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  1. I'm so sorry, can't read French... Could anyone post the transcript this article ? Thank you. Vanity Fair Août 2021 PDF file ( 4 pages / 798 KB ) Vanity_Fair_France_08-2021_compressed.pdf Page 12 Page 70 + 71 Page 72 Page 73 edit: English version by Mika on Instagram: August 4, 2020 I am at Villa Aurelia in Rome, which hosts events organized by the American Academy. Everyone has been there, from Getty to Hemingway. In a dressing room, I am being filmed for an interview and suddenly I see my phone lighting up. Many messages, photos and videos pop up like an avalanche. At first, I can’t believe it. I think it’s a new app simulating an explosion in the port of Beirut - we are so used to images being manipulated - but it’s real. All of a sudden, while I am in a temple of glamour, childhood traumas related to war, to the impermanence of comfort and stability of everyday life, resound in me. I understand then that we are shaped by our childhood perceptions. My reaction is very intense, very mute: an incredible sadness, more than fear, crashes over me. The injustice of these images is hitting me hard: why this explosion, in this city which is already suffering, politically, economically and socially, and where the youth is being sacrificed? I instinctively know that it is not from neighboring countries or a bomb. I guess that this drama is linked to what is eating away at Lebanon: corruption. Lebanon is where I was born. I have never lived there, but it has always been a part of my life, as it is for many in the Lebanese diaspora. A few weeks ago, there was even a knock on my door in Montreal. It was a Lebanese lawyer who came to drop off bags of food cooked by his mother! My origins are plural. My father is American. The son of a diplomat from Savannah, Georgia, who worked for the US government, he was born in Jerusalem and grew up all over the place, including in Beirut. My maternal grandfather came from a large family in Damascus. After fighting in the Arab Revolt in the early 20th century, he arrived disgusted on Ellis Island in 1919. He started his life over in New York, first as a delivery man of fabric, then he moved up the ladder and set up factories in China. The day came when his sister decided to marry him off at all costs. He went to Lebanon where she had chosen a woman for him from a good family. During the cocktail party organized for their engagement, he saw a family swimming on the beach. He fell in love with one of the girls, canceled his wedding and asked for her hand in marriage. My grandmother was 16. He was 60. She left Beirut for the United States, speaking only Arabic and a little bit of French. On the other side of the Atlantic, she soon gave birth to my mother and four little sisters who grew up between an uprooted woman and a man who never forgot that he was Syrian. Everyone spoke Arabic and cooked Arab food. My own childhood was shaped by the specter of war, including the one in Kuwait, where my father was held hostage and returned a different man. My mother, who recently passed away, passed on to me the warmth of communicating, the art of responding with emotional urgency. It is a temperament and a temperature! This may have surprised some journalists who have interviewed me over the years... I grew up with very strong Middle Eastern figures - the absolute icon, Oum Kalthoum; the Rahbani brothers. Fairuz, who built a bridge between the West and the Arab world... My guilty pleasure is Nancy Ajram, and I love the rock band Mashrou’Leila. I like Gibran, Mahmoud Darwich, Amin Maalouf, whom I read a lot of when I was younger. Leo Africanus. What also connects me to my native land are the 6,000-year-old olive trees that line the roads of Lebanon. These representatives of the resistance should be revered as gods and goddesses. On August 4, 2016, I gave my last concert in Lebanon, in Baalbek. It was fantastic, the audience threw pillows everywhere! Two years before, we had had to stop playing there three times. The first time was for the prayer that was broadcast very loudly. The second time was because they had thrown so many cushions