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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

R.I.P. Maestro

1936 - 2007
"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to." - Luciano Pavarotti
LOOKING BACK - World famous Opera star Luciano Pavarotti performed a one-off open-air concert in Lebanon on Saturday June 12, 1999 with the 64-member Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at the Beirut Sports City Stadium - a wartime landmark which became a prominent symbol of postwar reconstruction in Lebanon. The concert was billed as a historic event to mark Lebanon's emergence from the fifteen-year civil war that had ended in 1990. This was his first and only performance in the entire Middle East and was organized by the Beirut Festival Committee, Murr TV, and Future TV. As was expected the event drew huge numbers, nearly twenty-thousand people, not only from Lebanon but also from abroad. At the time, his spokesman said that Pavarotti had been hoping to appear in Beirut for the past four years. 'The King of the High C's' was scheduled to perform in the country in September of 1998. His representatives said then that there was always a reason those plans had fallen through. But they reassured those gathered at a pre-concert press conference that Pavarotti was looking forward to singing in Lebanon and seeing the progress that had been achieved in the country. "He's very excited to come here," said his spokesman. The concert took place during the year 1999 when the Lebanese capital was declared by UNESCO as the cultural capital of the Arab world. Speakers at that news conference stressed the event would mark another sign of confidence in Lebanon. (Photo shows Pavarotti performing in Beirut.)

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">