Lebanese singer Majida al-Roumi celebrated her 62nd birthday on Dec. 13. The veteran singer is considered one of the most important singers in the Arab world.
Roumi is a Lebanese soprano and a UN goodwill ambassador. In 1974, she participated in the talent show "Studio El-Fan" on Télé Liban and performed songs for Asmahan and Layla Murad at the age of 16.
As a child, Majida used to listen to Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Wadi' el-Safi and Asmahan and at the age of 5 she sang her first song “Miladak” (Your Birth) and dedicated it to her brother on his birthday.
When she performed at Hunter College in May 1989, music reviewer Peter Watrous said: "she wandered between near-European pop and Middle Eastern pop."
In 1991, Roumi released "Kalimat" (Words), her first pan-Arab hit, under the Music Master label. Later during the 90s, exactly in 1994, "Ibhath Anni" (Look for Me) followed the template set by "Kalimat" (words).
The legendary soprano stood twice on the Paris Olympia stage: in 1993 and in 1998 sponsored by Lebanese First Lady at that time Mona Herawi.
Also, later in the 90s, Majida welcomed Shirley Bassey in the presidential palace in Lebanon for a private concert. She performed one song before inviting Shirley to the stage, where the orchestra members stood up, astonished by Majida's spectacular performance.
Roumi was appointed an ambassador for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Oct. 16, 2001 in an official ceremony in Rome, Italy.
Roumi participated in numerous round-table discussions on the role of FAO ambassadors in helping the organization combat hunger in the world.
As FAO ambassador, the veteran soprano inaugurated the first Annual Agricultural Week in Lebanon and dedicated FAO's book “Sanabel El-Kheir” to the 60th World Food Day during an official ceremony held on Nov. 8, 2005 at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.