that the stage was covered in them. They were even confiscated but it was impossible to start playing again. So, I put on some music, probably some remixed Fairuz songs, and went back to my dressing room. Among my fondest memories of live performances, there is also Martyrs’ Square, in 2009, after the defeat of Hezbollah. There was a huge crowd. Young girls in veils and others in bras. If I wrote this column in Le Monde [“Lebanon, my country, is dying, and its children are held hostage”, published in May 2021], it is because after the visual shock of the August 2020 explosion and the excitement of my charity concert [I Love Beirut, in September 2020], the following months saw the situation in Lebanon worsen without the international community really caring. Yes. The explosion was like an electrical shock. This disaster vibrated far and wide. However, in a world as immediate as ours, the attention span is quite short. We consume the image or information like a product with a very short expiry date. As artists, we are not necessarily entitled to express a political point of view, but that should not prevent us from expressing our emotions beyond the 280-character limit on Twitter. Sometimes I feel stupid for using only words, but they are still a valuable form of expression. Without getting into political rhetoric, which is not my field as I consider myself a simple observer of my country, from afar, it is corruption that has eaten away at Lebanon. Some talk about the coexistence of religions. Except that it has always existed. Beirut has long been home to synagogues, mosques, Melchite, Maronite and Catholic churches, and together, they used to form true cultural wealth. In recent years, the eco-political crisis has set in, social tension has increased and parties have sought to exploit this vulnerability, to break the bond that unites us. It is not for nothing that Hezbollah has opened shops where, to buy products imported from Iraq and Iran at reasonable prices, one must join the party. Locally, my friends are trying to rebuild neighborhoods. Lebanese architect Hala Wardé wants to give new life to places where heritage has been destroyed. But how can reconstruction be managed and the necessary funds found when banks are no longer operating? Wages are divided by five, the price of toothpaste is soaring, as is the price of bread, coffee, milk or a taxi ride! There, a young person who has studied like crazy to graduate has to leave if he wants to do something with his knowledge. Is Lebanon doomed to the flight of its talents? In this tiny country, a fertile valley wedged between Israel and Syria, gateway to Europe, the crucial issue of our future is at stake: how to live together. As our resources dwindle, we are increasingly divided. Nothing about our current attitude favors a collective existence. This is what Hashim Sarkis, the curator of this year’s Venice Biennale, is asking with “How will we live together?” I was overwhelmed by the Lebanese Pavilion designed by Hala Wardé on which my brother Fortuné also worked. A Roof for Silence. Sixteen Lebanese olive trees that are a thousand years old are presented, filmed by Alain Fleischer, accompanied by a musical creation by the sound artists Soundwalk Collective. Around these trees that have seen it all, there are also the poetic paintings of Etel Adnan, Paul Virilio’s “Antiforms”... The Lebanese have certainly always shown great pride and resilience. But in the face of so much anger, frustration and waste, this pride and resilience are eroding. The key is undoubtedly with the youth, who want to reinvent their society. We need to give them tools, to invest in those minds that are thinking about the plurality of their country in thirty years. A year after the explosion, I feel a lot of frustration, a painful latency. Yes. I’m not angry, I’m frustrated with the rampant corruption. I can’t resign myself to accept the “there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s just the way it is”. One of the problems in Lebanon today is that religions have started to engage in politics. The religions no longer leave room for spirituality. Like a miniature planet, before