Najwa Karam (Arabic: نجوى كرم Lebanese pronunciation: [ˈnajwa ˈkaɾam]) (born 26 February 1966) is a Lebanese multi-Platinum, best-selling recording artist in the Middle East, who has sold over 60 million records worldwide. Najwa, widely known for her vocal powerhouse, has surpassed Middle Eastern musical limits in building her Empire, as she has effectively helped change the Arabic music industry in its outreach. Having left her mark by creating and introducing her own blend of traditional and contemporary Arabic Music, Najwa has defined her image and her music in the Middle East and throughout the world, contributing to the spread of the Lebanese dialect in Arabic Music. Apart from her singing career, Najwa is a Middle Eastern fashion icon as well as the main Judge on the hit television show Arabs’ Got Talent. Najwa holds the titles of highest-selling Middle Eastern Artist for the years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2008.
Having earned her well-known title, Shams el-Ghinnieh (The Sun of Song), Najwa’s domination of the Arabic Music industry began in 1994 through 1999, when she had major successes with albums, such as Naghmet Hob, Ma Bassmahlak and Maghroumeh. In 1999, her album Rouh Rouhi, topped the charts throughout the Arab world, and in 2000, Najwa’s album Oyoun Qalbi brought Najwa’s greatest success yet, as it sold over 5 million albums worldwide, holding the up-to-date record for best-selling Arabic-language album of all time. In 2001 Najwa’s album Nedmaneh sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and is one of Najwa’s most-acclaimed albums to date. The success of Nedmaneh earned Najwa numerous awards, including a coveted Murex D’or award for Best Arabic Artist and additional awards from Najwa’s record company, Rotana Records: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Highest-Selling Album. By the time of the release of “Saharni” in 2003, Najwa had established the status of pop icon in the Middle East. Najwa’s more recent albums, such as Shu Mghaiara, Hayda Haki, Am Bemzah Ma’ak, and Hal Leile…MaFi Noum, have all sold millions of copies and achieved great success, earning her numerous awards and recognitions worldwide. Her many singles, such as “Shou Jani” and “Lashhad Hobbak” have also topped music charts.
One of the best-selling Arabic artists in history, Najwa has participated in countless festivals and concerts around the globe, and has received a number of awards and accolades from various distinguished bodies. In her other works, Najwa has collaborated with musician and composer Melhem Barakat, as well as with Wadih el Safi on a single titled “W Kberna” (“We Grow Old Together”), which achieved major success throughout the Middle East. Also, Najwa is a sponsor and spokesperson for Pearl Properties, a UAE real-estate company, which features her in their advertisement commercials. The Lebanese idol has also established herself as a television superstar, winning thousands of new fans through her appearance as the main judge on MBC 4’s mega hit Arabs’ Got Talent, which became a television sensation across the Arab World. Then in 2011, a new era in music media was marked when Najwa Karam, in collaboration with Sony Entertainment and Rotana, produced the Middle East’s very first 3D music video, for her song, “MaFi Noum”. Najwa is one of Rotana’s most-important and highest-paid artists.
The early years and Layali Lubnan: 1985–1988
Najwa Karam Karam was born in Zahlé, Lebanon, to Karam Karam and Barbara Chahine Karam, a family of Lebanese Maronite Catholics. She is the youngest of five children, having an older sister, Salwa, and three older brothers, Tony, Jean, and Nicolas. She spent her childhood in Zahlé, in the care of her parents and older brothers.
Karam attended secondary school at Jesus the Angel College, and then worked as a teacher for two years at Eastern College, Zahlé.
Karam studied at the Lebanese Institute of Music for four years, to improve her knowledge of music and the music industry in general.
The beginning: 1989–1991
Shams el-Ghinnieh, (The Sun of Song)
In 1989 Karam’s first studio album, Ya Habayeb, was released by a then-little-known record label, Relax-in International. The album contained seven tracks, all in the traditional Lebanese traditional/folkloric style. Due to her previous exposure to the Lebanese public, the album was well received in Lebanon but did not receive much attention from the rest of the Arab world.
