BEIRUT: Wednesday marked the 80th anniversary of the venerable “Radio Liban,” with a party held to celebrate the legacy of the oldest radio station in Lebanon.
Radio Liban, founded in 1938 under French mandate, became fully state-run in 1946 under the country’s first President, Bechara El-Khoury.
The station flourished during the 60’s and early 70’s. Even to this day, its legacy is still widely appreciated by the Lebanese public, hence its commemoration at The Legend Venue restaurant, in Dbayeh, hosted by the Ministry of Information, to honor its history and importance to the airwaves of the country.
In 1958, under President Camille Chamoun’s tenure, the station’s founding stone was laid in Al-Sanayeh district, where German company Siemens implemented an expansion plan that entailed seven studios, audio archives, and a broadcasting station in the northern coastal town of Amchit.
The station’s archives are considered to be one of the most important radio libraries in the Middle East, containing thousands of programs and recordings of Lebanese, Arab, and foreign singers as well as artists who have witnessed the station’s resilient history recorded in its studios, and left their mark on it.
“Here is Radio Liban; here is the Rahbani brothers, Fairouz, Sabah, Wadih El Safi, Halim Roumi, Zaki Nassif, Nasri Shams El Din, Nagah Salam, Hiam Younis, Dadad, and Filmon Wahbi,” Radio Liban quoted their colleague, Nada Ayoub, as saying.
“It [Radio Liban] is the mother radio that embraced the homeland in all its forms, despite the horrors of oppression and war. It represents a voice that was not polluted by sectarianism, fanaticism, and racism. This is how it was, how it has remained, and how it will remain,” she added.
Radio Liban is considered by many to be the pride of Lebanon hosting the country and the region’s well-renowned artists of the 20th century, who have echoed the corridors of the station with their rich-tone voices.
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