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Awards for World Music 2007 - Middle East & North Africa
Ghada Shbeir


Ghada Shbeir album cover
You won’t find Ghada Shbeir in the all-new Lebanon chapter in the recently published third edition of The Rough Guide to World Music (Volume 1 of 3), but only because her debut album Al Muwashahat was released in May 2006 – just before her country was once again engulfed in war. A respected academic as well as a celebrated singer, Ghada Shbeir has herself published two books – one on Arabo-Andalusian music and the other on Egyptian icon Sayyed Darwish. But it’s her recording that has prompted this nomination, and the fact she’s considered one of the leading exponents of Arabo-Andalusian singing and Assyrian religious chants.

Al-Muwashahat is the plural of muwashah (‘melody’), a type of poetry-based song invented by Moukkadam Ibn Muafa at the end of the 10th century in what is now Southern Spain. At that time it was called Al-Andalus and under Arab rule. The genre was eventually exported to North Africa and the Middle East, where it became a key part of the Tarab, the classical Arab music of the region. In the early 20th century this Arabo-Andalusian music underwent a revival, but has in recent decades been eclipsed by various pop genres, to the point where many consider it in danger of dying out. As Shbeir told journalist Hanan Nasser in June 2006: “My aim is to send a message, to shed light on this issue that is [in danger] of [becoming] extinct. And as someone involved in this project [who has] already conducted research on this issue, I have a duty to bring it back to life.”

Some of the muwashahat on the album go back 1,000 years, but others are relatively recent compositions. Rather than swamping them in digital beats or symphonic arrangements which would struggle or clash with the required quartertones and complicated time signatures, Shbeir’s swooping melismas get sparse, elegant backing from a small oriental takht of acoustic instruments – oud, violin, bass, qanun (plucked zither), ney (flute) and percussion. Less is very definitely more, and time stands still for 40 minutes, at the end of which you’ll be left wondering why, having won accolades in Lebanon and abroad for the past decade, she didn’t do this sooner.

Jon Lusk

Ghada Shbeir website
Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

Chahe Khatcherian,Montreal
Good voice!

Adnan UAE
Great Voice. I never thought we have such talented people at this time.

Pierre El Khoury - LIBAN
Elle enseigne le chant oriental à l'université du saint esprit Kaslik au Liban (USEK). Elle est fameuse au Liban... pourtant, elle n'as jamais enregistré un disque complet de chansons privées à elle. Hope she does it SOOON! :D

Chadi Rahi Lebanon
Revival of the real Arabic and Lebanese Art. Resurrection of the lost glory of a creative and opened Arabic civilization. A true hope for us, Lebanese youth in the future of our beloved country's culture. Ghada Chbeir … We are With You! We all love you !Congratulations!!!

Chadi Rahi Lebanon
Revival of the real Arabic and Lebanese Art. Resurrection of the lost glory of a creative and opened Arabic civilization. A true hope for us, Lebanese youth in the future of our beloved country's culture. Ghada Chbeir … We are With You! We all love you !Congratulations!!!

Alan Hopking, England
Ghada is sensational! As soon as I heard her on BBC Awards I knew at once who'd win and that I had to get her album (I have). Her voice and the musicians link and unify as they do to all who hear them.

Nadim Safa-Beirut=Hotel Cavalier
you are a great singer.i like your voice.

rima UAE
Voted for you because you revived a long Arab Heritage, which speaks a lot of the previously highly developed and civilized Nation that is now falling into darkness...I Like your voice and spirit. Looking at you, and hearing of you, I think we have many things in common, (on the spiritual, personal, and intelectual level)We might meet one day.....Best..

kerry kousiounis
beautiful. I am transported.

Serge Asmar
U are always in Succes ya 2a7la new Fayrouz...... i love ur voice, i love ur jokes and also ur success.....

Saskia Greece
Congratulations to Ms. Ghada Shbeir who truly deserves to win. She has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard and is a superb performer.Saskia Corfu Greece

Pete Nottingham
Stunning Sends shivers down my spine.

Timour, London
Simir Siblini, go go go FANTASTIC playing FANTASTIC singing, PEACE to you all.

