Damascus, SANA-The Late iconic Syrian singer Sabah Fakhri was the first Arab singer to enter the Guinness World Records.
Fakhri managed to sing for 10 hours without a break in 1968 at a concert in Caracas, Venezuela, which earned him an entry in the Guinness World Records.
He was born in 1933 in Aleppo, the Syrian city that is considered one of the cradles of Arabic oriental music.
With over 50 years of fame and popularity as a singer, Fakhri preserved and popularized traditional forms of Arab singing and music, including Muwashahat and Qudud Halabiya, native to his hometown, Aleppo.
He was well known for his strong vocals, execution of Maqamat and harmony, as well as his charismatic performances.
When he performed, Fakhri insisted on interacting with his audience. Before singing, he insisted on having a good atmosphere by having good musicians and an appropriate sound system.
While performing he asked for the lights to remain on, to interact with the audience. He used to say that the audience play a key role in bringing out the performer’s creativity. The audience should be aware of the music and poetry, so they would value the music given to them.
He enrolled in the Academy of Arabic Music of Aleppo. He later studied at the Academy of Damascus, from which he graduated in 1948. He was given the stage name “Fakhri” by his mentor Fakhri al-Barudi.
He earned various honours in the Arab world and he held several positions and was elected Head of the Artists Syndicate, Vice President of the Union of Arab Artists, and Director of the Syrian Song Festival.
Sabah Fakhri is one of the very few singers from Arabic-speaking countries to have reached widespread popularity by singing in the Arabic language (including Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Australia).
He passed away on November 2nd, 2021, and he was escorted to his final resting place in Aleppo with a solemn funeral procession attended by official, artistic and religious figures and huge crowds.
Translated by Ruaa al-Jazaeri