After a three-year-hiatus from music-making, Karam returned to the scene with her follow up album, Shams el-Ghinnieh. The album title was inspired by her nickname, “Shams el-Ghinnieh” (“sun of the song”), which was given to her by the Lebanese people and media because of her vocal abilities. The album was recorded by another small record company, CM. The style of the album was more romantic and contemporary, in comparison to Najwa’s debut, Ya Habayeb, which was more traditional. Shams el-Ghinnieh was received very well by the Lebanese public.
Ana Ma’akon (I’m With You)
The next year, in 1993, Karam signed with another record label for her new album. This time it was an even less-known Saudi Arabian company. The new album was called Ana Ma’akon (“I am with you”). The album was classic in style and quite different from Shams el-Ghinnieh, not really reflecting Najwa’s artistic identity. Despite her personal discontent, she had no choice but release it, bound by a contract with her production company. As expected, the album failed to do as well as Shams el-Ghinnieh. Poor marketing and lack of resources did not help much either and were blamed for the low sales of the album. It remains Karam’s least-known album, although many of her fans consider it the best, in terms of showing Najwa’s abilities and voice-power.
Najwa’s fortunes took a turn for the better when she was approached by the Middle East’s largest recording label, Rotana, owned by the Saudi Arabian Prince Walid Bin Talel. An agreement between the parties was made, and Najwa was now on Rotana’s roster.
Work on a new album began immediately. Expert poets, writers, and composers were enlisted to help Najwa make a fresh new musical image for herself to revitalize public interest, and finally draw attention from the wider Arab audience. By mid-1994, an album consisting of eight new songs had been compiled and was ready to be released to the Middle East. Naghmet Hob (The Rhythm of Love) fused Lebanese tradition with Arab pop. Its catchy Lebanese dance song “Law Habaytek” (“If I Loved You”) was an instant hit, introducing Najwa Karam to all of the Middle East. The song and its video clip dominated the Arabian charts. Its follow up hits from the same album were “Wrood Eddar” (“Roses of the Garden”) and “Elala” (“La La”), which received similar success.
The wide success of Naghmet Hob fueled a concert tour and a number of awards for Karam, including a prize from the Lebanese Broadcasting Association for the Best Artist of 1994.
Karam had been thrust to the top of the Arabic music scene in less than a year, and was now constantly in the public eye. In 1995, Najwa started work on her second Rotana album, her fifth release in total. It was titled Ma Bassmahlak and closely followed the traditional style of Naghmet Hob. The main difference was the lyrical and vocal nature of the tracks which had more depth. Riding the wave of her celebrity, two of the songs were hits, namely “Ma Bassmahlak” (“I Won’t Allow You”) and “Hakim el-Qady” (“The Judge Has Spoken”).
Hazi Helo, (I’m Lucky)
With five albums under her belt, the latter two of which witnessed ground breaking success, Najwa was becoming a familiar face in the Arabic music industry. On 16 June 1996, Karam released her newest album entitled Hazi Helo (“I’m Lucky”). The title track, “Hazi Helo” and three other songs, “Khayarouni”, “Ala Mahlak” and “El-Ghorbil”, were the most popular from the album.
Following the release of Hazi Helo, Najwa set off on a large-scale world concert tour, which would take in many Arab states, parts of Europe, and America. She found a number of fans in the U.S., and performed to sold-out concerts all over. To honor her success in the U.S., Najwa was presented with the Key to the City of Chicago.