Ed Emery - Cambridge UK
Wonderful concert tonight, Ghada. Many many thanks. I hope you will be able to join us in London in October for our Muwashshah Conference at SOAS. Congratulations.

Jenny Enticknap, Scotland
Absolutely that really moves ...brilliant.

Yahia UK
Impressive music and thank you to BBC

Phil Hanna, Kentucky
Very interesting

Maria Rijo
Congratulations to Ms. Shbeir! also to the BBC awards. This year you're honoring a a great artist, researcher and a great soul of arabic singing.

very fine to my family

Barbara, Athens Greece
Your voice is a relief, deep in the heart.. thank you

maria W. usek
congratulations Miss Ghada!i wish for you all the best my teacher!!!GOD be with you forever!

Salma Es-Said - Beirut
I vote for Ghada Shbeir and her beautiful voice and songs.

nouhad makdissi
I vote for Ghada Shbeir to be the top overall winner of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. She is an accomplished singer of the deepest 'turath' (heritage) music of both Christians and Muslims.

Andre Nahas- Beirut Lebanon
Great singer

Roger - Lebanon
Because of a small conincidence I learned about Ghada, listened to her clip and here I am loving it!!

That is the way to shoud our arabic values, bravo Ghada.

Claude Asfar - Lebanon
Pure voice, beautiful songs. Bravo!

Luciana - Beirut
I vote for Ghada Shbeir.It's beautiful!

Sophia, Greece
Her voice is fantastic and she is breath taking when she performs.She is superb.

anis morocco casablanca
salut a tous vraiment une tres belle voix j'ai envie de la rencontré parceque moi aussi j'etude la music

Nadine Rizk
Congratulations i wish you all the success in the world ya a7la missssss kisses with my best reguards.

Serge Asmar
Congractulations For our Dr. Ghada Chbeir I wish you always the Best... Your Son Serge Asmar...

Aziz Roukoz

Maria Rijo
Ghada Shbeir deserves to this and other prizes. Not only her voice and interpretation are unique but her work and publications as a musicologist show the deepness of her dedication to Music and her most extreme value as a True Artist.

layal haddad
she's great simply

rabih kanaan lebanese live in kuwait
she is the best of the best in her way of singing.

elie fadous from lebanon
wow, very significant, good luck ghada...!!! u r the best

just a gr8 singer!

Alex Malouf
I most Definitly Vote for Ghada, and 100000 times if i could, she used to be my vocal Teacher, and i must Say, she is the most Generous Teacher, the Most kind Hearted Person, she's also very Funny, has such a sweet sense of Humour, and she's the Best contemporary Oriental Singer... The lady is Simply a genius...i just adore her ... i Hope she smash Wins!

Tom, Vasili, Tony and Sylvana, USA
We love you and your music Ghada. We hope you win.

hye i wish for you all the best!you have a nice voice!!!

Tom,Tony, Vasili Phoenix, AZ, USA
We love you Ghada. Excellent CD. You will be the winner for sure!!!

fred farra new jersey
i listen to all 4 nominies ghda has the best voice

Joseph Charbel, USEK
Ghada is one of the best

Charles, Canada
Amazing voice, I vote for you

toufic farroukh
c'est super ... bonne chance

charbel khoury
youare a great singer .i like yours muwashahat . u have a fantastic voice. god with you

Nadine - Lebanon
I think Lebanon needs any voice to be heard!! What if this voice carries the strength of the Lebanese will!

Roselyne Gerges- DUBAI


Valia, Oslo
I would definitely vote for this fantastic artist. Hope to hear more and more from her!!

Joe Chahine Lebanon
I am so proud to have Ghada Chbeir as a teacher, and I wish for her success.

celine Lebanon
very nice voice we always hope this is the lebanese figure.Best regards!

Richard Jabbour - Beirut , Lebanon
Great voice & great choices for songs, good luck from me & all my friends

Nathalie - Lebanon
ghada has a wonderful voice , i vote for her , go ghada go

i love you ghada:)

Suzanne Lebanon
Hi Ghada I'm suzan from Lebanon I vote for you because you're the best.

