodwill Ambassador, and declared it to be the theme message for her mission of peace around the world. 2001 was also the year Magida's sister Maha had to be transported to USA for better medical care, as she was suffering from cancer.[11]

"Erhamni Ya Allah", "Cithare Du Ciel"[edit]

In addition, Majida released in 2003 two religious albums. The first one was titled "Irhamni Ya Allah" (Have Mercy On Me, O God), and Joseph Khalifeh composed all 12 tracks. Title song was taken from Psalm 51, as well as "Radita" (Satisfied) from Psalm 85, with a gentle call for God to enforce humans with his mercy and blessings. Majida also sang inspirational words from the Bible under the title of "Li Ajli Kalimatika" (For What You Say). She also dedicated songs for Lebanese Saints: Charbel Makhluf called "Charbel" also known as "Ya Ghafi Wa Oyounak La 'Inayna Nour" (O Sleeper And Your Eyes Are Our Light), Father Nematallah Hardini in "Ya Bouna Nematallah" (Our Father Meamtallah) both written by Henri Zougheib, and sister Rafqa Pietra Choboq Ar-Rayès in "Rafqa" written by Majida herself. In this work, clam tunes and relaxing music takes listeners to a new dimension full of prayers and blessings specially in the mentioned numbers also in "Mariam Je'tou Ouhayiki" (Mary, I Have Come To Salute You), from Majida's lyrics, "Men Atm El Iyyam" (From The Darkness Of Days) and "Fi Hatha El Masaa" (This Evening) both written by Fadi Al Rahi. Church Organ, Piano, Strings and many other instruments marked this work as one of the finest albums through its arrangements.

The second album is titled "Cithare Du Ciel" known as "Kitharat Al Samaa" (The Sky's Sitar) with all songs composed by Pierre Basbous.

2006: The Comeback with "E'tazalt El Gharam"[edit]

El Roumi during the making of "E'tazalt El Gharam" directed by Nadine Labaki in 2006.

After almost 8 years without releasing an album, Majida’s fans were surprised by Etazalet El Gharam (I Quit Love) which spoke to a younger audience. The album was released in 2006 under the ‘’Good News 4 Music’’ productions. It peaked the top rankings in the charts from the release day and stayed top 1 several weeks; it was also seen in the top 20 after four years from its release. The work is still selling well after six years, and a new copy by EMI Music is now selling out after the previous label was sold out.

"Habibi" (My Beloved) is the second track in the album. The song is written by Noha Najem and reviewed by Nizar Francis, too. Jean-Marie Riachi arranged this track with a new adaptation of Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor, previously interpreted by many well-known artists such as Lara Fabian (Belgian-Italian international singer) and Russian pop opera singer/songwriter Vitas. Majida showed a high sensitivity while performing this song especially in a concert held in Doha, Qatar in 2006 which was the first broadcast concert after the album release.[12] "Habibi" extends from the low G#3 with ease in high notes on the F5. After a short period, it was mixed as a clip to commemorate the late Egyptian actor Ahmad Zaki with scenes from his movies.[13]

Between different oriental scales, known as Arabian maqam, Dr. Abdel Rab Idriss composed "Al Hobb Wal Wafa" (Love And Loyalty). From the poetry of Al Nasser, the poem came expressing high feelings of men’s abandoning true love for their own gain and satisfaction considering women as an amusement, that’s where Majida puts an end to this situation and decides to move on with a better life and feels free to go out of her prison and her husband’s control finding satisfaction in love and loyalty. The song is on a high level of class with wide orchestration in diversity between western and oriental: Dr. Abdel Rab chose a transitional melodic phrase in the last part with a simple fade out showing the different circumstances and statuses of Majida during the song. Lebanese director Said El Marouk joined these circumstances and situations in an amazing video clip shot in Budapest inspired by the legendary fairy tale “The Beauty and the Beast” with a touch of creativity. Al Marouk worked really hard on this clip showing Majida running away across forests from her tyrant husband, symbolized by a wolf, leaving everything behind, and searching for freedom with her friends and her loved ones and trying to live her life full of happiness away from her past issues, which made her stronger and much self-confident.[14] The clip cost around $700000; for Al Marouk chose hard frames and let nature express its beauty either taking it by helicopter or from the train station…

Majida during the shooting of "E'tazalt El Gharam" music video in 2006 under the direction of Nadine Labaky.

