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Jahida Wehbe is a true all-rounder of a performer. Poet, comedian in the theatre, on television and in film, orator of poetry, she is also a singer/songwriter. Her voice gets into our very souls, A silken voice, the top tarab performer, says the Arab press about Jahida Wehbe.
Jahida Wehbe studied at the Lebanese University; she receives a BA in Psychology from the Lebanese University and at the Lebanese National Conservatory of Music where she learned oriental song, Syriac chant, Qura'nic recitals, and to play the 'ud (Middle Eastern lute).
She also holds a Master’s Degree (MA) in Acting and Directing from the Lebanese University – School of Fine Arts. Jahida is a member and the President of the Culture and Programs Committee at the Professional Musicians Syndicate in Lebanon, she is also a member at SASEM. in 2012, Cambridge University has chosen Jahida among the 2000 international outstanding intellectuals of the 21th century. A complete folder briefing about her biography and work will be included in the the University Dictionnary and distributed in the main international libraries.
Working with the great Lebanese theatre producers soon made her famous in Lebanon. At home she is not only known for the exceptional quality of her voice but also for the strictness with which she chooses her repertoire. She only sings songs that were either composed for her, or were composed by writers of the inimitable 20s, such as Zakaria Ahmad, Sayed Darwish and Mohamed Kassabji. The words are always those of great poets.
Jahida Wehbe is known for her brilliant technique, scintillating performances and impeccable skills. Her musical sensitivity and ability to improvise and embellish the basic rhythmic patterns familiar to Arabic Music, as well as her extensive knowledge of ethnic musical history have made her unique.
Her music and melodies are inspired by the solidity of the lyric and from a profound feeling of the rhythm of the word. The intermarriage between word and tune takes us into the whole world.
Throughout her extensive career, Jahida Wehbe has been performing various styles of music ranging from Classical music, Sufi, patriotic and traditional Arab music, as well as Arab fusion music. Considered one of the most outstanding singers, she has toured throughout the Middle East, Europe, Canada, America, and Australia, and made a significant difference in bringing the beauty and rich cultural history of Middle East through music to occidental Audiences.
Jahida Wehbe has been performing live, touring several countries, venues, and festivals, carrying the torch of excellence and quality music wherever she performs
Jahida Wehbe is acknowledged not only for her musical talent and contribution, but also as a cultural icon acclaimed by millions worldwide.
Wehbe has headlined at the most prestigious venues in the world; her music lies at the crossroads of East and West, combining old and new, blending classical Middle Eastern instruments with modern sound technology.
Setting poetry to music, Jahida’s vocals honor the words of Arab poets, combining the language of life and love with today's endless musical possibilities.
Jahida has played several main acting and singing roles in many avant-garde Lebanese and Arab Directors plays such as “Ayyam Ruba’iyat Al Khayyam” produced by Baalbek International Festival, “Ounshoudat al Matar” directed by the Iraqi Jawad Al Assadi and “Sakhrat Tanios” directed by Gerard Avedissian, "Nisa' el saxophone by the Iraqi director Jawad al-Assadi," and the film, "Shula Cohen, the Pearl – directed by Fouad Khoury. Moreover, she has participated in several television series and films. Jahida was awarded the first prize at the Lebanese University for her film “Rassasa Farigha” or void bullet.
She has worked with prominent Arab Artists such as Wadih El Safi, Elie Shwayri, Zad Multaka, Ziad Boutros, and others…
On the other hand, Jahida has paid tribute to many of the most famous Arab singers such as Oum Koulthoum, Wadih El Safi, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Asmahan, Sayyed Darwish, Mohammed Abdel Muttalib, Feyrouz…
She has performed in many poetry reading events where she has composed music for lyrics by many Lebanese, Arab and International poets such as: Ibn Arabi, Rabi’aa Al’adawiya, Jalal Eddine El Roumy, Mahmood Darweesh, Ounsi El Hajj, Talal Haidar, Jibran Khalil Jibran, Badr Shaker Assayyab, Nazek Al Mala’ika, Gibran, Goethe, Adonis, Taghor…
She officially represented Lebanon in several seminars and events such as: The Cultural Arabic Festival in Europe / Alrouwwad Al’ Arab Festival sponsored by the Arab League / The Arab Music Festival in Cairo Opera House/ Jarash Festival in Jordan/ Santa Cecelia Festival in Rome (she was the first Arab singer to sing at this festival)/ Frankfurt’s Book Festival in Germany….
