Lena Chamamyan: “In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian”

Interview by Journalist Mousa Khijo – Damsco Media

The art never stands passive on the side block indifferent to the changes that affect the community, and touch the circumstances and the quality of life of the human individual.

Lena Chamamyan is an artist who is aware of her responsibility in bringing to light the critical issues and causes of her country.

In her new song “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” Chamamyan demonstrated the trouble that some people go through in international airports just because they are nationals of certain countries, influenced by unfair prejudice and political conflict.

This is not the first song in which Chamamyan highlights humanitarian issues, but it is the first time her team decides to produce a video clip of the song, the scenes of which were shooted in four different cities: Damascus, Beirut, Istanbul, and Paris. This initiative also gathered the artist Lena Chamamyan with Damsco Events in a first collaborative project between them sponsored by Damsco. In the context of this collaboration, Damasco Media conducted a delightful interview with Lena Chamamyan.

There have been extensive talks about the theme of the song, but will Lena Chamamyan continue embracing such issues in her songs or this is going to remain a single initiative born as a result of your airport encounter?

“YakhiAna Souriyeh” is not the first song in which I convey an issue of this kind, I have two albums “Ghazl El Banat” and “Lawnan” in which I sang about the suffering of the refugees and the oppressed, compelled to entrust their trembling lives to the roaring sea to escape affliction and war. We see new issues such as this emerging in the world every day.

How did the audience react with this song? Initially, the first performance of the song was during the Tunisian summer concerts, and the reaction of the audience and the Tunisian media was awesome. Then came the tours in Europe and Canada with a wonderful reaction too. I realize that many people are touched by the song, because, it represents their situation as Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Middle Eastern nationals.

This song is a bit different from your previous ones. Tell us about the technical challenges that an artist faces when adopting a new singing style.

Often, the crowds would like to trap the artist in a certain genre mould, and as soon as you try to escape this type, a heap of reactions onsets. Generally, I am not afraid of change; I even embrace it. “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” is the first song in which I come this close to the folk genre, but, the musical style of my last two albums was much different from that of the previous ones: “Hal AsmarEllon” and “Shamat”. I will always try to rebel against myself and break the stereotypes imposed upon me either by myself or by others, at the same time, faithfully maintaining my standards in the music and the lyrics. 

Do you entertain the idea of writing and composing again?

Sure, as long as I am inspired. I also like working with other writers and composers as long as their words and music are after my own heart.

What can you tell us about your first video clip experience? How will you describe it?

Different, beautiful, and exhausting. I am a stage person, and I love the stage extravagantly. I also studied acting during my opera studies, so, I did not feel a stranger in front of the camera. Probably, the working team also helped me feel comfortable. I like it when the video clip adds to the taste of the song. I also adore stories; that is why I decided to record a video clip that adds an element to the song performance.

How would you evaluate your collaboration with Damsco Events especially that it is the first one you undertake together? The most beautiful thing in working with Damsco is the warmth and friendliness they embrace you with which makes you feel at home. This feeling of passion and warmth is absent in the western world. In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian. I also sensed gentle compassion and noble thought much different from what is common in production companies today. It is delightful to meet people who give heed to the quality, and are not only interested in the profit. I wish they will continue to develop and flourish venturing out to try new things that are authentic and different.

Do you have plans for other collaborative projects with Damsco Events in the near future?

I would much like that. Many projects resemble me and Damsco, representing depth, authenticity, distinction, and innovation, as well as attaining an intimate relationship with the audience and winning the heart of the masses.

What do you think about the role of the Syrian entrepreneurs in supporting the Syrian refugees? Is it possible for large investment companies to have an influential role in humanitarian issues?

We appreciate anyone who can help afflicted humanity and rescue the oppressed. Those of us who are more fortunate, need to help bring some justice to our cause, for which the public opinion remains ignorant. As artists and entrepreneurs, we need to raise public awareness and introduce to the world who we are, what we went through, what we have lost, and what we can give. Arts may convey this to the world, while, entrepreneurs may support such arts. Of course, they can also help Syrians by creating decent job opportunities, for most Syrians are looking for more than mere financial aid, they are looking for opportunities to thrive, create, and achieve.   

Will the crowd of your GCC fans, specifically in the United Arab Emirates have an opportunity to attend your concert there in the near future?

I sincerely wish that. I am longing to meet them, and hope that a new collaboration with Damsco Events will regather me with the beloved in the Gulf and UAE.