Ma Hada La Hada (Nobody) and Maghroumeh (In Love)
After the sell-out world tour, Najwa returned to Lebanon with a fresh mind and new song ideas. And so work began on her next studio album – Ma Hada La Hada. The tracks on the album were quite different from those of Najwa’s previous albums, with a more contemporary sound. For example the song “El Helw” was heavily influenced by foreign beats and synthesised melodies. Three months prior to the album’s official release, the song El Tahady was distributed to the Arabic radio stations. By the time of the album’s release, the song’s popularity had dwindled, and Ma Hada La Hada’s relatively poor sales were attributed to this factor. However, the title track did become quite popular. It had harmonious musical arrangements which used the traditional Lebanese instrument the Qanoun, along with other traditional instruments such as the violin and the accordion. These musical stylings, along with an uplifting song topic and a powerful “mini movie” video clip made the song a huge hit.
The 1998 release, Maghroumeh, marked Karam’s “official” transition from purely traditional Lebanese artist to the blend of traditional and contemporary Arabic that she is famous for today. It had poetic Arabic lyrics sung with Najwa’s trademark power and authority; extensive use of Arabic instruments (trumbakke, mijwiz, zamour, tabal… etc.) and contemporary ones; and a brand new look for the album cover. Maghroumeh was another success from Karam. The title track, “Maghroumeh” (“I Am in Love”), was shot as a video clip, and was the biggest hit off the album, hitting number one on most radio stations in the region. Other hits were the feisty “Ghamza” (“The Wink”) and the sad love song “Noqta al-Satr” (“Somewhere along the line”).
The new year brought about a number of changes in Karam’s career lives. Najwa’s new album was set to be released in the summer, and her personal changes were showing in her new album Rouh Rouhi. It was similar to the Maghroumeh album, but had a number of tweaks in the vocal and musical styles. The musical arrangements were heavily detailed and technical, and the lyrics were more poetic than all other Karam albums. The tracks “Ariftu Albi La Meen” (“Do you know who my heart belongs to?”), “Atchana” (“Thirsty”), and the title track, “Rouh Rouhi” (“Soul of my Soul”) were the major hits off the album, the latter two being shot as music videos. Many other songs succeeded like “Kif Bdawik” (“How Do I Treat You?)”, and “Ma Berda Ghayrak” (“I Don’t Accept Anyone Beside You”).
The new millennium
Another year, another change for Najwa Karam. This time it came about in the form of a music album called Oyoun Qalbi. Oyoun Qalbi was a more romantic, reflective body of work compared to Karam’s previous albums. Its major included “Majboura” (“I Have to”) which had a modern jazz influence, and the “power ballets”, “Oyoun Qalbi” (“Sweetheart”) and “Khaleek al Ard” (“Stay down to Earth”). A music video was made for the Najwa 2000 megamix, which contained samples from each song on the Oyoun Qalbi album. The album sold over 5 million copies, topping charts. It holds the up-to-date record for best-selling Arabic album of all time.
In 2001, Karam made her record breaking release Nedmaneh. It sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and is one of Najwa’s most acclaimed albums to date. It followed on from the style of music first presented by Karam in Oyoun Qalbi, and further experimented with new styles and sounds. The song “Aaskah” (“Falling in love”) was an enormous hit, hitting number one all over the Middle East, and was also quite popular abroad. It was a more playful and vibrant song than most of Karam’s previous work, with a strong bass line, and a distinct oriental influence. It was quite different from any Arabic song at the time, and appealed to a wide range of audiences. The success of album Nedmaneh brought about a number of awards, including a coveted Murex D’or for “Best Arabic Artist” award, and three special awards from Karam’s production company, Rotana: “Artist of the Year”, “Album of the Year” and “Highest Selling Album”.
To further Rotana’s crediting of Karam’s successes, an honouring assemble was held on Saturday, 23 June 2001 where Karam was awarded for her achievements throughout her singing career and for the huge success of Nedmaneh. The ceremony was held at the Venesia Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon. In attendance were the Lebanese Minister of Information, Ghazi Al-Aredi who was representing the President of the Lebanese Republic, Émile Lahoud, prominent singer Wadih el Safi, acclaimed composer Elias Rahbani and a number of journalists and reporters. During the night, Karam sang some of her hits (old and new), and was presented with numerous medals and trophies. The recording was released on a special edition CD (Live in Concert), along with a compilation CD of Najwa’s hits from 1989-2000 titled The Very Best Of Najwa Karam.
