The Talented Boy Who Became an Icon
Helmy Bakr, the famous Egyptian composer, said about Rebai: “This voice is the best and most terrific I’ve heard in 20 years.”
Saber Rebai represented his country, Tunisia, in Babel, Iraq, when he was 10. But his breakthrough was in 1983 when, at age 16, he participated in ‘Nady Al Mawaheb’ (Talents Club) and won the first prize. He then graduated high-school and embarked on his journey in the music world, getting his master’s certificate in music.
In 1989, Rebai turned into a professional singer and recorded a number of songs in Tunisia, some of which had great success and a vast reach making a name for himself in his homeland. He then headed to Cairo and remained there from 1992 to 1996, where he continued developing his talents and won several prizes, among which was the ‘Golden Record’ he earned for his hit ‘Sarkha’ (A Scream).
Yet Rebai’s true beginning and the breakthrough came later from Lebanon, which was the gate through which Rebai found his way into the Arab World, Europe, Canada, and Australia he also received the ‘Golden Microphone’ prize during that time. In 1997 he released his famous album ‘Yalli Be Jamalek’ (Your Beauty) which gained him more success and attracted a wider audience.
Rebai participated in numerous international festivals, including ‘Festival International de Carthage’ (Tunisia), ‘Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts’ (Jordan), ‘Fes Festival’ (Morocco), ‘Layali Dubai’ (UAE), ‘Mawazine’ (Morocco), Cairo Opera House's ‘Arab Music Festival’ (Egypt), ‘Layali Febrayer Festival’ (Kuwait), ‘Salalah Festival’ and ‘Muscat Festival’ (Oman), as well as taking part in concerts and festivals in Qatar, Algeria. Rebai was also one of the very few Arabic musicians in recent decades to perform at the Olympia Theater in Paris, where Arab music giants such as Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Fayrouz, and Warda Al-Jazairia, performed before him.
Rebai composes the music of many of his songs by himself, establishing his position not just as someone with a distinct singing voice but also as a professional musician and composer. His contributions to music were rewarded by a number of prizes in international festivals and earned him recognition and honored by various kings, presidents, and heads of state around the world. In all his concerts, Rebai is overwhelmingly welcomed by fans with a taste for music, aware of the distinct journey he embarked on as a talented child and turned him into a unique musician and an icon of Arab music.
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