in Lebanon, all communities used to live together in a joyful hullabaloo. Lebanon was an example of living together and of inter-religious dialogue. But now, people’s beliefs are too often misused to build walls instead of breaking them down. Believing should bring us together. Believing is aspiring to universality. All generations need spirituality, whatever it is, in order to consider life and death. If I close my eyes, I can see myself on this tiny beach in Sour, near Tyre. We are eating small barracudas fried in olive oil with lemon and salt. They taste very good. There is a lighthouse, and some of my mother’s family have turned the house next to it into a guest house. Behind, there is a huge Roman site and, further away, the Israeli border where teenagers are encouraged to throw stones at night. In the basement of this house, which is often flooded when the sea is high, there are Phoenician ruins covered in sand. There is no peace, but there is a lot of beauty. How can the two co-exist? ” Vanity Fair France, August 2021 French transcript:
  2. According to this article, Mika is doing a live stream benefit concert for Beirut next month: Mika stages live stream benefit concert ‘I Love Beirut’ Mika announces the ‘I Love Beirut’ benefit concert, which will be performed on Saturday 19 September and will be live-streamed across four time zones via YouTube. Tickets cost £10 / $10 / €10 and will be available from Ticketmaster alongside the GoFundMe campaign, where people can make additional donations to the cause with 100% of all proceeds being split across Red Cross Lebanon and Save the Children Lebanon. Tickets go on sale at 9am BST / 10am CET on Monday 24 August. This intimate performance has been initiated by Lebanese born singer Mika after he was profoundly affected by the scale of devastation from the explosion in Beirut docks and its impact on the people of the city. Following on from his ‘Love Letter to Beirut’ (see note to editors below) which he wrote directly in the aftermath of the explosion. In an effort to do more he has created ‘I Love Beirut’, an event to raise funds to help those who have been affected by the devastating explosion. Mika comments: “After all the years of civil war, financial crisis and political upheaval, the news of the tragic explosion was unbelievable. Although far away, my heart broke for the families losing their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones in this catastrophe. I wanted to do something to help in any small way I can. That is why I am staging a live stream concert in aid of the people of the city. Beirut has been through so much and the resilience and strength the Lebanese people is undeniable. I have no doubt that the city will recover and the unique life of this magical city will resume once again. Beirut is the place of my birth, is part of me and will always be in my heart. ‘I ❤️ Beirut’. The Lebanese United Nations team has reported the explosion was like 15 years of war in 15 seconds, comparing its impact to the devastation from the country's civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. Miles from the blast site apartments are wrecked and families left homeless. It's estimated 300,000 people do not have homes fit to live in, as Lebanon now has to undertake a single recovery effort of unprecedented scale. Hospitals in Beirut are now overrun with wounded people, with some being referred to Tripoli, 50 miles to the north of Beirut, for treatment. The destruction of Beirut’s port will devastate the country further as it relies heavily on imports for its essential supplies. Red Cross Lebanon and Save the Children Lebanon are working around the clock to help those on the ground affected by the blast. Donations will fund immediate emergency response and wider long-term rehabilitation. Donations to be made at: gofundme.com/ilovebeirut Tickets will be made available via Ticketmaster at 9am BST / 10am CET on Monday, 24 August Supporting images and video of Mika talking about the concert available here: we.tl/t-OFhmJeJLaY Concert live stream times around the world: Livestream #1 - UK & Ireland (8pm BST / IST) Livestream #2 – Europe (9pm CEST / 8pm BST) Livestream #3 - North America & Central/South America (6pm PDT / 9pm EDT) Livestream #4 - Australia, New Zealand and Asia (8pm AEST / 10pm NZST / 7pm JST and KST) (NB: Live stream in Australia / Asia ten to occur on the following day). https://www.music-news.com/news/Tickets/133855/Mika-stages-live-stream-benefit-concert-I-Love-Beirut Here's his invitation: https://youtu.be/hrb-u7H1_gY https://www.gofundme.com/f/ilovebeirut