Jean-Marie Riachi also arranged “Nashid Al Zifaf” written by Noha Najem, with a new Arabic adaptation of the Wedding March in C major for German pianist, composer, organist and conductor Felix Mendelssohn, originally used among the most well-known pieces and suites to Shakespeare’s play ‘’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’. The track, dedicated to every girl getting married with, is full with sincere, truthful and warm wishes of eternal happiness. The arrangement shows a nice mixture of drums and strings and many symphonic instruments within the introduction along with mature choir. The piece extends for more than two octaves; from the low G3 with a semi-note transition in the last part of it where Majida hits a high C#6.[15]

The last track is a patriotic titled "Sawfa Nabqa" (We Will Stay).[16] Joseph Khalifeh contributed Said Akl’s text into a symphonic piece to deliver a strong worded message to all Lebanese people to unity and freedom and to show how Lebanese managed to stay faithful no matter what their country faced through years. The song was arranged by Kamal Saiqali with wonderful choice of instruments and orchestration and it extended to more than two octaves and Majida hit a high A5 during a long interval of opera. Majida’s most important performance for this song was in 2005 during a concert in Beirut Downtown, in the Martyrs’ Square on 13 April, in the memory of the Lebanese Civil War beginnings:[17]


Majida wrote the lyrics of "Bokra" (Tomorrow), a charity operate that was released on 11 November 2011. The single's proceeds were donated to various charitable initiatives with arts and culture programs aiming to raise funds for education projects in the Arab World.[18] In an interview with Rima Maktabi in the CNN program – Inside the Middle East, Majida told the story of the new song which was produced by Quincy Jones and RedOne.[19] In a surprising and unexpected decision, Majida announced that she has pulled herself out of the project. She said that the producer, Quincy Jones, did not meet her conditions and the team supervising and overlooking the project is not professional. Majida already put her voice on the operate, but when they asked her to record again in Qatar, she announced her withdrawal and waived her authorship rights when she backed out of the project.[20][21]


"Ghazal" album cover – 2012

Majida released her new album "Ghazal" on 22 June 2012 having worked on it for 6 years with many composers and poets.[22]

After the huge success of "E'tazalt Al Gharam" in 2006, Majida cooperated again with Lebanese poet Nizar Francis and the composer Melhim Barakat giving her another masterpiece "W Btetghayyar Al Da'aye'" (And Minutes Change) with a long orchestral intro. The song is about a lady, madly in love and her compassion towards her beloved will never change until she dies. For the second time, after the phenomenal success of "Tawq Al Yasameen", Majida worked with Iraqi composer Kadim Al Sahir who composed "Wa'adtouka" (I Promised You) written by the modern Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.[citation needed]

"Bass Ellak Habibi" (When I Tell You I Love You) is an Arabic adaptation of "Eternally", originally a song with music by Charles Chaplin and words by Geoff Parsons. It was initially composed for Charles Chaplin's film Limelight in 1952. The Arabic lyrics were written by Majida herself and the musical arrangement was accomplished by Jean-Marie Riachi.

Track number 4 is "Metghayyar W Mhayyarni" (Changed And Confusing Me) is a rhythmic Jazz song in which Majida reveals a new kind of music style compared to her previous songs. This song is also written by Majida and composed by Saudi Arabian Abd El Rabb Idriss who has previously created an oriental melody based on oud but Jean-Marie Riachi adapted it in a modern jazzy version based on drums and saxophones.

In this album, Majida made another international step ; after Habibi's adaptation in 2006 of Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni previously sang by Lara Fabian, by singing "Al 'Alam Elna" (The World Is Ours) : she put lyrics to the Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2 (Waltz No. 2) composed by Soviet Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich in 1938. In this song, Majida hits the lowest note in this album which is F#3.

"E'Balni Hayk" (Accept Me The Way I Am) is the 6th track, also written by Majida and composed by Jean-Marie Riachi. The melody starts calmly and becomes gradually strong and intense.

"Al tayru Taraban Yugharridu" (The Bird Is Enchantingly Tweeting) is a classical Arabic poem written by His Highness Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi and composed by Claude Chalhoub, who has accomplished a magnificent oriental violin solo, and Léna Khater. In this difficult song, Majida proves her pure Tarab (oriental) skills mixed with a western spirit.

"Salawna" (We Forgot And Moved On) was originally sung by Majida's father, and was also included in a previous album (Dawi Ya Amar – 1986) and now Majida has released a new version of it as a duet with her father. This song was dedicated to her father's soul.

"La Ma Te'elly Habbayta" (Don't Tell Me You Fell For Her) is a typical oriental Pop song written by Majida herself and composed by Jean-Marie Riachi.

"A'la Albi malak" (My Heart's King) starts with a magical piano solo. It is also written by Majida and composed by Tarek Abou Jaoudeh. It takes majida to a rhythmic side with modern instruments such as accordion. Previously, Majida sang it in several concerts like Biel (2009), Carthage Music Festival (2010), Mawazine Festivals (2010), Jounieh International Festival (2011).

