Egyptian mezzo soprano Farrah El-Dibany awarded France’s Order of Arts and Letters

Ati Metwaly , Saturday 2 Apr 2022

Known Egyptian mezzo soprano Farrah El Dibany was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in the grade of Chevalier (Knight) by France’s Ambassador to Cairo Marc Baréty during an official ceremony that took place this week.

Farrah El Dibany
Mezzo soprano Farrah El Dibany during the ceremony awarding her Chevalier de l ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Emigration)

In his speech, the ambassador underlined El-Dibany’s talent, mentioning that the singer is fluent in five languages — Arabic, English, German, French, and Italian — and that is “a unique model for Egyptian-French cultural ties.”

The event was also attended by Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram, and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, alongside El-Dibany’s family and friends.

Born in Alexandria in 1989, over the past years, El-Dibany has become one of the most well-known Egyptian singers of her generation while establishing herself on an international scale.

She started voice lessons with Neveen Allouba in 2003. She then continued her music education at the Hanns-Eisler Music Academy in Berlin. In 2014 she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Opera from Hanns-Eisler. In parallel to her music studies, El Dibany also pursued the study of architecture at the Technische Universität of Berlin, graduating with a Bachelor of Science. She obtained her Master of Arts from the Universität der Künste Berlin in 2016.

She won top awards from competitions in Athens, Rome, Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Germany. In 2013, she received the third-place prize at the Guilio Perotti International Singing Competition in Germany.

In 2021, El Dibany has been honored at the National Youth Forum by Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and was the first ever to receive the prestigious Hassan Kamy Award at the Manial Palace Festival, presented by prince Abbas Helmy and renowned pianist Ramzy Yassa.

The mezzo soprano gives regular concerts in Europe and the Middle East.

Her recent appearances include participation at the Lebanon Chants Festival’s Divas of the Mediterranean segment (Beirut, December 2021) and a concert at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) which took place in March 2022, among other events.

Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is awarded for remarkable achievements in the field of arts and literature, and was established in 1957 by the French Ministry of Culture.

The award was originally an extension of The Order of St. Michael, which was once reserved for French aristocracy.

Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is offered in three grades, chevalier (knight), officier (officer) and commandeur (commander).

Each year, two rounds of nominations and awards are held for French nationals and one for international figures.

Previous international recipients of the Order include American actor George Clooney, Australian singer Kylie Minogue, American film director Tim Burton, American fiction writer Philipp Meyer, Russian novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu, Turkish writer Elif Şafak, among numerous others.

A number of Egyptian figures have been also awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Culture.

They include Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, novelist and journalist Gamal El-Ghitani, visual artist and women’s activist Inji Aflatoun, novelist Alaa al-Aswany, theatre director Ahmed El Attar, composer and conductor Hisham Gabr, producer and scriptwriter Mohamed Hefzy. Also the Tunisian-Egyptian actress Hend Sabry is among the recipients of the award in grade of the Commander.

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