  3. Facebook Ambassade du Liban en France https://www.facebook.com/AmbLibanFrance/posts/3656188384475946 L’artiste MIKA décoré par le Président de la République libanaise, le Général Michel Aoun, des insignes de l’Ordre du Mérite au grade argenté. Elles lui ont été remises par l’ambassadeur du Liban à Paris, dans un cadre restreint et familial. Twitter INATAGRAM mikainstagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ6f5A5lAaf/ mikainstagram My brother Fortuné and I yesterday evening. I Love Beirut was a concert in aid of Lebanon and a declaration of my love for this city and this country that I left at the age of one and a half. "I Love Lebanon" is what I want to say after receiving today the Lebanese National Order of Merit - Silver Palm. Today I think of my Lebanese grandmother, my mother, my aunts, my family, who brought the Lebanese soul to my life at home, in Paris, in London, everywhere I lived. Citizen of this uprooted world, Lebanon flows through my veins. This reciprocal love, so unexpected and so poignant, makes me happy and very proud of my heritage, especially in these difficult times for Lebanon. Thank you from me and all my family. I Love Beirut, c'était un concert après le traumatisme de la catastrophe du port. I Love Beirut, c'est ma déclaration d'amour à cette ville et ce pays qui j'ai quitté à l'âge d'un an et demi. I Love Beirut c'est ce que j'ai envie de dire après avoir recu la médaille de L’ordre National Du Mérite à la Palme Argentée. Aujourd'hui je pense à ma grand-mère, à ma mère, à mes tantes, à ma famille qui de Paris à Londres faisaient vivre l'âme libanaise à la maison. Citoyen du monde déraciné, le Liban coule dans mes veines. Cet héritage m'oblige chaque jour. Cet amour réciproque me rend heureux et fier. mikainstagram story Twitter Lebanese News sites 🔴L'Orient-Le Jour https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1247856 Mika dans l’Ordre du Mérite libanais Le chanteur libano-britannique au cœur d’or avait organisé un concert en direct sur Internet le 19 septembre au profit des victimes de l'explosion dévastatrice au port de Beyrouth. OLJ / Par M.G.H, le 12 janvier 2021 à 09h58 Le chanteur libano-britannique au cœur d’or avait organisé un concert en direct sur Internet le 19 septembre au profit des victimes de l'explosion dévastatrice au port de Beyrouth. OLJ / Par M.G.H, le 12 janvier 2021 à 09h58 Mika recevant les insignes de l’Ordre du Mérite au grade argenté des mains de l’ambassadeur du Liban à Paris Rami Adwan. Photo tirée du compte Facebook de Mika « I Love Beirut, c'était un concert après le traumatisme de la catastrophe du port. I Love Beirut, c'est ma déclaration d’amour à cette ville et ce pays qui j'ai quitté à l'âge d'un an et demi. I Love Beirut c’est ce que j'ai envie de dire après avoir reçu la médaille de l’Ordre national du Mérite au grade argenté. » C’est par ces mots que l’artiste Mika a réagi lundi soir sur ses comptes Facebook, Instagram et Twitter à l’issue de sa décoration par le président de la République libanaise Michel Aoun des insignes de l’Ordre du Mérite au grade argenté. Elles lui ont été remises par l’ambassadeur du Liban à Paris, Rami Adwan, dans « un cadre restreint et familial », précise un communiqué de l’ambassade du Liban à Paris. 