One thing that was intriguing about Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beirut this week, aside from pushing Lebanese politicians to take reformative action, was his first, non-political meeting with the legendary singer Fairouz.
The French President’s visit to Rabieh attracted most of the attention throughout his activities in Lebanon on September 1st. But Fairouz was not the only great Lebanese artist that made Macron’s personal acquaintance that day.
At the Pine Residence, the official residence of the French ambassador to Lebanon, Macron held a series of meetings with various political and non-political figures.
At around 9 PM Tuesday, the celebrated soprano singer Majida El-Roumi arrived at the Residence.
In a picture that went viral on social media in Lebanon, El-Roumi was shown at the entrance, smiling alongside her brother Awad, who was carrying a large bouquet of flowers.
“The French President wanted to conclude his visit to Lebanon by meeting Ms. Majida El-Roumi, stressing his desire to highlight Lebanon’s artistic and civilized face,” the caption on one of the singer’s Instagram posts, showing her with Macron, said.
Notably, Macron expressed to Majida El-Roumi his desire to see a Lebanese-French artistic collaboration aimed at helping Lebanon recover from its ordeal.
In response, she assured him that she puts her voice in the service of Lebanon to help it rise again and to stand with its people after the disastrous explosion, thanking him for what he is doing to serve Lebanon.
According to the social media post, Macron was so touched by the iconic singer’s words that she saw tears in his eyes and he embraced her “as if he was embracing the Lebanese people, saying: ‘You will be fine.’ “
France is no stranger to the Lebanese Diva. In 2013, she was honored with the distinction of Officer of The Order of Arts & Letters, awarded to her by the French ambassador, Patrice Paoli, during a ceremony at the Residence des Pins.
The distinguished title came as a tribute for her representing the “incarnation of the Lebanese patriotic ideal.”
Majida El-Roumi has been Lebanon’s sweetheart for decades. She loves the people and the people love her for that.
At the blast that crumbled Beirut, she prompted to rush at once to the devastated streets to check on the residents and stand by them in their desolation.
In tears, she expressed her compassion and support, listened to them closely, talked to them to lift their broken spirits, and proclaimed her pride towards the people for reacting constructively to save the city and each other.
“You are the hope of Lebanon,” she told them with a voice choked in tears.