The oud’s beautiful sound

The sound of the oud ( moves Bambi’s heart every time she listens to it. It evokes beautiful memories from the past and instantly transports her back in time. She remembers her trips to Lebanon and her precious times with loved ones.

One of those memories may seem odd to you… with a reason :). It happened 29 years ago like this time of the year. It was Bambi’s first trip back from Montreal home after civil war (which officially ended in October, 1990, that is four months after her immigration to Canada). Bambi’s dad had to have an urgent gallbladder surgery. Sadly, this health crisis occurred the night before a concert he was eager to take his daughter to. Bambi’s dad asked for the permission of the hospital authority to leave, for the night, to attend the concert and return by midnight to be ready for his morning surgery. Well, believe it or not, his surgeon and the hospital allowed him to do so (as a favour for the Canadian tourist :); only in Lebanon such odd events can happen). They went to listen to Mr. Marcel Khalife’s concert in Byblos and it was magical; Of course since he is one of the most talented singers and oud players not just in Lebanon, but in the entire world.

Luckily, the surgery of Bambi’s dad went well. Two months later, he returned with her to Canada to spend time with the rest of his family in Montreal. As the world can be really small, they bumped into Mr. Marcel Khalife and his musicians on the same airplane flying them from Paris to Montreal. He was on his way for a tour in Canada and the USA. Bambi could not help not to share the hospital’s story with them while greeting them :).

Anyhow, this post is meant to honour the oud that Bambi listened to on her favourite radio today.

First, let’s start with this Reuters short yet moving video featuring a Lebanese artisan oud maker. Bambi was moved to hear him talking about his relationship with the oud, on which he expresses all his emotions (from joy to grief, from love to despair, etc.). Of note, he remembers to which artist each of his creations went!

Second, meet Mr. Charbel Rohanna. He is another highly talented Lebanese oud player! He actually played music with Mr. Khalife at the concert mentioned above :). The music is a traditional Lebanese song of Fairuz entitled “Al bint el Shalabieh“. Bambi has meant to learn to play this song on the guitar since last summer/fall, but so many events occurred in her life that she had not yet had the time to complete her project. She would like to take the time to acknowledge and thank the online talented guitar teacher, Dr. Antiff, who happens to be from Beirut. See below :).

Thank you Dr. Antiff! Because of your inspiration and great lessons, Bambi was able to remember how to play the guitar after so many years! Yes, from her early teenage years in Beirut where she was blessed to have two teachers over a period of four years. The first teacher used to come to her family apartment. The second one, her mom used to drive her and wait for her in the car, literally under the shelling, the sound of which mixed with the music. Bambi would be practising with her heart half in the lesson and half under the balcony of her teacher, that is with her mom on the street. The latter was near the green line (sadly dividing Beirut in two halves).

Third, while preparing this post, Bambi discovered this incredible talent from Québec, Canada. His name is Mr. Benoit Martin. He plays the oud, as you can see further below.

To conclude this post, Bambi would like to end with a friendly wink to her childhood friend, also called Charbel, a guitar player who is now learning the oud. He is talented in both science and music, in addition to his devotion to his family and loyalty to his values of humanity. If he ever reads this post, he will smile now :).

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