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Modestou, Anastasia (2021) 'Fairuz as a National Symbol: Popular Music, Folklore and Nationhood in 1960s Lebanon.' The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research, 13 (2019/2020). pp. 172-189.

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This paper examines and explores the disputes of the religious communities of Lebanon and the ways these communities are unified through the music, as well as through the on and off-stage performances of Fairuz during the twentieth century. As a world-renowned singer and as a Lebanese national symbol of the twentieth century, Fairuz has become pivotal in the formation of the religious, as well as national identities of Lebanon. The cultural characteristics, political affiliation and sense of belonging of Lebanese national identity have been extensively debated and discussed in the relevant academic work surrounding Lebanon. However, the constitution and reproduction of a religious unified Lebanese national identity through music is seldom examined. This study analyses the interrelation of national identity and popular music in Lebanon through the examination of Fairuz as a national symbol, while taking into consideration Lebanon’s brief history as a nation-state and the dispute between the different religious communities. This paper further suggests that through her music and performance, Fairuz has become a symbol for multiple identities, not only religious but also national, transcending the restrictive identification of her music and performance with her religious, communal background.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Fairuz, Rahbani Brothers, Lebanese music, Arab nationalism, Lebanese national identity, Everyday nationalism
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Doctoral School
SOAS Open Access Journals > The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research
ISSN: 25176226
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2021 09:29

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