She performed in many concerts in Lebanon and abroad in collaboration with several cultural organizations and artistic institutions on both the regional and international levels. Moreover, several Arabic and international festivals and events have awarded and honored her.
Jahida represented Lebanon and the Middle East in the “Arab Women's Excellence Forum” in Istanbul as well as in one of the world's most important festivals entitled 'Fez Sufi Hymnals' held in Morocco in June 2007.
Katabtany, her record-breaking album made headlines worldwide. It comprises musical compositions of her own and lyrics by Gunther Grass (Nobel Prize in Litterature 1999), Ahlam Mustaghanmi, Unsi El Hajj, Talal Haidar, Amal Al Jiboury, Lamee'ah Amara, Al Hallaj, and Abu Firas Al Hamadani.
Within a year, that album was breaking record sales throughout the Middle East and gave Jahida additional taste of success. Since then, Jahida’s voice has brought her fame throughout the Arab world and beyond. She hasn’t rested on his laurels but released "Ayyouha el nesyan habni koublatak" album, as a part of Ahlam Mostaganemi’s book Nesyan.com, an album that has brought something new and different and is breaking record sale since 2009. in early 2012, Jahida Wehbe published "Al Azrak Wal Hudhud, a Passion on Facebook", a book thats was ocupied first ranks in Beirut International Book Fair (Litterature Category) and knew lot of success in many Arab book Fairs. it is nowadays nominated for Sheikh Zayed Award. Jahida continues to push the envelope.
It's worthmentioning that Jahida composed recently the music fo the Lebanese Film "Revoltango", and recorded it at Studio Ace in Belgium with outstanding Musicians in Europe including Ruby Lakatos, Dik Van DerHarst, Ossama Abdul Rassoul, and Francois Taillefer...the film is directed by Elie Kamal and produced by Jana Wehbe.
Place of Birth: Ana – Bekaa – Lebanon
Profession: Singer, Composer, Songwriter, Actress
Details of Education:
Master's degree, Acting and Directing /2003 ,Institute of fine Arts, Lebanese University, Lebanon
Diploma in Oriental Songs, Syriac and Byzantine chant, Qura'nic recitals, and 'ud (Middle Eastern lute),2002, Lebanese National Conservatory of Music, Lebanon
Bachelor degree, Psychology, 2002, Lebanese University, Lebanon
Opera in Arabic Language Studies, Lebanese National Conservatory of Music, Lebanon(1998-2002)
Career to Date:
-President of the Committee of Culture and Programs in the Lebanese Council for Authors and Composer
-Freelance Poet, Orator, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress (theater, television, and films)
-Singing and/or composing classical,modern, Sufi, and national pieces, with lyrics selected from poems written by prominent Lebanese and international, classical and contemporary poets; & performing pieces the music for which was composed by prominent musicians including Wadih el Safi, Elie Choueiri, Zad Multaka and others ...
-Honoring some of the most prominent classical Arabic singers such as Umm Kulthum, Wadih Safi, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Asmahan, Sayed Darwish, Fayrouz ... by singing their songs
-Organizing many poetry evenings around the world, performing songs that were written by Lebanese, Arab, and international prominent poets like Ibn Arabi, Rabi'aa Al Adawiya, Jalaluddin Rumi,Federico Garcia Lorca, Badr Shaker Al-Sayab,Nizar Qabbani, Nazik Al-Malaika, Gibran, Goethe, Tagore, Sartorius, Adonis ,Sapho, Omar Al Khayyam, Nadia Tueni.Enkhedwana,Mohammad Al Maghout , Hoda AL Naamani Mahmoud Darwish,Said Akl..