"La Ma Rah Eza'l A'chi" (No, I Won't Regret Anything) is written by Majida too, and composed by Marwan Khoury. This song has known a huge success from Lebanese and Arabic audience as well. Firstly, Majida sang it in 2008 during Beiteddine Festival. In this song, Majida expresses a "scream" of freedom and a rebirth of a more powerful women who surpasses life's difficulties and rises after a lot of sacrifices have been given.

"Law Ta'ref" (If You Knew) is a romantic song written by Majida and composed by Tarek Abou Jaoudeh. It shows her suffering towards her beloved who was not loyal to their love and had no respect to her feelings.

"Biladi Ana" (My Country) is a duet between Majida and Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour. Arabic lyrics are taken from Cadmus, Said Akl's theater play and French lyrics are freely inspired from the same theater play by Lebanese novelist Alexandre Najjar. Musical composition is accomplished by Joseph Khalifeh and Jean-Marie Riachi. This song describes Lebanon "the peace", "the beauty", "the creativity" and encourages fraternity, unity between people worldwide and calls for loving each other by surpassing all human differences. Majida and Youssou N'Dour have already performed it during the VIe annual Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009,[23][24] hosted in Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut accompanied with more than 150 dancers.

"Nashid Al Chohada'" (Martyr's Hymn) is a patriotic song written and composed by Elie Choueiry, encouraging people, specially Lebanese, to forget wars and move on peacefully without getting blindly involved into politics.

Majida chose to deliver to everyone who helped and worked on "Ghazal" a nice message at the end of the album booklet by writing: "I would like to thank all my team and all those who had faith in me, to reach such a great dream called Ghazal – Magida El Roumi"

"Ghazal" was produced under the label of V. Production, Jean-Marie Riachi is its executive producer and all songs were recorded and mixed at JMR studio's by Xavier Escabasse. Rhythmic and brass section were recorded at studios Val d'Orge and Meudon assisted by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra recorded at studio Tomtom and Radio Budapest with vocals and oriental instruments recorded at JMR studio's. All tracks were mastered at Color Sound in Paris, France.

"Nour Men Nour"[edit]

Main article: Nour Men Nour
"Nour Men Nour" album cover – 2013

Nour Men Nour (A Light From Light) is the fourteenth studio album by Majida released on December 2013 produced by V.Productions.[25] The album explores 12 Christmas carols exploring a wide set of musical genres including classical music and Opera preserving the same musical track that Majida had sung over the years.

The Album peaked the top of the music charts in Virgin Megastores in Lebanon from the day of its release for several consecutive weeks.[26][27][28]

Nour Men Nour was promoted majorly online and on Lebanese radio stations by two singles, Sahrit Eid and Min lli Tall, as well as a teaser on Majida's official Facebook page. Majida also filmed a Christmas special episode aired on Christmas Eve on MTV Lebanon which included a live recital from Collège du Sacré-Cœur catholic cathedral in Gemayzeh, Downtown Beirut, and scenes from a visit she had to "Mission De Vie" charity center. As Majida stated, Christmas is an occasion to celebrate as a one big Arabic family, while she added that all sales income and profits went to charity to encourage the spirit of sharing in the Arab World during the unstable periods.[29]

Starting with its wide arrangement, Nour Men Nour holds some of the most famous international tunes and jingles with new adapted styles, like the Waltz for "Sahrit Eid" originally We Three Kings composed by John Henry Hopkins, and "De'e Bwabon" originally adapted from Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Felix Mendelssohn. Henry Zoughaib worte "Min Lli Tall", too. Its large string sections and Harp noted a remarkable adaptation of Adolphe Adam's O Holy Night transposed to a classical mood carol by Majida's operatic abilities. For a short Christmas jingle, Joseph Khalifeh composed "Nour El Alam", a classical wide-ranged song with high pitches and large orchestration.[citation needed]


Majida El Roumi And Youssou N'dour at the opening ceremony at Les Jeux De La Francophie.
Majida El Roumi performing "Light The Way" with José Carreras during the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar in 2006.