Karam’s 2002 album, Tahamouni, was far removed from the “easy going” contemporary feel of Oyoun Qalbi and Nedmaneh, and audiences noticed. The album was intended to get back in touch with a more youthful audience from other Arab nations, with whom had taken slight dis-interest in Karam’s music from the late 90s. This was shown though songs like Tahamouni (They accused me) which included attempts at rapping, and Ew’a Tekoun Ze’alt (I hope you’re not mad at me) which seemed to have a complete Western influence. The songs had a youthful sound.
Saharni, (He Charmed Me)
In late 2002, Karam began meeting with the Lebanese “tarab” star, Wadih el Safi (Born 1919). Wadi had known Najwa for a while, and had been impressed with her vocal talents. The two of them decided to make a duet together, depicting the trials of a father-daughter relationship. The song was titled W Kberna (We grow old together), and was an epic ballad in which both vocalists showed immense vocal range and depth. W Kberna was a success as the lyrics were easy to relate to and it teamed two of the region’s most prominent artists together.
Taking this success, Najwa got back to the drawing board for a new album. Months were spent piecing together lyrics and arrangements, and by mid-2003, the album was ready for release. Rotana set up a large launch party in Downtown Beirut, where over fifteen thousand of Karam’s fans packed the streets, waiting for Najwa to appear and sing her new material.
Saharni (Charmed) was exactly the kind of album that was a rebirth of the “old Najwa Karam”, and took the public by surprise, as they had at this point come to expect contemporary pop from the Shams el-Ghinnieh. The music had all the makings of distinctly Lebanese music: trumbakke solos, traditional wind instruments, lots of bass and a vibrant singing style – all features far removed from the “western” motif that most artists opted for at the time. Not only had Karam’s music changed, but she also sported a new look, which further emphasised that the album was a turn around. Saharni’s success was instantaneous, even though there was a lack of video clips for the songs, the album came through on top of the charts, and produced a number of major hits, including Edhak Lil Dounya (Smile to the world), and the title track Saharni (He charmed me).
Najwa made a world tour to complement Saharni’s success, taking in the Middle East as well as destinations such as France and the U.S. with Wadih el Safi. She also travelled to Australia, where her concert there still holds the record for largest ever recorded concert attendance for an Arabic artist. Najwa was presented with a number of awards and achievements in 2003. These include “Highest Selling Album” from Rotana, and award for the “Best singer of Traditional Lebanese Song” from the Lions Club, “Song of the Year”: Edhak Lil Donya from Sawt El Ghad Australia and an honorary Award from Australian Government.
As the New Year came and passed, Karam began work on a new single to be included in her upcoming album. This single would be like no other she had released before. Titled Leish Mgharrab? (Why are you living abroad?) it told of the hardships that people face when having to leave their home country for a better life. Coupled with this harrowing topic, was a revolutionary new music video (directed by Sa’aed el-Marouk), which would transform modern day Beirut into a bleak and harsh wasteland in 2020. The original video – which also contained scenes of citizens protesting against the Lebanese government – was banned from being aired by the Lebanese Parliament. When the clip was edited slightly, it was finally allowed to go to air, along with its song. It hit home with many people, especially those living abroad in countries like Australia and the U.S.. It also sent a direct message to Lebanese politicians, telling them to act on their words.
After a few months, Najwa had completed the rest of her new album, Shu Mghaira..!. Like Saharni, it was distinctly Lebanese, but it was more of a modern adaptation, with a reflective and sad overtone. Najwa continued her many live appearances to promote the album, and a notable event for 2004 was her sell-out concert in Carthage, Tunisia where she performed to thousands of enthusiastic fans. The tracks Bi Hawak (In your love) and Shu Mghaira (How you’ve changed) were shot in an expensive duel video clip which was riddled with special effects. It remained at the number 1 position for 6 weeks on the Rotana Top 20 Chart. The two songs were the most popular from the album, and Najwa obtained the as “Female Artist of the Year” from MusicanaNet.net, which was decided via a large scale internet poll.