Photography by Mahmoud Abu Ghalwa

Also on Mohannad Al Masre Blog

“Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” The Story of a Passport that brought together Mohannad Al Masre and Lena Chamamyan

The talented singer Lena Chamamyan went through exceptional procedures during a business trip from Paris to Tunisia just for being a national of Syria and carrying a Syrian passport. The same issue will be relevant when you replace the name of the country with Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, etc.

This encounter inspired Chamamyan to write and compose her new song “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh”. She released a video clip of the song that was the idea of Chamamyan’s producer and manager Maher Sabra, directed by SaadKadiri and sponsored by Damsco Events, one of Damsco Group’s companies founded and directed by Syrian entrepreneur Mohannad Al Masre.    

With her beautiful angelic voice that reflects both purity and power, Lena Chamamyan’s songs submerge the human soul in an overwhelming aura of romance and serenity. For this, she is acclaimed and adored by myriads of enthralled hearts around the world.

Chamamyan did not record video clips before to maintain her artistic independence and freedom to choose until she was provoked by that encounter which gave birth to “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh”.

This is the first time Chamamyan releases a video clip and her first collaboration with Damsco Events.

Damsco’s sponsorship to this song aligns with its commitment to shed light upon the suffering of the Syrian people, using all possible means to expose and remind the general public of this issue.

The company sees that Lena Chamamyan’s song communicates not only the adversity of the Syrian nationals, but exceeds that to disclose the suffering of all nations and people afflicted by war, political conflicts, and crisis.

During a phone call with Damsco, Dr. Maher Sabra, the manager of the artist Lena Chamamyan, expressed his delight with this pioneering collaboration between Chamamyan and Damsco Events, hoping to undertake such projects again in the future, especially that both parties share a common standpoint from the humanitarian issues and the suffering in the Arab world.

Let us mention that the scenes in “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” were shot in 4 different cities: Damascus, Beirut, Istanbul, and Paris, and its lyrics are written in Syrian and Tunisian dialects.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damsco-media.com

Journalist ZainaYazigi Praises Damsco Group’s Media Enterprise

On Wednesday, the “Arab Media Forum 2019” kicked off in Dubai World Trade Center in the city of Dubai under the theme “Arab Media: From Now to the Future.” The forum extends until 28/3/2019.

Syrian journalist ZainaYazigi conducted the opening session of the forum. During the session she hosted Fabrice Fries Chief Executive of Agence France-Presse (AFP) who spoke about the future of the News Agencies.

Damsco Group attended the forum’s opening session and had a delightful interview with the Syrian journalist ZainaYazigi, who talked about the future of journalism and the challenges that journalists and media professionals face in an era in which everyone has become – as Zaina puts it – a journalist.

Yazigi demonstrated some of the challenges they face as journalists saying: “Today, in this forum, we raised a challenging question that confronts journalists and media professionals. The question is: Do we still have a job? Is our work still relevant today when every individual is a kind of journalist? Everyone has access to the needed resources and technology and even high-quality photography devices, which makes this possible.”

On the other hand, Yazigi said: “Despite this fact, I believe that no party can eliminate the role of the other, but each one uses different tools and platforms. Can professional journalists adapt and enhance their coverage pace? Can they use their tools while maintaining the basic rules of good journalism? This is a serious issue, because, the media has a key role in the development of societies and humanity, introducing positive values, reproaching the guilty, and correcting the path. You can afford to dispense with appliances like the television, but, not with the journalist.”

When Damsco asked ZainaYazigi to evaluate the contribution of entrepreneurs investing in sectors far-off the media, she said: “Without a doubt, most large organizations have a financial problem. Some corporations establish media sites far less expensive than TV stations or media organizations. However, they need to have a clear vision and take heed not to turn into a short-lived fad or an advertisement billboard. They need to hire experts and adhere to the professional guidelines.”

In regards to the importance of caring for Syrian children and youth in refugee camps, and granting them the opportunity to convey their positive energy in a creative media environment, ZainaYazigi indicated: “For me, this is a central concern and a basic issue of utmost importance. At some point, I did not accept or believe in social media. However, with the emergence of the refugees’ issue, I realized the significant role that the social media played in connecting the refugees in the camps with each other, with the aid centers, and with the media, or just as an outlet for stress relief. They are even a great platform to channel the voice of their cry through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram forcing the ignorant media to pay attention and cover their stories. The issue of the refugees is a critical topic, especially that they master the use of the social media and know how to benefit from it. Nevertheless, they certainly need professional training and discovering those who are talented among them. A hindering problem that the refugee encounters today is the need to obtain the right to act freely in a certain environment, in addition to rehabilitation, until – hopefully – we find a solution to the issue of the refugees.”