Majida stood twice on the Paris Olympia stage: first time in 1993[30] and second time in 1998 sponsored by Lebanese First Lady at that time Mrs. Mona Herawi, Palais des Congrès de Paris in 1987,[31] the opening of Damascus Opera House in 2004, Athens Concert Hall in Greece[32] and the Royal Albert Hall in London which knew a huge success and was the first sold out concert after The Beatles' concert in 1965.[33] Also, later in the 90s, Majida welcomed Shirley Bassey in the presidential palace in Lebanon for a private concert, she opened in one song before giving Shirley the stage whose orchestra members stood up, astonished by Majida's spectacular soprano performance.[34]

Majida has also performed at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Hunter College in New York City as well as the Place des Arts in Montreal, Canada in November 2003[35] attended by more than 3000 people with incredible standing ovations,[36] then headed to Côte d'Ivoire in 2003 for two concerts which proceeds were returned as benefits to civil war orphans. The concert was attended by the country's president and First Lady. In 2007, Majida toured the USA and performed in Fox Theatre (Detroit, Michigan) and the tour included nights in Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

Majida was also part of the annual Mawazine Festival in Morocco in June 2010,[37] and Jounieh International Festivals on 25 June 2011.[38] She also held a concert in Royal Opera House of Muscat in Shati Al-Qurm district in Oman in November 2011.[39]

In December 2006, Majida performed "Light The Way", a duet with the international opera star, the tenor José Carreras at the 2006 Asian Games opening ceremony in its 15th edition in Doha.[40][41] In 2009, she performed "Nous sommes les amis du monde", a duet with Senegal artist Youssou N'dour, on the inauguration of the "Jeux Olympiques de la Francophonie" in Beirut, Lebanon.[42]

Majida had a special TV appearance in Christmas time during a recital hosted in the Lebanese Presidential Palace. President Michel Sulaiman and First Lady Wafaa hosted many public figures, politicians and artists in this occasion. The recital was broadcast live on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.[43]

Majida El Roumi's concerts included a tour in the Arab world in 2012–2013; she was part of the Batroun International Festival 2012 [44] and hosted a concert in the touristic neighborhood of Katara, Qatar on its Amphitheatre.[45] The summer of 2013 was very active with Majida's sold out concerts. After her concert is Megarama Centre in Casablanca, Morocco, she was part of the 49th edition of Carthage Music Festival; she worked for the first time with the Tunisian Symphony Orchestra. It was a one of a kind concert for her in Carthage[46] and M. Mourad Saqli, president of the festival confirmed that Majida's night ranks first in terms of income among the whole performances.[47] She also visited Chokri Belaid's shrine to pray for this person who gave for his country so much, and "Ben Saadoun" children hospital checking up how could their hard cases be treated and taken care of, after hosting a press conference explaining how exceptional this visit is.[48][49] Following her continuous success, concerts in Morocco were more demanded that she was part of the 9th edition of Twiza Festival in Tangier.[50] and Timitar Music Testival in Agadir in its 10th year.[51][52][53] Her visit to Tanger also included a visit to the children's orphan hospital in "Al Qortobi" center and give the kids some presents.[54] Majida opened the Bahrain Summer Festival in August 2013, too; a full house concert with a wonderful performance with songs for love and peace on the Bahrain National Theater.[55][56]

Majida performing during the 70th Lebanese independence anniversary in Abu Dhabi National Theater in November 2013.

The Batroun International Festivals in Lebanon won Majida over one more time for another performance for the end of August in 2013. The country's political situation was unstable as her concert followed two consecutive explosions in Beirut suburbs. People attended the sold out concert leaving with moments filled with Majida's voice. It was also the only concert ever that Majida sang "Kalimat" twice with historical standing ovations between each and every song of the program.[57][58] Majida's first concert in 2014 and after 40 years of her career debut was for the closing season of Dubai Classics in February, it was held in Dubai World Trade Center.[59][60] The festival opening was with international artist Sarah Brightman performing her Dreamchaser World Tour.[61] Majida broke her 8 years of absence and went back to Egypt for a concert in March on the stage of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria. Although Majida’s Alexandria concert tickets were criticised for being overpriced, the event sold-out and was (as expected) a raging success.[62] She opened her concert by a mix of both the Egyptian and Lebanese national anthem then sang most of her oldies and hits . In her press conference a day before the concert, Majida affirmed that the aim of this visit was just to encourage the tourism in Egypt after the crises the country has been through. She also pointed out she has nothing but respect for the June 2013 Egyptian protests emphasizing that she has no political intentions whatsoever.[63] At the end of the concert, the mayor of Alexandria, Mr. Tarek Mahdi gave majida the golden key of the city in the presence of the minister of tourism in Egypt Mr. Hicham Zaazouh.[64] A day after her concert, Majida spent a touristic tour in the city and visitied Montaza Palace where she planted in its garden the first Lebanese Cedar since King Farouk's era,[65][66] she also cried over Youssef Chahine's tomb as a loyal memory for the maker of her first movie.[67][68]

Public positions[edit]

"Music can speak out louder than words. I will use my music and my voice to speak out on behalf of the needy and undernourished everywhere."

