Dubai's Lebanese musicians compose song of hope for Beirut

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The Bint Zghiri video's protagonist
The Bint Zghiri video's protagonist

UAE artists collaborate with counterparts in Lebanon to produce Bint Zghiri

By David Light

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Published: Mon 31 Aug 2020, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 6 Sep 2020, 4:52 PM

When a tragedy the magnitude of the August 4th Beirut explosion befalls a city and country so close to peoples' hearts, it is initially difficult to wrangle emotions let alone fathom the consequences. An outpouring of grief from and for those insurmountably affected as the financial and human cost quickly begins to accumulate soon evolves into grappling with the practicalities of trying to help. In this case world leaders and private donors made aid package overtures and, in typical Beiruti fashion, heart-warming pictures of residents pulling together in the cleanup effort began emerging the following day. Yet positivity remains in short supply - an issue Dubai pop star Layal Halabi, better known as DD Foxx, and her colleagues wish to redress.
"I didn't think of writing a song," Lebanese national Foxx told us about reflecting on the situation. "The disaster was very traumatising and we weren't thinking of anything - just our homes and families.

"As the days passed by we had the urge to project our voices to show people what happened and at the same time give a positive message. It has been difficult to see the positive in what's going to happen next.
"The song, Bint Zghiri, tries to show a spot of light at the end of a dark tunnel. Even after all this we are still going to rebuild Lebanon and get through this."
Foxx said the one-minute thirty musical project took around a week to finalise, ulitising talent from the UAE and Lebanon. While she composed the melody alongside producer Kevin Bassett, her father Bassem, who lives in Abu Dhabi, penned the lyrics. These words were then sent to three fellow Dubai-based Lebanese singers, Angi Shaya, Joe Koueik and Rita Mikhael, while Beirut directors Elie Fahed and Jhony Azeir provided footage and Foxx's sister Dana edited it all together.
"It was nice to work with such amazing people and to deliver this piece from the heart and soul," Foxx said of the final work. "I wasn't expecting those kind of lyrics," she added about working with her dad. "They are very touching. We were all emotional singing it. It was hard."
The song centres on a child's hopes and dreams being 'invaded' by fire and darkness. The message it conveys is one of unity, urging the girl not to be afraid - intoning hope will be rebuilt as Lebanon stands together.
"I don't normally sing in Arabic but I really wanted to do this for my home and it had to be in Arabic," Foxx said. "It symbolises a message for our youth not to give up."

DD Foxx
DD Foxx

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