Nathalie - Lebanon
Ghada has a very beautiful voice , I vote to her because she's the best, good luck Ghada

Mireille Chahla
Excellent !!!!

Courage good luck Lebanon needs u

Marcel / USA
Ghada all the best

She's just great, we as lebanese are proud of her, and i wish her the best luck in the world

Barbe Khoury - Lebanon
Je vote pour Ghada Shbeir elle est excellente .. Go on Ghada et Bravo

Elie Chahwan,Montreal Canada
She a has a wonderful voice!I'm proud to have a person like her! She deserve to be the winner...

Mireille,Beirut, Lebanon
I like her voice so much.God bless her.

sahar el lozi tripoli-lebanon
its a great honnor to vote to such a wonderful person, she is absolutly enchanting. she deserves to win coz she has a great talent ,an amazing voice,great presence...she is the best. ghada i wish you all the best.

go ghada ur the best go for it don't give up ur voice is an angel one don't give up u can do it just trust urself and trust in ur country lebanon god be with u

Shakespear - Lebanon
It has been a pleasure to meet you in my life, & to have you as a teacher. I'm proud to have you as an Embassador representative for Lebanon, through your major. All the best for the BBC award.

elie lebanon
u r my best voice in the world i love u so much.

I'm proud to be her student, has a wonderful voice & she deserve to win.

Salim Nassour-Bourj ElMoulouk Marjayoun
Ghada you should be proud to be one of the artists whoare chosen to win the price of the music award 2007.Your voice is miraculus.I wish you all the best.We are all behind you.

all will support u GOOOOD LUCK

Ziad El Rassi, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Great singer, voice and music

she is the best

souhaila- lebanon
ghada is the best

Ron White
Memorable, haunting voice.

loved it

Moatassim Kammouny - Lebanon
First I want to thank you for this wonderful work , and i'm saying that not only because of your nice voice , but also for the music palyed in this work , i am a musician i play on the Oud and i know what kind of singer you are, and i appreciate your work.

eliemajdalanie Beirut Lebanon
all the best ghada were behind u we love ur voice make us proude of u in that concert.

Alain Merhy - Campinas-SP Brazil
Ghada can bring back the real value of the Arabic music. Her professionalism, skills and magic touch on Muwashahat are really enchanting. I am proud of still having such Lebanese musicians.Congratulations and Good Luck.

Wissam, Paris, France
Très bonne idée pour raviver et rajeunir ces beaux poèmes. Merci Ghada.

roudy, aitat lebanon
great prformance great voice !!! we're proud of you!

yassine itani, Lebanon
Two thumbs up !!

pamela aouad / lebanon
ghada shbeir is the best she should win

lovey voice that shows the real ability of the lebanese that love life even after foreign enterfer.

David, Cumbria UK
What a fantastic voice - and what a depth of feeling for the music - brilliant

roni doumit
Great work, Go for it,,, u are worth it... God bless u

Abdo Nawfal, Finland
Your words make my eyes wet and my heart tremble. To sing Mouachahat is quite difficult and yet, your voice dances to the tune like a costume befitting a smooth body. I wish you success

charbel khoury- jounieh
I am very proud to support such an effort to honor our country's unique singer "ghada shbeir". what a beautiful voice!

C F Cassen
I like Ghada's voice and songs, specially the Mouwashahat. She is the best, and must be the winner.

Maroun, Beirut
One of the best voices :)

Dana, Cologne, Germany
Coffee in the morning sunshine along the day and sea at dusk... In her voice,back to childhood!

hanan lebanon
great lady

Michel Salloum, Lebanon
have you heard Ghada's trills ? A great voice indeed !!!

Fahed, Paris
Really excellent, to discover and re-discover

makram ghossoub
ghada shbeir is very nice

Joseph EL KHOURY, Beirut
Number ONE

hanane - beirut
vote for her lebanese, she deserves to win, real genuine talent and great presence...

Joëlle, Beirut-Lebanon
I loved her music

Wonderful, amazing, awsome... Goodluck

Gracia Lebanon
Respectful and professional singer

ghada deserve to win because she has a wonderful voice and a great talent and music ...GOOD LUCK GHADA

Hassan, Omaha - USA

i hardly can stop playing this album, Ghada's the best.