— Majida El Roumi

"I liked her thoughts and clarity of mind before loving her velvety voice, Majida EL Roumi, resembles me in depth as a rebel. She’s very promising; she feels and intelligently understands the word which is a rare quality. I believe Lebanon is in great need of her, and she will become Lebanon’s Ambassadress to all Lebanese and Arabs alike."

— Arabic poet Nizar Qabbani

Majida El Roumi was appointed an ambassador for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Day, 16 October 2001 in an official ceremony in Rome, Italy.[69] She has participated in numerous round-table discussions on the role of FAO ambassadors in helping the Organization combat world hunger. As FAO ambassador, Majida inaugurated the First Annual Agricultural Week in Lebanon and dedicated the book prepared by FAO Sanabel El Kheir on 8 November 2005 during an official ceremony to celebrate World Food Day 60th Anniversary at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.

Majida El Roumi made her debut appearance as the new Patron of the Lebanese Osteoporosis Prevention Society and of the Bone & Joint Decade (Lebanon) at a large press conference at Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel on 31 October, following a week-long campaign of television interviews by various members of LOPS committee on the occasion of World Osteoporosis Day.

In her acceptance speech, Majida said: "While pursuing our dreams and hopes, we tend to forget the importance of our bones, and we end up wearing them out – we realize only when it is too late that we didn’t take care of them. This is why I am participating in this campaign, to shed light on this truth, because if we are aware we can avoid this terrible disease and thereby avoid misery, sadness and a poor quality of life."[70]

She was also chosen as an ambassador of the 'Alam Sagheer' (Small World) program, along with Titanic actor and producer Billy Zane, dedicated to education without borders. Majida said during a press conference that the event is evidence that humanity can unite for good and to make peoples lives better anywhere in the world. She also thanked the organizers and hoped peace will spread all over the Arab world.[71] The charity event was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, who described the festival as one that “celebrates human connections, international dialogue and strong support for the less fortunate of our fellow global citizens – values that are fundamental to our collective vision for the United Arab Emirates”. The festival took place at Emirates Palace and expected to raise millions for underprivileged children across the globe. The Minister toured with Majida various booths of participating countries and they attended performances for each country including Lebanon.[72]

In December 2012, Majida El Roumi visited the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) headquarters to follow up on the exacerbating problem of poverty in Beirut. El Roumi called for educating the youth since, “ignorance can only lead to poverty,” as per her words. "Poverty is the cradle of wars, violence and corruption”, she said, expressing hope that women would come to realize their true capacities and their equal worth to men. She also considered that art is a message that should be used for common good hoping that her message will prompt officials to tend to Lebanon’s disadvantaged members of society.[73]

In celebration of Bulgari's 130th anniversary,[74] Majida El Roumi has been named the first Middle East Humanitarian Ambassador of the Bulgari – Save the Children Partnership in July 2014 and joins the likes of Naomi Watts, Dita Von Teese, Meg Ryan, and Leighton Meester and so many others in the support of this worthy cause. The partnership between one of the industry’s leading jewelry houses and the world’s largest independent international organization running programs in developing and developed countries has generated over AED 98 million and benefited under-privileged children in 23 countries around the globe.[75] El Roumi is responsible for the overall direction, leadership, and coordination of Save the Children programs in Jordan[76] as it was told in the press conference that took place at Al Bustan Hotel- Lebanon, in the presence of a crowd of Lebanese journalists and dignitaries. The renowned Spanish photographer Fabrizio Ferri has actively supported this initiative with his time and talent. Over the years, he has photographed over 200 celebrities wearing the ring and the pendant in support of Bvlgari’s commitment to quality schooling for the world’s neediest children[77] including Majida, whose poster was officially launched during the press conference.[78] Majida clearly stated during the press conference "I will strive to bring joy to my surroundings and to the people who are in need of it. Everything that's happening is a crime in every meaning of the word. I feel that I have a mission and my appointment is for a cause that I truly believe in. I will travel the extra mile and do what I can regardless of the size of my mission."[79] She also added, “There is no financial rewards for my participation in this humanitarian effort, as financial things do not bring happiness.”[80]

Voice characteristics[edit]

"I’m proud to be Lebanese, since my citizenship corresponds to such a marvelous, clear, irresistible voice like that of Majida EL Roumi; who rarely has any resemble, her talent equals her modesty, and her beauty equals her spontaneousness."

— Pianist Walid Akl[81]
Sample From Al Hobb Wal Wafaa (2006) for Majida El Roumi with an oriental pitch in a hard melismas interval.

