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From Diana with love

MohamadKadry / 23 November 2008

SHE’S NOT YOUR average Lebanese superstar, and that’s because she’s officially Emirati. Loved by the masses, Diana Haddad has skillfully remained true to her sound, image, and fans as she embarks on a new...

album more than a decade after enthralling the Middle East with her unique flavour. Born in Lebanon and raised in Kuwait, a young marriage to a local TV director would solidify her connection to the UAE. At the mere age of 16, she began working on her debut album after winning a state-wide talent competition.

“It really was a blessing from God,” she stated. “Realising this dream has been something I’ve wanted since I was a child.”

But what Haddad has accomplished in her tenure is nothing short of remarkable. Able to do what few before ever could have imagined, Haddad attempted to release an entire album of Khaleeji music – only to find that it would be a smash success to the region.

Khaleeji music is a specific style of Arabic beats, instruments, and dialect, and while it may be possible for a non-Khaleeji to perform it – it is almost never accepted as genuine material.

“This new album is completely Khaleeji, with songs incorporating Emirati, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Saudi, and Bahraini elements,” she said.

“There has been some time between this album and my past Khaleeji album, but I had continued to release Arabic music. Its funny because while I am working on an Arabic music album, people are asking me about making Khaleeji music, and vice versa,” she said.

Her new album, aptly named ‘Men Diana Ela’ (From Diana), has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2008.

Appearing at Virgin Megastore, Mall of the Emirates, hundreds of fans flocked to her CD signing once learning of her arrival.

Lines wrapped around the store as word spread of her special appearance.

One Emirati fan stated, “There is something so special about her, really. She is Lebanese but we consider her one of our own, a daughter of the nation. She has made us proud through her music and attitude, and this is why she is so loved here and across the entire region.”

The response to her music and marriage was so well accepted; Haddad received honorary citizenship from the government of the UAE.

But there is something truly special about Haddad, because has managed to break down barriers with the sound of her voice. The Middle East, like any region in the world, is full of cultural walls and mores, but for some they are non-existent.

Intent on making beautiful music for all her diverse fans to appreciate, Haddad’s success has not waned nor has it affected her drive and ambition.

 “I’m very grateful and humbled by my fans,” she said.

With over 24 million records sold and 15 number one singles, she has been awarded best selling female artist multiples times over her decade-long career.

Her ability to touch on the emotions of young and old has turned her into a classically loved artist. For so many who come and go, she has remained original, true, and the epitome of class.



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