2005 and beyond
In the second quarter of 2005, Karam released a new single and video clip called Shu Jani. Shu Jani was a contemporary pop song, with the use of traditional Lebanese instruments. The video was filmed in the Faraya ski resort in Lebanon by director Sa’aed el-Marouk. It was to be on her upcoming 2005 album. The timing of the new clip was criticised in some tabloids, because it was released during the tense electoral season in Lebanon, and the so-called Cedar Revolution (Independence Intifada). It was argued by these tabloids that it was disrespectful for Karam to release new material at such a time. Karam defended herself by putting the claim on her Saudi production company, Rotana, who she says fast tracked the release against her wishes. Even though there was some controversy surrounding Shu Jani, it fared well with the public.
Due to the prolonged situation in the Lebanon region, Karam’s 2005 album was postponed from originally being released in June, then July and then finally postponed until November 2005. However, Karam released another single in late July called Bhebak Walaa which was an upbeat, contemporary/traditional song typical of Karam’s usual work. It was a fairly big hit, hitting number one on many internet and radio charts. On 6 September 2005, Karam released the video for Bhebak Walaa, directed by Salim el-Turk.
Kibir’el Hob, (Love Got bigger)
In November 2005, billboards and unipolls all over Beirut were displaying a lady’s hand upon a cloudy horizon. No writing was on the posters. The advertisement had the public wondering what message the posters were relaying, and who did the mysterious hand belong to? Soon it was generally concluded that the hand belonged to a recording artist, but there were many conflicting suggestions as to whose it was. Gradually, the billboards had bits of the lady added to the picture, until on 30 November 2005 the “mystery lady” was revealed as Najwa Karam.
On the same day, Karam’s 15th studio album, Kibir’el Hob (Love Just Got Greater) was officially released. The album gained widespread attention through its rigorous advertising campaign, which included the billboard posters, many television appearances [on popular variety programs such as Dandana, and Akeed Maestro], and music video clips for singles. Kibir’el Hob topped the highest selling album chart in Lebanon for Rotana during the Christmas sales period, and remained in the number one position through the New Year. In mid April 2006, Karam released a third and last single from the Kibir’el Hob album, accompanied by a video clip, and proved to be among the most popular Arabic songs of the year 2006.
In response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Karam teamed for the first time with popular Lebanese singer/songwriter Melhim Barakat to record the song Rah Yeb2a El Watan. The track was written and composed by Barakat, and called for unity among all Lebanese people. The single was released in late September and was critically acclaimed for its message and vocals, although criticised for its short running time. Plans for another collaboration with Barakat are underway.
2007-2008: Haida Haki, (That’s What I’m Talking About) & Aam Bimzah Maak, (I’m Kidding With You)
28 May began Sawt el Ghad and several other Arab radio stations to play the new hit Hayda Haki. This song with a very new style was expected to be a great deal for 2007.
On 6 June 2007 the company Rotana released Najwa’s 16th album titled Hayda Haki. A new Lebanese album with Najwa Karam’s special flavor in it. This album included 8 excellent songs as usual.
Different kind of styles in each song. A powerful mawal in Raje3 Tes2al 3a Meen and a nice/soft mawal for El hanone. Law ma btekzob is like her 90s songs, Ana Rouh and Nawer Eyami are two of a kind romance songs. Hata Be Ahlamak, Hayda Haki and Behkik are upbeat songs with different styles in each one and a special Najwa Karam’s touch. Hayda Haki was the next song (after her 06-07 huge hit Shu Hal Hala) that Najwa Karam shot as a video clip with Lebanese director Said el Marouk.
