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WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
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Nasrallah and Jumblatt weigh in on Fairouz fallout
File - Lebanon's diva Fairouz performs during a concert in Beiteddine, in the central Chouf mountains southeast of Beirut, on Aug. 9, 2002. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
File - Lebanon's diva Fairouz performs during a concert in Beiteddine, in the central Chouf mountains southeast of Beirut, on Aug. 9, 2002. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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BEIRUT: Comments by composer Ziad Rahbani that his mother, the legendary Fairouz, admired Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah sparked a wave of reactions this week, including from Nasrallah himself.

Reactions flooded social media websites, where the news of Rahbani’s comment went viral. Many Lebanese said that Fairouz, who is a national icon, should not openly affiliate with any particular political group.

Others, however, said that just like every other Lebanese, Fairouz was free to express her own thoughts and ideas.

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt made clear Friday that his love for the singer remained unchanged. “Fairouz is too great to be criticized, and at the same time too great to be classified as belonging to this or that political camp or to this or that axis,” he said in a statement.

“The high-quality art she performed and still performs is far greater than drowning in narrow political and group interests,” Jumblatt added. “Let us keep her in her supreme position and not push her to something she has nothing to do with.”

In an interview earlier this week, Rahbani said his mother admired Nasrallah. On Thursday, Rahbani repeated that statement in an interview and said Fairouz supported the Resistance.

In an indirect comment on the uproar Friday, Nasrallah alluded to the statement in a speech honoring an assassinated Hezbollah commander. He said Lebanon was witnessing a period when love was banned in the country.

“We have reached a stage in the country when somebody says he loves somebody and this could lead to the country’s destruction,” Nasrallah said. “No one is allowed to love.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 21, 2013, on page 2.
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