Jean Njeim --Jounieh,lebanon--
Ghada u r z best... me and all the students of the "sainte famille maronite "sahel-alma" school" supprot u . Good luck.!.

martine b - Lebanon
fantastic revival of the muwashahat! i vote for ghada shbeir

Name: Rana Akkawi Location: Sahel-Alma
Your voice has enchanted me and has brought me back to the days were "Mouwasha7at" were history:) It is a pride for you to have reached this level...And it sure is a pride for you to be an ex-student of my school in sahel-alma... U deserve to win... We all love you here and wish for you to obtain that trophy that u deserve:)

Tony-Saudi Arabia
A rich voice and performance

Mirvat, Lebanon
Ghada Shbeir should win, she's the best singer

charbel akiki lebanon
hi ghada i wish u all the best good luck

Elie chaaya - Lebanon
Good luck in the awards worls music cmpetition

Fadia El-Hage, Lebanon
Ghada Shbeir has a wonderful voice (tarab songs).

Myriam de Himrad , Lebanon
When I hear her so special voice, I would Like that she never stops singing. Ghada, you're wonderful.

Myriam de Himrad , Lebanon
When I hear her so special voice, I would Like that she never stop singing. Ghada, you're wonderful.

Myriam de Himrad
When I hear her so special voice, I would Like that she never stop singing. Ghada, you're wonderful.

Daniel, Antoura
Ghada Shbeir est au sommet. Elle y restera. Je vote pour elle

Philippe Zoghbi, Ajaltoun
Bravo Ghada pour tout ce que tu fais pour sauver notre musique glorieuse que CERTAINS cherchent à mettre à terre. You are a real artist

Hilda Mrad Zoghbi, Beirut
Ghada is a great singer as well as she has particular personnality and a very sweet heart. I knew her last year and she gets my vote.

Serge Asmar, Hboub-Jbeil - Lebanon
I'm very proud to be you're student, you have a fantastic voice & in anyway for me you're the winner.

Nadine, Jbeil - Lebanon
You're feelings give me strength in difficulties, you're student Nadine Rizk.

Edouard Toriguian
La voix de Ghada a deux sources : son coeur et son esprit.

Joe.Mansour - PEI - Canada
Ghada has a sensational performance, smooth blend of passionate vocal, lyrics and powerful eloquent poetry,she Really deserve to win :)

Carol Razzouk / Prince edward island / Canada
magical voice ,absolutley the best artist, GO GO GO Ghada ;)

ghada shbeir is the best

Wissam nasr, Kuwait
I like her music a lot. She gets my vote.

Andy, Paris, France
She is the best !!!

Hani SABA - Lebanon
She is the " BEST " !!!

Sandy Smith - London
What a voice! What a CD! I love it.

Bissan Tay, Beirut, Lebanon
I love her voice and performance, she s a real artist

Rawad Nassif - Lebanon
She has the talent... She has the presence. Her voice is the sixth sense.

Claude Achkar - Lebanon
Ghada deserve to win

Jad, Montreal
Absolutely enchanting. Shbeir's muwashahats carry much of the exacerbated emotions - while remaining sincere- that makes Tarab the transcendental experience that it is. Unfortunately, popular arabic music today has mostly ignored this richness.

Hilda Beirut
She has a wonderful voice... I love to hear her singing.

Marianne- Montreal
Beautiful voice.

Terry Boueri
She has a great heart

It feels nostalgic

rima sabban dubai
I think she is a great singer, and has a lot to offer. She has voice, vision, and unique talent.

Michel Mansour - Montreal, Canada
She has a fantastic voice. Heard her in Beirut while on vacation in 2006. Bought a CD after the show.

Nicole, Beirut - Lebanon
Ghada a deux disques. Le premier est une compilation de chants lithurgiques et l'autre c'est "Al Muwashahat" pour lequel elle a ete nominee.

Marie-Laure, La Rochelle, France
I like very much this music, but cette chanteuse n'a t'elle jamais enregistré de disque ?

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