-Representing Lebanon in several seminars and events such as:
The Cultural Arabic Festival in Europe (paris – 2001)
The Arab Music Festival in Cairo Opera House( 2002)
Jarash Festival in Jordan (2002)
Santa Cecelia Festival in Rome 2004 (first Arab singer to sing at this festival)
Arab Women's Excellence Forum in Istanbul (June 2005)
Fez Sufi Hymnals held in Morocco 2007 (one of the world's most important festivals)
Featuring as the leading actor and singer in several Films and in avant-garde plays directed by Lebanese and Arab Directors including the most important below:
Jibran Khalil Jibran ..A film directed by El Fauz Tanjour 2013
Nissaa al Saxophone ispired by Federico Garcia Lorca Plays directed by Jawad Al Assadi 2007
Ounshoudat al Matar inspired by Shaker Al Sayyab poems directed by Jawad Al Assadi, 2006.
Ayyam Ruba’iyat Al Khayyam play produced by Baalbek International Festival, 2005.
Sakhrat Tanios inspired by the famous book of Amine El Maalouf directed by Gerard Avedissian, 1998
-Shula Cohen, the Pearl –A FILM directed by Fouad Khoury
Publications / Articles:
Below are the most important:
-Angham fil bal: CD Featuring the most important Arab singers and composers in the last 50 years
-Takatik Al Echrinat CD: Famous Songs from the 20th century
-Record-breaking albums titled [Katabtany-You wrote me] launched in 2007 included musical compositions of her own and songs with lyrics by Gunther Grass (Nobel Prize in Litterature 1999), Ahlam Mustaghanmi, Unsi El Hajj, Talal Haidar, Amal Al Jiboury, Lamee'ah Amara, Al Hallaj, and Abu Firas Al Hamadani
-Ya Maryamou: Liturgical CD,2009 composed and written by Father Mansour Labaky
-Yadaya Dariaatan: Liturgical CD,2011 written by Father Maroun Abi Nader, composed by Father Maroun Abi Nader and Jahida Wehbe
-4 years best seller "Nesyan.com Book"2009 : written by Ahlam Mustaghanmi ( including "Ayyouha Nnesyan Habni Koublatak" CD: Lyrics by Ahlam Mustaghanmi, composed by Jahida Wehbe)
-Best Seller in Beirut Book Fair 2011 and success in many other Arab Fairs "Al Azrak Wal Huduhud - Passion on Facebook" Book, written by Jahida Wehbe (Has been nominated for many Awards including : Sheikh Zayed Book Awards, Arab Creativity Awards from Arab Thought Foundation.. And was adopted as Studying Material for Secondary Classes in some Lebanese schools )
-“Fragments Of Ecstasy “ CD 2013
New Album in stores from June 25 "SHAHD"
In her self-produced new album" SHAHD", Jahida Wehbe sings for famous poets; Pablo Neruda(Chile), Mahmoud Darwish(Palestine), Adonis(Syrie), Talal Haidar(lebanon), Forough Farrokhzad(Iran),Onsi el Ha (lebanon) ,Ahmad Ramy(Egypt) ,and Wallada Bint Almostakfi(Andalus)...Jahida has composed the music except one song from “Om koltoum” heritage accompanied by the international sixtet, conducted by the famous qanun player Osama Abdulrasol, who supervised the production and co-arranged the album with Dyck Van der Harst and Philippe (Thuriot Accordion)
In its issue of June 2013 ," Dubai Thakafia" Magazine included Jahida's album entitled "Tajalliyat Ashe'r wa Nnagham",Poetry and Melody manifestations: a collection of Wehbe's most important musical work .Thirty thousand copies were distributed across the Arab world
A new Album for Wehbe will be released in this summer of 2014..It includes a set of Psalms composed and sung, as intonation, by Jahida ..this relegious album was produced by Sat 7 Tv