Problems playing this file? See media help.


Majida El Roumi holding the Lebanese flag her concert in the Martyrs' Square, Beirut on 13 April 2005.
Majida El Roumi giving a speech at the release of the first copy of "Ghazal" at the Assembly Hall of American University of Beirut in July 2012

During many cultural, social and political events, Majida El Roumi always chooses to deliver messages or was asked to give a speech for the occasion. Some of her marked speeches are listed below:[82]

  • Ghazal's First Copy: In a passionate speech addressed to Lebanese, El-Roumi entreated her compatriots to join her in her mission of peace, rejecting wars and divisions in a special release ceremony for her album Ghazal. Majida chose to donate proceeds from her new album to student scholarships at AUB in 2012.[83][84]
  • Bikaffe (It Is Enough): A strong speech at the memory of the well-known Journalist Gebran Tueni after 2 years from his assassination. This speech is dedicated to all Lebanese people, leaders and especially politicians in 2007.[85]
  • Dialogue Between Generations: A speech Majida delivered in Jerash- Jordan about dialogue between generations in 2002.
  • Maha: A poem written by Majida mourning her sister Maha, during a special mass in Kfarshima in 2002.
  • Water: An article for Majida published in Lebanese newspapers on the International Water Day in 2002.
  • World's Peace: Majida's speech on the International Day of Peace in Beirut in 2002.
  • Telefood Day: An article for Majida published in Lebanese newspapers on the World Food Day in 2002.
  • FAO Ambassadress: Majida's speech for her designation as the honorable ambassadress of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2001.
  • Nizar Qabbani: A short message by Majida mourning the Arab poet Nizar Qabbani in 1998.
  • Red Cross: Majida's speech about Red Cross at a concert in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1996.
  • Rapture: Majida's opinion on ecstasy while singing in 1995.
  • Cedar's Medal: Majida's speech on the occasion of receiving Lebanese Medal of the Cedars from President Hraoui in 1994.
  • The Lebanese Song: A lecture Majida gave on the Lebanese song and music in 1992.
  • Halim El Roumi: Majida's speech on the occasion of commemorating her father, Halim El Roumi, in Kfarshima- Lebanon in 1991.



Release Year Album Label
1977 Wadaa (The Farewell) Voix d'Orient (Sawt Al Sharq)
1982 Live Recordings Voix d'Orient (Sawt Al Sharq)
1983 Majida El Roumi Wal Atfal (Majida And The Kids) Relax-In by Ahmad and Mahmoud Moussa & CO
1986 Dawi Ya Amar (Moon So Bright) Yousuf Haider CO. Kuwait
1988 Ya Saken Afkari (O Resident Of My Thoughts) Relax-In by Ahmad and Mahmoud Moussa & CO
1991 Kalimat (Words) Arabian Masters
1994 Ebhath Anni (Look For Me) Music Master
1996 Rasael (Letters) Rotana Records
1998 Ouhebouka Wa Baad (I Love You And More) Farasan Productions[86]
2003 Irhamni Ya Allah (Have Mercy On Me My God) All Rights Reserved for Basilica of Our Lady of the Miraculous Icon – Ashrafiyeh
2003 Cithare Du Ciel (The Sky's Cithare) All Rights Reserved for Basilica of Our Lady of the Miraculous Icon – Ashrafiyeh
2006 E'tazalet El Gharam (I Quit Love) Good News 4 Music
2012 Ghazal (Flirtation) V. Productions
2013 Nour Men Nour (The Light Of Light) V. Productions


Since the 1970s, Majida always released singles, with some of them were not included in her albums. She also performed many Christmas carols in several recitals, and dedicated patriotic singles for countries she visited. Most well-known singles are listed below:

Song Title Poet Composer Notes
Adam Wa Hanan Jamal Bkhit Farouk Al Sharnouby The soundtrack for Egyptian movie "Al-Akhar" (1998).
Ahenou Ilayka Al Nasser Abdel Rab Idriss Performed many times on stage including in Carthage International Festivals in 2003 and in Dubai in 2004
Ahla W Sahla Majida El Roumi Marwan Khoury (to encourage tourism in Lebanon) Sang for the first time at the Batroun International Festival 2012.
Al Bahrain Jamal Bkhit Michel Jeha Dedicated to Bahrain.
Al Qassam Ali Al Sharqawi Ihsan EL Monzer Last performed in 2005, during the concert in Martyrs' Square, Beirut.
Nashid Al Salam (AL Zanabeq Al Baydaa) Mahmoud Darwish Joseph Khalifeh First performed in a concert in Beirut Downtown in 2008 also in a concert in Egypt in the same year.
Ala Anhad Abou El Kassem El Chabbi Halim El Roumi
Ana Habbaytak Ana Eliya Abou Chedid Nour El Mallah Sang in 1986 at LBC TV program.
Assalama Elie Choueiry Elie Choueiry Dedicated to Tunisia, last performed in 2010 during Carthage International Festivals.
Bakeer Fallayt Majida El Roumi Joseph Khalifeh Dedicated to Halim El Roumi, performed in 1988 during a concert in Casino Du Liban.
Bel Majdi Wal Karama Prayer Example Prayer released in a special album for Majida's daughter, Hala, distributed during the wedding ceremony in 2006.
Byawm Ersik Talal Haydar & Majida El Roumi Salim Assaf Special wedding song for Majida's daughter Hala during her wedding, released in a special album and distributed during the wedding ceremony in 2006.
Domina Dr. Souad Al Sabbah Elias Al Rahbani Dedicated for Kuwait.
El Madaen Habib Younes Elie Choueiry Dedicated to Jordan.
Emmi Eliya Abou Chedid Elie Choueiry Performed in 1988 during a concert in Casino Du Liban.
Ftahi Albik Majida El Roumi Richard Rodgers With music from The Sound of Music musical in 1959, also a special wedding song for Majida's daughter Hala during her wedding, released in a special album and distributed during the wedding ceremony in 2006.[87]
Ghadabak Nar (Al Thawra) Elie Choueiry Elie Choueiry Patriotic (Performed in 1988 during a concert in Casino Du Liban)
Hal Tasma'in Majida El Roumi Elie Choueiry.
Hasnaa Carthage Farouk Joueidy Halim El Roumi Majida sang a new version after Halim El Roumi previously performed it.
Jayi Men Beirut Abdel Rahman El Abnoudi Jamal Salameh Patriotic
Kiriyalaysoun Prayer Ziad Rahbani Prayer (1976)
Kouwait Ya Bilad El Salam Joseph Khalifeh Dedicated for Kuwait.
Lebnan Majida El Roumi Jean-Marie Riachi Majida performed it once in Jounieh International Festials in 2011 dedicated to her country Lebanon.
Lebnanikon Lebnanina Elie Choueiry Elie Choueiry Patriotic dedicated to Lebanon performed many times in 2007 and 2008.
Lebsou El Kafafi Talal Haidar Nour El Mallah Performed in Casino du Liban concert in 1988.
Ma Ajmal Al Oshaq Al Nasser Jamal Salameh Performed many times on stage, including in the Olympia concert in 1998.
Ma Baddi Hadaya Majida El Roumi Joseph Khalifeh A Christmas Carol released in 2005.
Marrou Bina Nashar Habib Younes Ihsan El Monzer
Mouftaraq El Toroq Salah Jahin Kamal Al Tawil Majida worked for the first time with composeer Jamal Salameh in 1976 in the song's arrangement. The song was in Egyptian Arabic dialect and Majida sang it in the movie "Awdat Al Ibn El Dall" (The Return of the Prodigal Son).
Nashid Al Hobb Gibran Khalil Gibran Joseph Khalifeh Released in 2001
Tkhayaltak Jayi Men Biid Eliya Abou Chedid Ihsan El Monzer Released in 1988
Tofli Zghiri Majida El Roumi Abdo El Monzer Released in 1994
Touba Lel Sa'eena Prayer Ziad Rahbani 1976 – Last performed in the meeting with the youth during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon in September 2012.[88]
W'sina Henry Zgheib Jamal Salameh 1996
Wajaba El Shokrou Ibn Zurmruk Halim El Roumi A Muwashshah performed by Majida in the 80s.
Woulida El Massih Prayer Joseph Khalifeh A Christmas carol recorded and released in 2005.
Ya Kouwait Henri Zougheib Elias Al Rahbani Dedicated to Kuwait.
Ya Qatar Elie Choueiry Elie Choueiry Dedicated to Qatar, the song was performed in Doha concert in 2006.
Ya Taleb Iddy Said Akl Zaki Nassif Patriotic dedicated to the Lebanese Army released in the 80s and Majida last sang this song in Jounieh International Festivals in 2011.
Yarnou Bi Tarfen Eben Jaber El Darir Halim El Roumi A Muwashshah performed by Majida in the 80s.

