The prominent Lebanese singer, Wadih al-Safi, passed away Friday, October 11, 2013, at the age of 92. Nicknamed "the voice of Lebanon” and “the golden throat,” he was considered one of the most influential singers in Lebanon's history, and was renowned throughout the Middle East .
Born Wadih Francis in the Chouf village of Niha, he burst onto the music scene at the young age of 17 when he won a radio singing competition. Over the years, he recorded more than 1,000 songs and collaborated with some of Middle Eastern music’s greatest talents, including the Rahbani Brothers, Fairuz, Sabah, and Farid al-Atrash, among others.
He was considered a giant of Lebanese classical and folk music and often rhapsodized about his homeland in song. Some of his most famous tunes include “Andak Baharia” (You Have Sailors), which speaks of Lebanon’s proud seafaring history and “Lubnan, Ya Qataat Samaa” (Oh Lebanon, Piece of Heaven).
Over the years, he even produced several recordings in the Syriac language.
The funeral procession began on the morning of Monday, October 14th, starting in Mansourieh and headed towards Beirut, passing through the areas of Mkalles, Dikwaneh, Sin al-Fil, Jisr al-Basha, Hazmieh, and Furn al-Shubbak. The funeral service itself was held Monday afternoon at St. George Maronite Cathedral in central Beirut. Presiding was Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Rai.
So we say goodbye to an iconic figure of the Christian Middle East, and we ask God grant him rest among the Righteous and the Just. Give rest, Oh Lord, to your servant who sleeps in hope of You.
ܥܒܕ ܠܗ ܡܪܢ ܢܝܚܐ ܛܒܐ ܠܥܒܕܟ ܕܫܟܒ ܥܠ ܣܐܒܪܟ