Ziad Rahbani

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Ziad Rahbani
زياد الرحباني
Rahbani in 2001
Rahbani in 2001
Background information
Born (1956-01-01) January 1, 1956 (age 65)
GenresArabic music, Lebanese music, opera, jazz
Occupation(s)Composer, writer, musician
InstrumentsPiano, electronic keyboards, accordion, buzuq, vocals
LabelsIcetratt Rights Management GmbH, Icetratt Distribution, LLC
Associated acts
RelativesMansour Rahbani (uncle)
Elias Rahbani (uncle)

Ziad Rahbani[a] (Arabic: زياد الرحباني‎, born 1956) is a Lebanese composer, pianist, playwright, and political commentator. He is the son of Fairouz, one of Lebanon and the Arab world's most famous singers, and Assi Rahbani, one of the founders of modern Arab music.[1]

His compositions are well known throughout the Arab world. He became by far the most influential Lebanese artist during the civil war. Many of his musicals satirize Lebanese politics both during and after the Lebanese Civil War, and are often strongly critical of the traditional political establishment.

Personal life[edit]

Ziad Rahbani is the son of the Lebanese composer Assi Rahbani and Nouhad Haddad, the Lebanese female singer known as Fairuz. [2][3]

Rahbani was married to Dalal Karam, with whom he has a boy named "Assi" but he 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"[4] and "Bisaraha".[5]

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.[6] Rahbani has also had a well-publicized relationship with actress Carmen Lebbos, which lasted for 15 years before the couple agreed to separate.

Ziad Rahbani and his mother Fairuz

Rahbani has a long-standing relationship with Lebanese leftist movements, and is a self-declared communist. Furthermore, in an interview with the journalist Ghassan Bin-Jiddu, Rahbani stated that the bloodbath massacres in the Palestinian camp Tall a-Za’tar by extreme-rightist Christian militias in 1976 was the main reason that drove him to leave to West Beirut. Notwithstanding, he also expressed his support to the Lebanese resistance and its project in the face of "the Israeli occupation and its Zionist Apartheid regime".[7][8] Coming from a Christian family, his politics and viewpoints have meant that he has been at odds with some of his extreme-right teenage surroundings.[9] During the Lebanese civil war, Rahbani resided in the religiously mixed, West Beirut suburbs.


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" (People Asked Me)[10] 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[11] in the role of one of the policemen. Rahbani's first step into theatre was with the Bkennaya Theater in Sahriyyeh.[12] 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).[13]

He has also written the music for singles performed by others such as "Rafi2i Sobhi El Gizz", "Kifak Inta", "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.[citation needed]

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 Rahbani.[citation needed]

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


Solo releases[edit]

  • Belly Dance (1972)
  • Bil Afrah (1972)
  • Kyrie Eleison (1977)
  • Abu Ali (1979) [maxi single]
  • Ana Mosh Kafer (1985)
  • Hodou' Nisbi (1985)
  • Bema Enno (1996) [with Joseph Sakr]
  • Monodose (2001) [with Salma Mosfi]
  • Live at Damascus Citadel (2009) [live album]

Music for Fairuz[edit]

  • Saalouni El Nas
  • Habbaytak Ta Nsit El Nawm
  • Sallemli Aali
  • Wahdon (1979)
  • Maarefti Fik (1987)
  • Kifak Inta (1991)
  • Ila Assi (1995) [rearrangements of Rahbani Brothers songs]
  • Mich Kayen hayk Tkoun (1999)
  • Beiteddine Concert 2000 (2001) [live album]
  • Wala Kif (2002)
  • Eh, Fi Amal (2010)


  • Sahriye (1973)
  • Nazl el sourour (1974)
  • Bennesbeh Labokra Shou? (1978)
  • Film Ameriki Taweel (1980)
  • Shi Feshil (1983)
  • Amrak Seedna (1987) [Music Composition]
  • Bikhsous el Karameh wel Shaab el aaneed (1993)
  • Lawla Fos'hat el Amal (1994)

All the plays have also been recorded and released as records.


  1. ^ Also written as Ziyad al-Rahbany


  1. ^ https://articles.latimes.com/1988-04-14/entertainment/ca-1767_1_classical-arabic-music
  2. ^ "Ziad biography". Nogomi Stars.
  3. ^ "Fairouz our ambassador to the Stars". Al Mashriq. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Marba el Dalal". Amazon. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Bisaraha". Amazon. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  6. ^ Patricia Khoder (2009-04-19). "Paternity scandal rocks Rahbani family". Gulf News.
  7. ^ "Ziad Rahbani: The Artist Whose Biography Tells Lebanon's History". Fanack.com. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fouTNTaIdTY
  9. ^ As'ad, AbuKhalil (2012-10-08). "The Cult of Ziad Rahbani". al-akhbar. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Sa'alouni El Nas". Amazon. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Mays el Rim". YouTube. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Sahriye". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Ziad Rahbani on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013.

External links[edit]