🔴 Beirut Obserber https://www.beirutobserver.com/2021/01/2378331/ وسام رئاسي لبناني للفنان ميكا لدعمه البلاد بعد انفجار المرفأ January 12, 2021 تنويهاً باندفاع الفنان العالمي اللبناني الأصل مايكل هولبروك بينيمان الشهير باسم Mika الذي جنّد طاقاته لمساعدة لبنان بعد انفجار مرفأ بيروت، وتقديراً لمساهمته في رفع صورة لبنان، منحه الرئيس اللبناني ميشال عون وسام الاستحقاق الوطني من الدرجة الفضية، وقلَّده الوسام السفير اللبناني في فرنسا رامي عدوان في حفلٍ رسمي اتسم بأجواء عائلية. ولفت السفير اللبناني إلى أن “الوسام قد مُنح لفنانٍ نجح في جمع الموسيقى والشعر والألوان في آنٍ واحد، كعربون تقديرٍ من شعبٍ بأكمله لشخص الفنان المتمسك بجذوره اللبنانية، والمتميّز بإنسانيته، وهو الذي لم يتوانَ يومًا عن تقديم المساعدة للأطفال من ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة”. وثمّن في كلمته “اندفاع الفنان الذي جنَّد طاقاته بعد فاجعة الرابع من آب/أغسطس 2020، متحدياً القيود الصحية والاجتماعية المفروضة، لتنظيم حفل موسيقي افتراضي دعمًا للبنان ولعاصمته وشعبه”. من جهته، عبّر Mika عن “عميق تأثره بهذا التكريم الوطني الذي يشرّفه كما ويشرف والديه اللذين حرصا على أن يكون للبنان موقعٌ خاصٌ في قلب ووجدان أولادهم الخمسة”. وكان ميكا نظّم حفلاً فنياً تحت عنوان “I love Beirut أحب بيروت” في “تياترو نيكوليني”، واستمر ساعة و40 دقيقة، وشاركته فيه الممثلة سلمى حايك اللبنانية الأصل ومشاهير من العالم، وجمع الحفل تبرّعات لمساعدة المتضرّرين من الانفجار. 🔴 Al kalima online http://www.alkalimaonline.com/Newsdet.aspx?id=543805 رئيس الجمهورية منح MIKA وساما وسفير لبنان في فرنسا قلده اياه صدر عن سفارة لبنان في فرنسا بيان أشار الى "ان السفير رامي عدوان، قلد الفنان العالمي اللبناني الأصل Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.المعروف ب Mika، وسام الاستحقاق الوطني من الدرجة الفضية الذي منحه اياه رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، تكريما لعطاءاته الفنية ونجاحاته الدولية وتقديرا لمساهمته في رفع صورة لبنان. وللمناسبة، أقيم حفل رسمي اتسم بأجواء عائلية. وشدد السفير عدوان في كلمته على "أن الوسام قد منح لفنان نجح في جمع الموسيقى والشعر والألوان في آن واحد، كعربون تقدير من شعب بأكمله لشخص الفنان المتمسك بجذوراللبنانية، والمتميز بإنسانيته، وهو الذي لم يتوان يوما عن تقديم المساعدة للأطفال من ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة. ونوه السفير عدوان باندفاع الفنان الذي جند طاقاته بعد فاجعة الرابع من آب 2020، متحديا القيود الصحية والاجتماعية المفروضة، لتنظيم حفل موسيقي افتراضي دعما للبنان ولعاصمته وشعبه. بدوره، أعرب الفنان Mika عن عميق تأثره بهذا التكريم الوطني الذي يشرفه كما ويشرف والديه اللذين حرصا على أن يكون للبنان موقع خاص في قلب ووجدان أولادهم الخمسة". INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ8apsRM2EQ/ 🔴 Gulf 365 gulf365.com بالصورة – عون منح الفنان MIKA وساما وسفير لبنان في فرنسا قلده اياه فاطمة نصر كتبت أسماء لمنور في الثلاثاء 12 يناير 2021 04:14 مساءً - منذ ساعتين ميكا صدر عن سفارة لبنان في فرنسا بيان أشار الى “ان السفير رامي عدوان، قلد الفنان العالمي اللبناني الأصل Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.المعروف بـ Mika، وسام الاستحقاق الوطني من الدرجة الفضية الذي منحه اياه رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، تكريما لعطاءاته الفنية ونجاحاته الدولية وتقديرا لمساهمته في رفع صورة لبنان. وللمناسبة، أقيم حفل رسمي اتسم بأجواء عائلية. وشدد السفير عدوان في كلمته على “أن الوسام قد منح لفنان نجح في جمع الموسيقى والشعر والألوان في آن واحد، كعربون تقدير من شعب بأكمله لشخص الفنان المتمسك بجذوراللبنانية، والمتميز بإنسانيته، وهو الذي لم يتوان يوما عن تقديم المساعدة للأطفال من ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة. ونوه السفير عدوان باندفاع الفنان الذي جند طاقاته بعد فاجعة الرابع من آب 2020، متحديا القيود الصحية والاجتماعية المفروضة، لتنظيم حفل موسيقي افتراضي دعما للبنان ولعاصمته وشعبه. بدوره، أعرب الفنان Mika عن عميق تأثره بهذا التكريم الوطني الذي يشرفه كما ويشرف والديه اللذين حرصا على أن يكون للبنان موقع خاص في قلب ووجدان أولادهم الخمسة”. Twitter Congratulations @mikasounds! 👏 Thank you for supporting our relief efforts in Beirut and for using your voice to help children and families to recover from the devastating explosion. @SaveChildrenLEB" / Twitter
  4. If you wish to discuss the live stream concert in a lot more detail with a full review please use this space to do so! 😃 Here's mine. 