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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 68)
  • Composer
  • writer
  • musician
  • Piano
  • electronic keyboards
  • accordion
  • buzuq
  • vocals
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 Arabic 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]

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".[6][7] Coming from a Christian family, his politics and viewpoints have meant that he has been at odds with some of his right-wing teenage surroundings.[8] 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,[9] 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. "In 'The Harvest of Thorns: Political Comedy Theater in Syria and Lebanon,' Aksam Al-Youssef wrote,"Under these circumstances, as a young adult, Ziad imposed himself on the artistic scene as a playwright, director, composer, pianist, and actor. In a short time, his original theatre would become the center of attention for young people who found in it the voice of a lost generation caught in the throws of war and violence.[13]

As an actor, besides appearing in his own plays, Rahbani starred in Randa Chahal Sabbagh's 2003 film The Kite.


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).[14]

He has also written the music for singles performed by others such as "Rafi2i Sobhi El Gizz", "Kifak Inta", "Iza baddik" and "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]


Studio releases[edit]

Year Original Title Translation Producer Songwriter(s) Vocalists Label Main Tracks
1973 A Rahbani Festival Ziad Rahbani Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Voix de l'Orient Allamouni
1977 Kyrie Eleison Ziad Rahbani Magida El Roumi
Samy Clarke
Lady Madonna
Joseph Sakr
Youhanna Al Habib Sader
Nahnou Sahiroun
Bil Afrah Wedding Music Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Halim El Roumi
Mohamed Sultan
Philips Zourouni
1979 Abu Ali / Prelude
(Maxi Single)
Ziad Rahbani Zida Prelude From Mays El Rim
Abu Ali
Belly Dance Fever Ziad Rahbani
Elias Rahbani
Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Elias Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Voix de l'Orient El Hilwa Di
1985 Houdou' Nisbi Relative Calm Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani
Joe Sample
Ziad Rahbani
Sami Haouat
Monica Asali
Bala Wala Shi
Rouh Khabbir
1987 Hekaya Story Ziad Rahbani
Najat Naimeh
Abido Basha
Salma Mosfi
Carmen Lebbos
--- Ossat Al Koz
Shrit Gher Hdoudy Borderless Tape Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani
Sami Haouat
Aprodisco Bi Saraha
1995 Bema Enno... Considering That... Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Salma Mosfi
Voix de l'Orient Bema Enno...
Talfan Ayash
2001 Monodose Ziad Rahbani
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Astrud Gilberto
Ziad Rahbani
Salma Mosfi
EMI Un verre chez nous
Wallaat Ktir
Assaada Allahou Masa'akom

Albums for Fairuz[edit]

Year Original Title Translation Songwriter(s) Label
1972 Sa'alouni Annass
(Song from the musical "Al Mahatta")
People Asked Me Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Voix de l'Orient
1987 Maarefti Feek What I Know About You Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Harb
Joaquin Rodrigo
1989 Live at the Royal Festival Hall London Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Voix de l'Orient
1991 Kifak Inta How Are You Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Harb
1995 Ila Assi (Dedicated) to Assi Assi & Mansour Rahbani Voix de l'Orient
1999 Mesh Kayen Hayek Tkoun It Wasn't Supposed to Be Like This Ziad Rahbani
Mohamed Mohsen
Qays Bin Al Malouh
2000 Live at Beiteddine Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Mohamed Younes Alqadi
2002 Wala Kif Les feuilles mortes Ziad Rahbani
Jacques Prévert & Joseph Kosma
Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
2010 Eh Fi Amal Yes There's Hope Assi & Mansour Rahbani
Ziad Rahbani
Fayrouz Productions

Stage and radio[edit]

Year Original Title Translation Producer Songwriter(s) Vocalists Label Main Tracks
1973 Sahriye Evening Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani Joseph Sakr
Marwan Mahfouz
Georgette Sayegh
Voix de l'Orient Ya Bint Al Maawin
Dallouni Al Aynayn Al Soud
Fi Oyoun Btebki
El Hala Taabana Ya Leila
1974 Nazl El Sourour Happiness Hotel Ziad Rahbani
Franz Liszt
Gerardo Matos Rodriguez
Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Carmen Lebbos
Sami Haouat
Baatilak Ya Habib Al Rouh
Jayi Maa Al Shaab Al Maskin
Mashi El Hal
1978 Bennesbeh Labokra Chou What About Tomorrow Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Sami Haouat
Nabila Zaitouni
Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Sami Haouat
Nabila Zeitouni
Zida Al Bosta
Ismaa Ya Reda
1980 Film Ameriki Tawil The American Motion Picture Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Sami Haouat
Mona Maraashli
Rajiaa Bi Izn Allah
Ya Zaman Al Ta'ifiya
1985 Shi Feshil Failure Ziad Rahbani
Joseph Sakr
Sami Haouat
Mona Saidun
Voice of Beirut
Ana Mush Kafer I Am Not an Infidel Ziad Rahbani
Farouq Al Koussa
Stephanie Stephano
Relax-In Ana Mush Kafer
1986 Bhal Shakel Oriental Jazz Concert Live At Buc, Irwin Hall Ziad Rahbani
Frédéric Chopin, Antonio Carlos Jobim
Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker
1987 El Akl Zineh The Mind Is Decorative Ziad Rahbani Ziad Rahbani Sawt Al Shaab
1992 Lawla Fushat Al Amal If It Weren't For Hope Grace Aoun
Toufic Kerbaj
1993 Bi Khsous Al Karameh Wal Shaab Al Anid About Dignity and Stubborn People Carmen Lebbos
Tabeh La Shi Tebeh Shi Following Something That's Following Something Ziad Rahbani
Salma Mosfi
1996 Al Fasl Al Akhar The Last Part Ziad Rahbani
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Astrud Gilberto
Ziad Rahbani
Carmen Lebbos
Salma Mosfi
Cairo Beirut Audio
2006 W Noss Alf 500 1000/2=500 Ziad Rahbani
Baz Luhrmann
Bankers Assurance SAL
2008 Live at Damascus Citadel Ziad Rahbani
Sayed Darwish
Mohamed Younes Al Kadi
Ziad Rahbani
Bassel Daoud
Rasha Rizk
Art Line


  1. ^ Also written as Ziyad al-Rahbany


  1. ^ "Rahbani's 'Oriental Jazz' Is Rooted in Lebanon's Struggle but Scorned by Traditional Arabs". Los Angeles Times. April 14, 1988.
  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. ^ "Ziad Rahbani: The Artist Whose Biography Tells Lebanon's History". Fanack.com. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Ziad Rahbani - communisme - athéisme". Archived from the original on 2021-12-14 – via www.youtube.com.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Alyousef, Aksam (Fall 2020). ""Harvesting Thorns": Comedy as Political Theatre in Syria and Lebanon". ERA. Retrieved 2023-08-23.
  10. ^ "Sa'alouni El Nas". Amazon. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Mays el Rim". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Sahriye". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  13. ^ Alyousef, Aksam (Fall 2020). ""Harvesting Thorns": Comedy as Political Theatre in Syria and Lebanon". ERA. Retrieved 2023-08-23.
  14. ^ "Ziad Rahbani on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 9 September 2013.

External links[edit]