Who Is She
What I have done for Lebanon
The top priority of artists is their art. It is through their art that they are able to immortalize their country.
Certainly one of the hardest decisions of my life was NOT to leave during the 15-year war. One does not leave one’s child when the child is very sick. We call our country the “motherland”, but in times of tragedy, we become the parent. I would travel 10 or 15 days in the rare moments of “truce”, but always returned.
I built my big dream school in 1985 (1240 sq m. !). From its hilltop location, I could see ships carrying away my compatriots, while I was piling brick upon brick, to give dance and culture a powerful presence.
Having been named Secretary of the International Dance Committee (ITI) UNESCO, and member of the Executive Council of ITI,** I had to travel extensively. My colleagues had their expenses covered either by their ITI Centres or by their Governments. In my case, I had to cover my own expenses. I still made it a point to attend ALL the meetings organized in different countries, just because I felt it was absolutely necessary to transform the horrible images of Lebanon the war had left.
Contact information / Private
Contact information / Work
- Sophomore Degree of B.A. Honors, English and French Literature, 1956, Oxford University, United Kingdom.
Areas of expertise
- Ballet Dancing and Teaching
- Founder and director, 1964 - present, Ecole Libanaise de Ballet. Branch in Tripoli in 1972.
- Member, 1996-2008, Executive Council of the International Theatre Institute (UNESCO).
- Secretary, 1995-2008, International Dance committee, International Theatre Institute (UNESCO).
- Dancing Instructor, 1966-1984, Institute of Fine Arts, Theater Section, Lebanese University.
Honorary office and memberships
- Honorary member, International Theatre Institute (Worldwide), 2011.
- Vice-president, Lebanese Center of the International Theatre Institute, 1985-2011.
- Founding member, Syndicate of Professional Artists in Lebanon, 1993.
- Founding member, Institute for the Preservation of Folkloric and Traditional Art for Twelve Mediterranean Countries, 1968.
- Choreographed and danced to the recitation of Arabic poetry, the first experience of its kind in the Middle East, for a programme on poetry produced by the Jordanian Television, and aired in almost all Arab countries (1981).
- Leading performer, choreograoher and jury member in many play productions, dancing performances and competition programs since 1964 including:
- "Soirées de Ballet", 1966, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1988 and 1994 in Beirut, Tripoli and Zahle.
- Leading dancer in several major ballets performances of the classical repertoire such as "Nutcracker", "Sleeping Beauty", "Coppelia", "Sylphides".
- - Choreographer representing Lebanon in several festivals such as Nancy festival (a city in the north of France), Baghdad and Carthage Festivals.
- Choreographer of the play "L'émigré de Brisbane" written by George Shehade and performed in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia.
- Jury member of major competitions involving dance and other art disciplines in Lebanon (such as Studio el-Fan and Nadi El-Nawadi), Cyprus and Italy.
- Speaker, "Dance Between Two Bombs and the Sniper's Fire", The Lebanese American University, 2012.
- Speaker, "Choreography to Express Identity", Sousse, Tunisia (April, 2000), Limassol, Cyprus (February, 2006), World Dance Day Festival at the Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, April 2011.
- Speaker, "The XXth Century, Century of Women in Dance", 2011.
- Speaker, "Pioneer Women of Dance in America", Kennedy Center, Beirut, 1977.
- Speaker, a lecture on "Classic and Modern Dance", Rotary Club of Tripoli, 1973.
- Speaker, "Dance in Lebanon" at the International Dance Symposium, Wichita, Kansas, United States of America, August, 1970
Awards and Distinctions
- Honored by the Japan Foundation for her achievements, 1999.
- Life Achievement Award by LAU, 6 May 2018
- Life Achievement Award by BIPOD, 16 April 2018
- Life Achievement Award by NDU, 5 November 2017
- Life achievement award by the International Catholic Union of the Press, 2010.
- "Murex D'or" for her life-achievement, 2007.
- Life achievement award by the Cultural Movement of Antelias, 2001.
- Received the Said Akl award for her artistic achievements, March 1972.