From the First week of the release of Hayda Haki it was the best selling album in Lebanon in UAE and Kwait Number one best selling Album. The Album had huge succees from the first week of release in Lebanon, the Gulf, Libya, Syria, Jordan and other Arabic countries.
Najwa Karam was a guest on the show Album on MBC 1. In 29 June 2007, she shined on Album’s stage, one week before Album’s final prime. She started by singing Hayda Haki by herself. Secondly, she sang Sho hal hala with one of the three groups. Thirdly, she sang Law Ma Btekzob with another group of the three groups.
In June she released her latest video clip : Hayda Haki, which displayed her character in a romantic atmosphere and love shots and in its first day on the charts she landed on the 1st spot.
Najwa Karam toured the United States and Canada with Lebanese Stars Wael Kfoury and Fadel Shaker, the tour lasted for a little more than a month as they visited major cities and was all success. The American concerts were in Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit, New Jersey, Boston and Miami. And in Canada, concerts were in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, singing in the biggest and most important venues.
Najwa celebrated the New Year’s Eve with Wael Kfoury in the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the huge demand on the concert left it sold out more than a week before its date.
Najwa Karam was the first guest on the first prime of Star Academy 5 LBC on Friday 25 January 2008. She sang: Hayda Haki, Law ma btekzob and Ana rou7 ya rou7i.
On 9 February, Karam held a huge, successful concert in the capital city of Germany, Berlin.
After four days, Najwa released a video clip for “Law Ma Btekzob” by the director Fadi Haddad. The song achieved tremendous success across the Middle East. Along with Law Ma Btekzob success, the song Behkeek was achieving unexpected success too in Egypt and Lebanon ranking #2 in both charts for a couple of weeks.
One of Najwa’s most anticipated appearance on TV show Al Arrab (Final), with host Nishan, was aired on 31 May. As well, George Kurda7i was there. Najwa sang medley of her old and new songs and added songs for Fairouz, Sabah, Wadih El Safi and Samira Tawfiq. She also sang one of her old mawal “Wainak Ya Ra3i Deni” (Where are you God?) aka. Mawal El Adyan and it achieved huge success.
On 17 July 2008 Rotana released Najwa’s 17th studio-album, Am Bimzah Maak (I’m Joking with you). The album received considerable success and positive reviews. The album contained eight songs. One of the most famous Arabic composer Melhim Baraket composed two songs from the album: “Kammil 3ala Rouhi” and “Gatalna El Khof”. The album stayed for three months #1 in Virgin Mega Store Lebanon, 4 weeks #1 in UAE Virgin Mega Store, 8 Weeks in Saudi Arabia, etc.; Rotana, Najwa’s production company, said that Najwa Karam’s last album Am Bimzah Maak, was one of the top 3 best-selling (Rotana) albums in the Middle East. It was chosen by Virgin MegaStore Jordan, as Top 3 most selling albums in the year of 2008.
One week after the release of her album The Queen of Carthage Najwa Karam shined in Carthage, Tunisia. The concert was very successful.
Najwa Karam went to Sweden where she shined in the Globe-arena 20 September.
The celebrating of Eid El Fitr took place in Dubai.
While four songs from Aam Bimza7 Maak; “Am Bimzah Maak”, “Enta El Shams”, “Amanti Galbi”, and “Taa Khabik” were achieving a lot of success all over the Middle East, Najwa released her second video clip from her latest album “Ma Bkhabi Aleyk” where she collaborated for the first time with Lebanese young director Randa Aalam.
She got an invitation to open the new music-channel named Al Dafrah that would take place 1 November.
Najwa shot a 3rd video clip from her successful album “Aam Bimza7 Maa” called “Taa Taa Khabik”. And it played on many Music channels in the Middle East and received huge success in Lebanon, Maghreb, Syria, Jordan and the Gulf countries.
2009: Khaleeni Shoofak, (Let Me See You)
In February 2009 Najwa attended one of the Middle East most important concert, Hala Febrayer 09 in Kuwait. She performed a mixture of old and new songs for the very active crowd.