-Member of the Professional Musicians Syndicate in Lebanon
- Member of french Society of Authors, Composers, and Music publishers (SACEM)
-Member of the Professional Artists Syndicate in Lebanon
Most Important Honors and Awards:
-In Cinema :
Awarded the first prize at the Lebanese University for her film Rassasa Farigha”Void Bullet”
-In Music, Poetry And Theater ,Honored By:
The Arab Pioneers and Innovators Festival Award Cairo 1999 (under the patronage of the Arab League)
The Lebanese Ministry of Culture 2001-2002-2007-2012
The Lebanese Ministry of Health-2010
The Ministry of Education of Morocco 2012
Federation of Iraqi Women 2012
Lebanese intellectuals Forum 2012
The Bahraini Ministry of Culture 2007-2009
Lebanese army 2006-2010
The Algerian Ministry of Culture 2009
Lebanese Poetry Festival 2006 – 2010
Jordanian Theater Festival for Professional Artists 2003
The Jordanian Ministry of Culture 2002
Arab community in Australia (May 2004)
The Arab Music Festival in Cairo – Opera House 2003
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture 2004
Jarash Fetival -2002-Jordan
Many Arabic and Lebanese festivals for poetry
Several Book Fairs in Lebanon and around the Word
Municipalities of Lebanon(more than 10)
Many International and Lebanese Cultural Associations
-In 2012 ,she recorded in Collaboration with the Famous Violonist Ruby Lakatos..A music for the Lebanese Film Revoltango ( directed by Eli kamal)
-Lebanon Visitors can hear Jahida’s voice performing some poetry extracts from Many Big Arabic Poets at the National Musuem ..As Well as Literary and poetic excerpts from Jibran Khalil Jibran that are played in his Hometown at Bsharre
Last year , The International Biographical Centre in Cambridge – England have chosen Wehbe to publish her biography within the pages of the “ 2000 oustanding intellectuals of the 21 st century ‘’ Dictionary.
Latest Concerts and Some Previous Performances :
-Guest of” DES MOTS DE MINUIT”France 2 (April 2013)/ http://www.france2.fr/emissions/des-mots-de-minuit/diffusions/03-04-2013_48876
-“Le Festival de Musique de L ‘ IMA –Paris” (march 2013) /http://www.imarabe.org/musique/la-diva-d-orient
-Bozar –Belgium (march 2013 ) /http://www.bozar.be/activity.php?id=13622
--Spring of Culture -Bahrain (march 2013) /http://www.springofculture.org/events/jahida-wehbe/?lang=ar
-“Gala d’ouverture du FIFI” –Belgium (Flagey-nov 2012) /http://www.fifi-bruxelles.be/gala-ouverture-et-cloture/
-“Les Nuits De Ramadan 6ÈME ÉDITION”(Tour:El jadida-essaouira-Safi- Morocco( (July.August 2012)
-“ CLOTURE de La 2e rencontre internationale de l'art du malhoun “(Azemmour –morocco -august 2012)
-Poetic Evening (Espace le Scribe-l'Harmattan-Paris –march 2012) /http://lescribeharmattan.hautetfort.com/archive/2012/02/14/soirees-du-scribe-cosmopolite.html
-Imag’ima Festival –(Rencontre des Cinemas Arabes) Paris (Sep 2012)
-Arifa Concert @ Zuiderpershuis-belgium (feb 2012) / http://wereldmuziekavonturen.blogspot.com/2012/02/arifa-jahida-wehbe-zuiderpershuis.html
-Lebanese Cultural days Opera House Damanhour -Egypt(Dec 2010)
-Jahraa-Mariott –Kuwait –(Dec 2010) / http://www.alraimedia.com/Alrai/Article.aspx?id=242118
-Ehdeniyyat Festival (August 2011- Lebanon) /http://www.ehdeniyat.org/index.php/component/joomgallery/ehdeniyat-2011jahida-wehbe
-Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE( 23 Feb 2010 ) / http://www.adbookfair.com/cms/uploads/en-cultural-programme-adibf-2010_2-23.pdf