Egyptian songs: remakes[edit]

Song Title Poet Composer Notes
Ya Touyour Youssef Badrous Mohammed al-Qasabji Originally sang by Asmahan
Layali El Onsi Fi Vienna Ahmed Rami Farid al-Atrash Originally sang by Asmahan
Ehna El Tnen Hassan Al Sayyed Riad AL Sunbati Originally sang by Leila Mourad
La Mosh Ana Lli Abki Houssein Al Sayyed Mohammed Abdel Wahab Sang by Mohammed Abdel Wahab
Ha Laweaak
Emta Ha Taaraf Ma’moun Al Chinawi Mohammed al-Qasabji Originally sang by Asmahan
Ana Albi Dalili Abou Saoud Al Abyari Mohammed al-Qasabji Originally sang by Leila Mourad and last performed by Majida during a concert in the American University of Beirut in 2009.[89]


Majida El Roumi During the making of "'Etazalt Al Gharam" video clip, directed by Nadine Labaki.
Release Year Song Title Notes
1975 Am Behlamak Ya Helm Ya Lebnan
1975 Kell Shi Am Yekhlas
1977 Am Yes'alouni Alayk El Nass
1977 Wadaa
1978 Khedni Habibi
1988 Ana Am Behlam
1988 Min Elna Ghayrak
1989 Al Madaen
1990 Domina
1991 Kalimat
1991 Kouwait Ya Bilad Al Salam
1994 Al Jarida Directed by Sten Walegren.
1994 Kon Sadiqi Directed by Sten Walegren.
1994 Lan Aoud
1996 Aynaka Directed by Ralph Dfouni.
1996 Hobbouka (Vol.1) Directed by Corine Chedrawi.
1996 Hobbouka (Vol.2) Another Clip release for this song directed by Ralph Dfouni.
1996 Qana Directed by Georges Ghayad.
1998 Sayedi El Rais Directed by Ralph Dfouni.
1999 Adam Wa Hanan Directed by Khaled Youssef, from Al-Akhar, movie by Youssef Chahine.
2000 Beirut, Set Al Doniya
2001 Nashid El Hobb
2005 Al Hobb Wal Wafaa Directed by Said Al Marouk.
2006 E'tazalet El Gharam Directed by Nadine Labaky.
2006 Habibi Tribute to Ahmed Zaki taken from a concert in Egypt in 2006.
2008 La Ma Rah Ez'al A Shi Directed by Toni Kahwaji, taken from Beit El Dine Festivals 2008.

Honors and Titles[edit]

Majida during her honoring ceremony from France in Officer Grade in the French Ambassy in Beirut, January 2013.
  •  Tunisia: National Order of the work from the Presidency of the Republic of Tunisia in 1987.
  •  Lebanon: The Golden Cedar, 1988.
  •  France: Shield from the French National Assembly for 1993.
  •  Lebanon: National Shield of Honor of the Cedars, Knight's Order from the President of the Lebanese Republic, 1994.
  •  Algeria: "Algerian citizenship" Certificate from the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, 1997.
  •  France: The Médecins Sans Frontières Shield in 1999.
  •  Egypt: Order of Merit from the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, 2000.
  • A Certificate and a shield of Honor for FAO Ambassador, 2001.
  •  Jordan: Honoring Shield from her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan in 2002.
  •  Ivory Coast: The National Shield of Honor, Order of Merit of Officer's Grade from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, 2003.
  •  Syria: The Shield of Honour from the Syrian Ministry of Culture, 2004.
  •  Algeria: Le Bouclier de l'information et de la culture / Algerian Shield of Culture and Information and The Gold Medal for the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the liberation revolution, from the President of Republic of Algeria in 2005.
  •  Lebanon: Honorary member of the Students' Scholarship Association at the American University in Beirut, 2005.
  •  Lebanon: Honorary President of the Lebanese Association for the prevention of osteoporosis and The Universal framework of the joints and bone disease – the Lebanese branch, 2007.
  •  Lebanon: Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the Board of Trustees of the American University in Beirut, (2009).
  •  Belize: Patent of Lebanese honor and gratitude by the Universal Association of Lebanese Worldwide – Belize and the actual recognition of her efforts in the service of Lebanon, humanity and Universal peace (2009).
  •  Lebanon: Honoring from the Catholic Church on the occasion of an encounter of Catholic priests in Lebanon (2010).
  •  Morocco: The National Shield of Honour.
  •  Tunisia: The National Order of Cultural Merit from the Rubplic of Tunisia, 2010.[90]
  •  Lebanon: The National Shield of Honor of the Cedars – Order of Commodore from the President of the Republic, 25 June 2011.
  •  France: Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – insigne d'Officier / Officer Grade, from the president of the Republic, 24 January 2013.[91]
  •  Egypt: The Golden Key of the city of Alexandria from the mayor Mr. Tarek Mahdi, 20 March 2014.[92]



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External links[edit]