In 9 March specifically on Mothers Day, Najwa Karam released her anticipated single “El Deni Em” (A mother is the whole world), which received huge success and stayed #1 for three weeks on the Online-Magazine “Elaph”.
After the meeting between Najwa Karam and Nidal El Ahmadieh (journalist) took place to discuss the many events that took place including Nidal El Ahmadieh’s imprisonment, everything is back to normal and Najwa & Nidal are back to being on better terms.
In May 2009 Najwa Karam traveled to Morocco to perform at the Mawazine Festival 2009. Her opening performance attracted a crowd exceeding 60,000. She performed for two and a half hours long as the crowd sang and danced along with her. It will go down in history as one of, if not the most successful concert of Najwa’s legendary career.
On 10 June 2009 Rotana released Najwa’s 18th album, entitled “Khallini Shoufak” (Let me see you). It has been deemed a very strong release from Shams El Ghenniyie, Najwa Karam. The album contains 8 songs, each with a different style of music and catchy lyrics. It is worth mentioning that along with the lead single “Khallini Shufak”, three other songs are receiving huge success: “Eidak” (your hand), “Allah Yesghello Balo” (may God make him worry), and “Aboos Eynak” (kiss your eye). The remaining songs are: “Wale'”(light the fire), “El Deni Em” (a mother is the whole world), “Albi Masna’ Baroud” (my heart is a gun factory), “El Haramy” (the thieve). The album is considered to be Najwa’s strongest return to her original style since “Saharny” (2003). Najwa said, “it’s full of folkloric, balady songs, similar to Saharny and her 90’s releases”. Her video for “Khallini Shoufak” was released around the same time as her CD.
It’s worth mentioning that Najwa was a guest performer on Star Academy 6’s (Lebanon) final prime. She sang “Am Bemzah Ma’ak” (I’m joking with you), “Ta’a Khabeek” (Let me hide you), and her latest single, “Khallini Shoufak” (Let Me See you).
Najwa appeared on Layali El Samar on 25 March 2010 on ABU DHABI TV. Also Najwa was the guest star on Taratata, Dubai TV, and soon after she appeared on the TV show Akher Man Ya3lam.
2010−2011: Bil Rou7, Bil Dam (with soul, with blood) & Lashhad Hobbak (I’ll beg for your love)
On 7 May 2010 Sawt El Ghad Radio, Beirut, started playing Najwa’s new hit “Bil Rou7, Bil Dam” (with soul, with blood). The new hit single was the first song of Najwa’s that was produced directly out of Rotana in 17 years. The song, along with its video clip, which featured in it the Guinness world record for largest plate of tabbouleh, sponsored by Najwa, were well received, and reached great success.
Then on 11 November 2010 Najwa released her next single “Lashhad Hobbak” (I’ll beg for your love). Its video clip aired on Rotana Music Channels, attracting a large audience through its classy styles, such as the spider-webbed characteristics. The song became very popular among the masses, and it became a favorite of Najwa’s fans. The beaded fulle spider-web bodysuit, designed by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, that was worn by Najwa in the video clip, was later also worn by Jennifer Lopez, in her music video, “On the Floor.”
In late 2010 although there were doubts of a new contract between Najwa and Rotana Production Company, after several meetings with Salem El Hendi, Najwa agreed to return to Rotana. Haifa Wehbe attended the dinner party which was held after the press conference telling the press that she was glad to accept Najwa’s invitation and delighted to be part of the celebration.
On 17 January 2011 Najwa was the last guest of the popular show, “Absher” with Nishan.
On 23 February 2011 the first issue of the online Najwa Karam Magazine was published by her official Page on Facebook (facebook.com/NajwaKaram).
After Najwa decided to postponed her upcoming album, a Song called “Wayn” appeared on the internet. The song was verified stolen from the Najwa Karam Office and released without her permission. The song was recorded three years prior in 2009 and was removed from that year’s Album, “Khallini Shoufak.” Although illegally released, the song was well liked, and was played on numerous radio stations. With its slow rhythm and different style, unusual of Najwa’s music, it reached the top ten singles, and became a favorite, especially among Najwa’s fans.