-Dubai Poetry Fesival -UAE ( march 2009) /
-Fes Festival- Morocco (June 2010 )
-Fes Festival – Morocco (2007) / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBN37JftnaU
- Municipal Theater- Tunis(April 2010)
-Atlas Theater (Algeria-Jan 2009 )
- On the occasion of the UNESCO Declaration Beirut World Book Capital for the year 2009(Unesco -2009)
- Damascuss Opera House (April 2008)
- Flander Festival- Festival van Vlaanderen Gent.(Belgium Sep 2008)
- Centre Culturel Arabe en Pays de Liège(sep 2008)
- Utrecht, Rasa- Amesterdam (sep 2008)
-Soufiyyat –Muscat –Oman (2006)
-Poetry Festival –Lazikiyya –(Syrie 2006)
-“ Centre Culturel Arabe”(2005 Brussels)
- St Raymond Maronite Cathedral –St Louis –USA(2005 -2006)
-Concerts with Maronite League –Montreal –Totonto(Canada 2005-2006)
- 3rd International Festival of Rome-Italy- Literature reality imagination -Villa Medici. “Festiva Maestà di Roma”/ http://www.consorzionettuno.it/nettuno/corsispeciali/grandi_autori_roma.htm
-Poetic and Music evening with Gunter Grass/Congress of the Arabic and German Novel (Sanaa -Hadramout -Yemen 2004)
- Polypoetry Krikri 2004-Belgium
-Poetic and Music evening with Gunter Grass (theater berlin festspiele- Berlin-Germay May 2003) / http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/archiv/guenter-grass-und-der-arabische-klagegesang---eine-geglueckte-begegnung-bagdad--oh-mein-bagdad,10810590,10088136.html
-Baalbek Festival –Lebanon 2003
-Poetic and Music Evening with Hans M. Enzensberger(Opera House Cairo 2002)
- “Literaturfestival” in Dortmund-Germany (2002)
-Poetic Reading with Amal Jibury and Gunter Grass (frankfurt book fair 2002)
- Festival of the Arab community(Herford –Germany 2000)
- Festival of the Palestinian community in Berlin(Germany 2001)
-Festival of the Medina –(Tunis 2001 and 2002)
-The annual ceremony for the Lebanese German Friendship Association – (Technical University 2000)
- The annual ceremony of the Modern Arabic School –(Munchen/Germany 2000)
“Jahida Wehbe has a great ability to put music to poetry and transmit the inherent meanings in the poem to the audience as if she rewrites the poem with her voice and composition...I was very impressed to the extent of ecstasy with what she composed for me especially my poem "flood" and "do not go to the forest" “
Gunter Grass, German Author awarded the Nobel Prize in literature 1999
“I gave Jahida the title “Moujahida” or struggler for she is one of the few who continue to struggle for the great art at this time ... her voice is very strong ...she can perform men's and women's songs with flexibility and mastery ... a large and cultured voice with high techniques..”
Wadih Safi, A Lebanese cultural Icon, Singer and Songwriter
“Jahida Wehbe made me involved in poetry, i didn't know before that I am going to perpetrate a poem...her voice can raise any text to the level of poetry; when I hear her singing, I hardly know my text, I feel surprised, even horrified...”
Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Algerian Writer-Among the Most Famous Writers in the Arabic World
“Following in Fairuz's footsteps, here comes Jahida...No fear for Lebanon anymore... it pleases me to call her RINGANA, a name that carries all the universe's resonance..”
Said Akl, Great Contemporary Lebanese Poet
website : www.jahidawehbe.com