Sharjah – Gulf
On Tuesday, one of the prominent figures of singing in Syria and the Arab world, and the legend of the famous Muwashahat and the famous Aleppo Qudoud, passed away, the able artist Sabah Fakhri, at the age of 88, after he left behind a precious artistic legacy and sweet sharing that evokes feelings and embraces the soul.
Sabah Fakhri, whose real name is Sabah Abu Qaws, was born in the city of Aleppo in the middle of the year 1933. He has been on the throne of traditional Arab singing for more than half a century, during which he presented 347 songs, including 110 works of ancient Tarab.
At the age of ten, Fakhri acquired from his father and a number of his friends, such as Bakri Al-Kurdi, Mustafa Al-Tarab, Omar Al-Batsh and Subhi Al-Harir, everything related to the sciences of tones and weights.
Fakhri began working with Ali al-Darwish, and his two sons, Ibrahim and Nadim, who composed some songs for him and taught him to play the oud, to accompany violinist Sami al-Shawa in his concerts in Aleppo and other Syrian cities. There he learned from Omar al-Batsh, Majdi al-Aqili and Aziz Ghannam, roles, musical theories, lyrical recitation by solfege, maqamat and methods of transmission between them, as well as rhythms, muwashshahat, Samah dance, and the fundamentalist art of singing poems, to be received by composers upon his graduation, and the journey of a young but great singer, whose name is Sabah begins. Fakhri, after his adopter was nicknamed Fakhri al-Baroudi, who put him at the beginning of the artistic glory path.
His return intensified and his attachment to chanting and intonation increased through his sitting with the chief singers of authentic tarab. He passed difficult lyrical exams at the hands of the “Sami’ah” who enjoy unmistakable ears, revealing the raw materials of the voice, and conducting tests for even the greatest voices at the time, such as Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab and Umm Kulthum, who visited Aleppo to sing on its theaters in thirties of the last century.
The “Khawanim” or women of that time contributed to the rise of the boy’s star, as one of the social customs of the ladies of Aleppo was to set a monthly appointment for each woman to receive whomever she wanted from her acquaintances, and the house would be open to singing, playing and dancing, which was called “acceptance.” gatherings.
He joined the Hamdaniya Governmental School in Aleppo, and there he excelled as a student participating in the school’s annual festivals.
biography and legacy
The book (Sabah Fakhri, a biography and heritage) by the Syrian writer Shada Nassar tells the most prominent stages of Fakhri’s life over decades.
No sooner had Muhammad Sabah turned twelve years old than he found himself singing in the presence of the then President of the Syrian Republic, Shukri al-Quwatli, during his visit to Aleppo in 1946, which was considered a fateful station that catapulted the boy of the muwashshahat outside the borders of Aleppo.
Muhammad Sabah refused the offer made to him to travel to Egypt at the time to refine his talent and chose to stay in Damascus and sing on its official radio. Writer Shatha Nassar says that the veteran politician, MP Fakhri Al-Baroudi, had established a music institute in Damascus and admired the unique quality of Muhammad Sabah’s voice and predicted a bright future for her.
The writer adds: “In one of the live radio concerts, which was presented by the broadcaster Sabah Al-Qabbani, brother of the poet Nizar Qabbani, MP Fakhri Al-Baroudi wanted to adopt the singer Muhammad Sabah and give him his nickname, so the announcer introduced the singer Bassem Sabah Fakhri.”
With the musical assistance of the artist Omar Al-Batsh, Sabah Fakhri set his first experience in composing at the age of 14, and it was a chant (Oh, we are going to the House of God / Goodbye and a thousand peace / Congratulations to you, O Abdullah / O Qased Kaaba of Islam).
Fakhri’s first old roles came from the melodies of Sri Al-Tanbourji, who is a Homsi of origin, lived in Damascus and worked as a shoe seller, and the song says: (I am in a drunken state of wine and eyes / and the cheeks burn with flames / Do not make me tempted with eyebrows / I am in a drunkenness), and this poem became attached to the name Sabah Fakhri after adding to it his soul in melody and word.
But the transition of Fakhri’s throat from boyhood to youth caused a rattle that surprised its owner and shocked singing experts, as the book says that the hormones of manhood changed the nature of his voice and the composition of his throat, which sounded like mabhouh.
Nassar says: “Sabah’s psychological state played its negative role. Whenever he tried to raise his voice, he was surprised by another person singing from his throat. It’s not my voice. Not me. What happened? He is the Creator.”
At the age of fifteen, Sabah Fakhri closed his voice and retired from singing under compulsion, so he searched for a living by traveling between the villages of the countryside of Aleppo until he joined the military service when he became a young man.
The writer says: “With the completion of his manhood, his throat crystallized and its formation was completed to restore the brilliance of the buried treasure, and the voice of Sabah Fakhri returned, the man carving a place for himself among the memories of his teenage years in the neighborhoods and homes of Aleppo.”
Fakhri returned to the spotlight of fame from the gate of Radio Aleppo and the evenings of Radio Damascus. He was not known as Hammad’s tent, in which he sang with the Lebanese singer Sabah, and there he presented the money with the Aleppo Qudoud and sang (Malik, my sweet Malik) and (Oh, the money of the Levant, oh my God, my money) come).
Sabah Fakhri sang (Yesterday’s Nagham) with Rafiq Subai’i and Sabah Al-Jazaery, where he recorded nearly 160 melodies between song, poem, dor, muwashah and mawal, and he has preserved the Arab musical heritage that is unique and famous for Aleppo.
Fakhri recorded the radio series (Zaryab), and composed and sang many Arabic poems, as he sang to Abu Al-Tayyib Al-Mutanabbi, Abu Firas Al-Hamdani, Miskin Al-Darmi, Ibn Al-Farid, Al-Rawas, Ibn Zaydoun, Ibn Zahr Al-Andalusi, and Lisan Al-Din Al-Khatib. In 1974, he stood in front of the Algerian artist Warda, as a hero of the series (Al-Wadi Al-Kabir), which was filmed in Lebanon.
Decorations and decorations
He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Excellent Class in 2007, “in appreciation of his art and effort in preserving authentic Arab art and for raising the banner of the continuity of the original Arab artistic heritage,” as stated in the honoring publication. Amman, the Tunisian Cultural Medal, the Cairo International Song Festival Award, and the Appreciation Award from the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science, and his fans in Egypt established an art association bearing his name in 1997.
The late set a record by singing on the stage for more than ten continuous hours without a break in the Venezuelan city of Caracas in 1968. Seventh Legislature of 1998.
The path of the late Sabah Fakhri summarizes a rich heritage in the ancient, in which the mighty artist collected notes of the spirit of Andalusia and divisions from the heart of Aleppo, its borders and its muwashshahs. Sabah Fakhri’s artistic output contains 347 lyrical works, of which 110 are old songs for which no composer is known, and 66 songs composed and sung by Sabah.
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