You’ve killed her a thousand times over with those senseless jokes, the rumors and then some more jokes when the rumors were debunked. But this morning, Lebanese singer Sabah passed away at the age of 87.
My earliest memory of Sabah is being a kid hovering around my mom’s waist as she sang her song “Sa’at Sa’at” while she cooked, or, if she felt playful, went about a round of “Jib el Mejwez.” Today, my mom is the one who reaches my waist, but she still sings those songs when she cooks, and they’ve become engrained in my mind as a result too.
With over 50 albums in her decade-long career, she is on the same rank as some artists that many consider worthier of more clout, such as Fairuz and Um Kulthum.
More senseless things happen daily that’s for sure, but Lebanon lost one of its giants today and that is something that should be acknowledged, whether you liked Sabah as an artist or not. Of course, Sabah is also yet another example of a Lebanese patriot who is under appreciated by both her government and her countrymen: you only need to look around to see the same people making fun of her over the years suddenly remembering that yes, she is human, and that humans die, as corny as that sounds.
Sabah’s death marks yet another nail in the coffin of true Lebanese artistry, at a time when Lebanese singers gave the world and their country true art, not some rehashed Turkish tune or some mysognistic song about how women are only supposed to stay home.
Earlier this morning, as I told someone the news, their reaction was “finally.” I, for one, hope the collective Lebanese population does not share that sentiment about Sabah passing away. I also hope the jokes, at least today, do not find their way onto the timelines and twitter feeds.
Rest in peace Sabah. May your songs live in the memory of those who love them forevermore. I believe that is the greatest honor that an artist could have and you’ve done that exceedingly.