😊 As I said before it's quite long 😅 I would have logged in straight after the concert but I got so many notifications on twitter afterwards that I spent a while there and then went to bed (I was very tempted to watch the whole thing again and probably will later), starting to feel PMD now 😅. Anyway consider this my first concert review! It's quite long and took me over an hour to write! First of all my budgie absolutely loved it! I had the volume up quite high and he was happy chirping away in the background but he got so much louder when Danna came on and remained loud for the whole show, with me being so focused on Mika I really didn't mind. I also have a small dog with a big bark and it's like she knew to behave because for the whole night she didn't make a sound, good girl! I think Mika will be pleased to know he has my pets approval! The whole show was beautiful. The set list of songs was a perfect combination too. A perfect balance of showing the hardship of what the Lebanese people are going through and also keeping it up beat and joyful with singing Ice Cream, Lollipop, Grace Kelly and Love Today. Mika has a way of giving hope to people. The performance of Any Other World had me in tears wich continued with the various videos shared by the people of Lebanon. One minute I'm crying in sadness the next I'm crying in joy at the couple who's baby, Georges, survived the blast. I hope one day he gets to meet Mika. The poems by Etal and Salma were beautiful too. So simple. So relevant. I'm not a Rufus Wainwright fan but that performance of Agnus Dei with the musicians was certainly something special. Maybe he and Mika will do a collaboration one day together. I loved the performance by Kylie! I was wondering if she would sing I Believe in You seeing as Mika loves that song but the lyrics to Say Something were more appropriate and it was a wonderful performance. I've never heard of Laura Pausini before but her song at the colosseum was beautiful and it's certainly got me looking more into her music. I knew Me, Myself was coming when Danna came on but I certainly wasn't expecting It Must Have Been Love, neither was my Mum because that song is very special to her and made her cry! And then the song with Louane, again not someone I've heard of before but that duet was beautiful. Definitely another great example of how Mika's voice can blend well with a female singer. Now his own performances. I'm hoping so so much that the Arabic version of Promise Land with Mashrou Leila is released as a single. It was immense, I love it! Origin of Love really made me feel the love, did you all see the message "I thank him very much" at the bottom of the screen? And the way Mika looked so intensely at the camera, I'm sure Andy was there. Maybe with a little happy tear in his eye. Lollipop sung in the streets was so much fun to watch, I felt like I was right there with him! How does Mika do the pointy toe thing when he sings Relax, Take it Easy? He was his true bouncy self with that song, I always love to see him do 'The Jump'™ We Are Golden was such a burst of energy and then Elle me Dit got me singing along (it's the only French song of Mika's that I know all the words to even though I don't speak French!). And of course how can I not talk about Ice Cream? Only Mika could sing an entire song with his zipper down! I don't think that's the first time either. He could have very easily edited that out but I'm glad he didn't, it wouldn't be a Mika concert without something silly like that! Also wouldn't be right if Mika doesn't get his own lyrics wrong to Underwater. To end the show with Grace Kelly and Love Today was perfect too, very much like his early gigs. For a moment I forgot it was pre-recorded and kept wondering where the piano came from, I think Mika needs some alone time with that piano, he seems very attached! 😁 Along with Promise Land I hope the other songs get released too. If not a DVD then a live album would be brilliant. It didn't matter that the theatre was empty, because it wasn't. We were all there, brought together and united by one amazing man. It doesn't matter that we were in our own homes in different countries. Mika brought something magical to the show last night and that something is the people. It's us. All of us. Every single person who sat and watched it from beginning to end, the magic of being apart but together. It's not just I love Beirut. It's WE Love Beirut!
  5. We should start chat at the before the show thread as like usual gig, I think. This concert will be the first ever World Wide Concert !! Let's have fun chatting and planning fan-actions at here !!
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