“This means so much to me to be singing in the land of my grandparents,” the star said.
Colombian popstar Shakira jetted into Lebanon this weekend to perform at the Cedars International Festival.
It was something of a homecoming for the singer, who is half Lebanese – her grandparents on her father’s side were Lebanese immigrants who settled in New York.
Shakira arrived in Beirut on Thursday evening with her two sons, Milan, 5, and Sasha, 3. Her longtime partner, Spanish football star Gerard Piqué, has been in Russia for the FIFA World Cup.
The star shared a cute video of her and Sasha as they came into land, exclaiming in Arabic: “Hello, Lebanon!”
Marhaba!! Hola Líbano!! Shak pic.twitter.com/b8Yio4A8hY
— Shakira (@shakira) July 12, 2018
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On Friday, the Hips Don’t Lie star visited Tannourine in northern Lebanon, where her grandmother was born.
To mark her visit, Shakira visited a nature reserve and planted two cedar trees. A patch of the reserve was also named Shakira Mubarak – which is one of her family names – in honour of the star’s Lebanese heritage.
Shakira, who was last in Lebanon in 2011, said the experience was “very humbling”, An-Nahar reported.
“I always thought of my family like the cedars, the trees coming from this beautiful land, that have been transported to Colombia to produce fruit,” she said, adding that she feels that she’s the fruit of those cedars.
Later, the singer shared a video from the concert venue, high in the mountains:
Live from the mountains of Lebanon! En vivo desde las montañas del Líbano! Shak pic.twitter.com/QUiZDow2LX
— Shakira (@shakira) July 13, 2018
At the concert, Shakira told 12,000 fans she was proud to be singing in the land of her ancestors.
“Lubnaaan! It’s amazing to be in this magical setting, it’s surreal, thank you so much for having me tonight,” she said, according to Reuters.
“This means so much to me to be singing in the land of my grandparents,” she said. “I feel so proud of these cedars, so proud of my heritage and so proud of you.”