2011: Hal Leile…MaFi Noum (Tonight, There’s No Sleep)
On 28 June 2011 Rotana released “Hal Leile…MaFi Noum”, Najwa Karam’s 19th Studio Album. The album contains the usual 8 songs, 3 of them, “Mafi Noum,” “Shu Hal Leile,” and “Eainy Bi Eainak” were written by Najwa Karam herself. “MaFi Noum (There’s No Sleep)” and “Shu Hal Leile (What a Night)” were both successful before the Album release. After only three days, the Album reached Number 1 on Virgin Megastore Charts, pushing Nawal Al Zoghbi’s album, “Ma’rafsh Leh,” that stayed 5 months at the top of charts from number one, down to number five. With Najwa’s huge success, Tamer Hosny, a well-known Egyptian singer, was unable to land a number one spot for his new album, “Elly Gai Ahla,” which was released the same day. Also unable to reach a number one spot was Assi El Helani with his album “Rouhi Ana.” Two weeks after the album debut, with “MaFi Noum” still at the number 1 spot on the charts, A 3D Video clip was released for the song “MaFi Noum.” It became the first produced 3D Music Clip in the Middle East, giving Najwa the earned distinction of first Arabic artist to create a video using 3D technology. The feat was accomplished with the assistance of three professional teams from the US and the UK and the Lebanese W&P Production Group, which undertook extensive research on 3D techniques to familiarize the Middle East crew with the breakthrough technology, including the handling of sophisticated 3D equipment and digital cameras that were used for the shoot. Directed by Waleed Nassif, the video was created by Sony, and produced by Rotana. The clip received huge success as audiences were wowed by the up-beat style of the interactive Video clip. During the opening sequence, The Clip features, Season 1 Arabs’ Got Talent contestant, Abdelmalek Al Baljani, from Morocco, in a dance solo. Because of his advanced dance skills, on the show, Najwa, a judge on Arabs’ Got Talent, had made a promise to cast Al Baljani in her next video, and when she actually did, many were surprised. The three-day shoot took place in Northern Lebanon, at Nahr Ibrahim, in the Kesserwan area of Basateen Al Ossi, Jeita Grotto, and at the studio of Mansourieh. The 3D version premiered at the ABC Achrafieh theatre in Lebanon on 25 July 2011 and the video clip is currently being played in 600 3D Sony showrooms and outlets, throughout the Arab world. The clip was also shot in 2D to enable TV viewers to watch it on their regular TV sets. The “MaFi Noum” 3D clip had one of the largest production budgets in the Middle East.
Controversy regarding the usage of “DOUM TAC,” in “MaFi Noum”
The song “MaFi Noum” Employs the fun, “Doum Tac” Derbake notes as a part of its variety of music styles. But the “Doum, Tac…Tarra Doum Doum Doum” parts of the song were at first questioned. In critiques and popular fandom, some believed that the derbake notes were unnecessary in the song, but after repeated listening to the song, especially over the radio, the “Doum Tac” parts become catchy and fun to sing along, and the “MaFi Noum” video clip adds to their appeal as the notes are associated with sudden movements and swift dance moves in the 3D music Video. Najwa has continuously reiterated in interviews the meaning and significance of the “Doum Tac” music notes. In concerts, the audience sings along the “Doum Tac,” and it, like the well-known lines “Rooh Rouhi,” “Ana Ma Fiyeh,” and “Aam Bimzah Maak” has become a trademark and popular label of Najwa Karam’s.
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
Karam’s initial response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict was to go ahead with scheduled tour dates abroad, with all proceeds forwarded to the Lebanese Red Cross. Furthermore, Karam donated 3 fully equipped ambulance vehicles, also to the Lebanese Red Cross.