Fairuz and her music have always been associated with the village and town life. Trees, rivers, the moon and the country life were reoccurring motifs in the texts her songs. Consequently, the room contains bricks, old wood and flowers on both the floors and the walls to emphasize her connection to the earth. The view of the room, a panorama of Amman, enriches this feeling. There resident of the room can therefore live the ambiance that was composed by Fairuz in all of her famous songs.
The life of Abdel haleem Hafez had always wavered between periods of happiness and sadness. His childhood was a difficult one as he was a poor and struggling orphan. His history was always present in the melancholic tone of his voice. Soon after, his music developed a sense of optimism as he began to sing about the beauty of nature and more importantly, about love. This was the period during which he fell in love with a mysterious lady that he kept a secret for the rest of his life. In 1956, his Bilharzia infection started to worsen and once again, the somber themes in his music returned. Thus, the room’s dark colours that gradually shift to brighter hues illustrate the shifts from happiness to sadness throughout his lifetime.
Sayed Mekawy contributed a lot to Arabic music and the design of the room highlights just that. His music was known for its simplicity, but it always featured complicated, exciting musical components, which has made him one of the most prominent Arabic musicians in history. The room design reflects the marriage of simplicity and complexity through the wooden floor that was elevated to then become a desk. The Arabic letters engraved on the floor reference his song “The Earth Speaks Arabic”. One of his most important works is a radio collaboration with Fuad Hassad called the “Musaharti” (This character is now iconic and is known as the person that wakes people up for food before dawn in Ramadan). Consequently, the bedside tables resemble the “Tabla” (or drum), which is the only musical instrument used by the Musaharati.
Sabah Fakhri began his life as a Muezzin in the Al Rowda mosque in Aleppo, Syria. Therefore, the design of the room is heavily influenced by the Islamic religion, featuring Islamic epigraphy all over. As his musical and artistic career continued to progress, he was awarded many awards in all parts of the world. Sabah Fakhri was the first Arabic singer to be spotlighted in the Guinness Book of World Records, as he sang for ten continuous hours in Venezuela during a concert. He has sung at prominent events such as the Noble Peace Ball in Sweden and the Beethoven Ball in Germany. Sabah Fakhri is known for his signature look, as he always sported a black suit and white shirt. Subsequently, the black and white palette of the room was used to reflect his attire.
Sayed Darwish was passionate about the Egyptian nation and felt a strong connection to the land and the conflicts that were occurring there. This relationship inspired his music and lyrics and was often the major themes of his songs. Sayed Darwish began his life as a construction worker and therefore the room design emulates the “workshop”. Consequently, the room contains wood and other construction materials. Additionally, due to his strong relationship with the Egyptian nation and its conflicts, he was compelled to the write and compose the national anthem.
Tawfiq Al Nimri is considered to be one of the most influential Jordanian singers. In his early days, he sang Jordanian folklore songs at radio stations across the country. Consequently, the Jordanian folklore style has large effect on the design of the room, such as the incorporation of the Arabic “majles”, or the seats below the beds. Furthermore, Jordanian folklore colours are dominant in the room’s palette, highlighting his musical style. It is believed that as a young boy, he was shy and did not like to sing in public. To avoid this, he used to put his head in a clay water pot and sing so no one would hear him. Some people also say he found both the water and the echo to be beautiful. Hence, the bedside tables are designed to mimic those clay pots.
Al Shaikh Imam lost his vision as a child. Although a tragedy, it was an incident that enriched his musical ear and destined him to become singer and composer. White is, therefore, the only colour in room, as it is all blind people can see. Furthermore, the room consists of several textures and round furniture, as both are important to help a blind person maneuver. Al Shaikh Imam composed traditional street music to express a disdain for the government and lament about political conflict and a disregard for civilian rights. He sang and composed lyrics that were written by his friend Ahmad Fou’d Najem, a patriotic poet. Because he was singing political songs that painted the government in bad light, Al Shaikh Imam ended up in prison. The government did not want these simple street songs to reach the people, afraid a revolution or uprising would follow. However, the prison did not prevent his songs from reaching the rest of the Arab world and that is metaphorically represented through the broken prison bars in the room design.
Talal Maddah was always pictured with the Oud (a traditional Arabic guitar) in his hands. Naturally, the Oud served as the basis for this particular room design. Talal Maddah spent such a long period of his life singing in theatres that he even died while he was performing at one. Thus, the beds are elevated as though they are placed atop a stage.
Additionally, his Saudi background and the beginnings of his life in the desert inspired the room’s look. The sandy walls and the empty spaces resemble a desert setting perfectly.
Anouar Brahem’s Tunisian origins are clearly reflected in the room’s colour palette, as blue and white are the most colours found in Tunisian architecture. Furthermore, Brahem utilized the Oud as his main musical instrument. Subsequently, we designed the desk in the room to resemble the iconic Arabic instrument, while also maintaining the blue and white scheme of the rest of the room.
A living musician of Palestinian heritage, Simon Shaheen combined Eastern and Western musical elements in a very creative and simple manner. Hence, we opted for a simpler style for room design. The intermingling of the two musical cultures is conveyed through the Palestinian sewing patterns. Additionally, the blue colour scheme in the room is a callback to his most famous album, “The Blue Fame”.