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“Baalbek Festivals” defies circumstances with a diverse artistic programme

On Thursday, the Baalbeck International Festivals Committee in Lebanon announced the program for this summer’s session, which will be held next July, with the participation of bands and artists from Italy, Syria, Spain, Lebanon and France, in a move that challenges the economic and political conditions in which Lebanon is living.

The festivals that are organized annually on the terraces of the Temple of Bacchus, northeast of the capital, Beirut, start on the first of July, with the Italian dance show (Roberto Polli and Friends).

The next day, the audience will meet with the Al-Kindi Musical Ensemble, accompanied by Sheikh Hamid Dawood and the Dervishes of Damascus, in an evening that bears a special tribute to Julian Jalal El-Din Weiss (1953-2015), the founder of the band.

On the seventh of July, a concert will be held entitled “Roots in Our Hands… from Spain and Lebanon”, with the participation of the artist Nacho Arimani, Spanish and Lebanese musicians, and the Jesuit University Choir.

On July 14, the concert of the Lebanese singer Melhem Zain, son of Baalbek, will be held, while the closing ceremony will be celebrated on July 16 by the French singer Imani.

The head of the Baalbek International Festivals Committee, Nayla de Freij, said in a press conference the day before yesterday, “Beautiful artistic activities that will be witnessed this summer, without certainly forgetting the suffering that our country is going through. By following our message, we refuse to give in to pessimism, and we want to shed a little light in The dark tunnel that surrounds us.

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She added, “If last year I described the festival as a cry, this year I describe it as a moving force supported by an integrated community of supporters, artists and collaborators who are determined to give a broader dimension to our cultural battle.” The Baalbek Festival, which was established in 1956, is one of the oldest and most famous art festivals in Lebanon and is run by a committee of 12 members.

Caretaker Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar said at the press conference, “I do not hide from you that the ministry is really shy because it is unable to support these festivals. .

He added, “We asked all festivals to contribute to a project or do anything to support the town or city in which the festival is held, and now the Baalbek Festivals Committee announces a night for the artist Melhem Zein, the proceeds of which will be allocated to the Baalbek municipality, and this proves that the Baalbek Festivals Committee is committed to this decision.”

He continued, “Baalbek is a safe city, and it is in the heart of Lebanon and not on the outskirts, so do not frighten the people who will come to the festival. The people of Baalbek are people of generosity, kindness and fraternity, so be assured. Security is established.”