As for the responsibility of Syrian financial capitals in supporting Syrian talents blooming in the camps, Yazigi advocates: “It can be a social investment too, not just a financial one.”

She highly esteemed the value of the media success of Damsco Gala organized by Damsco Events, one of the companies of Damsco Group founded and directed by the Syrian entrepreneur Mohannad Al Masre, and added: “I am always delighted to see an adequate Syrian capital. We have been accustomed to the coward capitals who invest in certain sectors avoiding projects that carry responsibility, confrontation or debut. I am glad to see a Syrian entrepreneur who is investing in this sector, for the Syrian capital, employs Syrian cadres. Thus, it highlights the Syrian issue, which in turn attracts the Syrian artist and the Syrian audience, especially in the absence of a powerful Syrian media capable of entering a real competition. Therefore, this venture has the potential to become a model in the Arab world.”

The Arab Media Forum gathered over 75 speakers and 200 media figures, scholars and politicians from across the Arab region and the world to discuss a wide range of topics including the relationship between the media and politics.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damsco-media.com

Valentine with Abed Fahed in Damsco’s Gala Event

Damsco Events filled Dubai’s starry sky with vibes of love and joy, during its dinner party Damasco Gala, which took place on the 14th of February, with the performances of the stars Nassif Zeytoun, Adam and Yara.

During the event, the Syrian entrepreneur and chairman of Damsco Group, Mohannad Al Masre, presented a birthday cake to the Syrian star Abed Fahed, who celebrated his special day with his wife the journalist Zaina Al Yazigi, in the presence of a vast crowd of fans and guests. In this occasion, the artist Nassif Zeytoun offered one of his songs as a present to the birthday man, wishing him good and prosperity in his personal life and career.

2100 people attended Damsco Gala including journalists and prominent Arab Media personages, like talented artists Elham Shahin and Maha Al Masri, Emirati actors Hamad Al Kubaisi and Louloua, and Syrian actor and director Maher Salibi.

During his talk to the Arab Media which covered the event, the famous singer Nassif Zeytoun expressed his astonishment and fascination with the excellent organization of the large Gala event with such multitude of guests and participants.

The talented artist Yara also expressed her admiration and gladness for having the opportunity to sing in Damsco Gala on Valentine’s day, enjoying a lovely interaction with her fans.

On his turn, the gifted artist Adam entertained the audience with a selection of his songs, and revealed his amazement with the hugeness of the Gala and the vast number of the attendees. Beloved artist Nassif Zeytoun concluded the gala with a delightful performance of his best-loved songs sparkling the hearts of the audience with love and zeal.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damscomarketing.com

Honoring “Qasioun Eagles”: The Syrian Team

The Syrian community in UAE welcomed the Syrian football team ‘Qasioun Eagles’ with an ardent celebration, after which the Syrian entrepreneur and chairman of Damsco Group  Mr.Mohannad Fayez Al Masre, honored the Syrian national team in the Syrian Arab Republic Embassy headquarters in Dubai.

Mr. Maher Badar, the Head of Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic embassy in UAE received Mr. Mohannad Al Masre.

The Chairman of the Syrian Olympic Committee, MowaffaqJuma, and the head of the sports team, Mr. Fadi Dabbas also attended the honoring ceremony.

During the ceremony, Mohannad Al Masre praised the Syrian team for their achievements in 2019 Asian Cup qualifications, hosted by UAE. He expressed his joy for meeting the team members, and wished them greater accomplishments in the tournament, and winning the Asian Cup.

In his speech he indicated that “Every Syrian individual, in all corners of the world, is proud of the ‘Syrian Eagles’, our eyes are fixed on you, our hearts are with you, and we are confident that you will achieve the highest ranks, and carry the glory of victory to homeland.”

He also added: “This honoring ceremony is a gesture of gratitude from me and Damsco Group employees. Surely every individual in the Syrian community celebrates this opportunity, and was as eager to meet you as we were.”

At the end of the ceremony, the Chairman of Damsco Group thanked the Head of Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic embassy, all administrators and team members of the ‘Qasioun Eagles’, as well as the United Arab Emirates for its hospitality and hosting the Syrian National team.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damscomarketing.com

From Dubai to Istanbul – Damsco Group: A bridge of Investments in the Middle East

The chairman of Damsco Group, Mr. Mohannad Fayez Al Masre, presided the Group’s delegation to the “Badeer First Conference for Business and Investment Opportunities” held in Istanbul on the 5th and 6th of December, 2018, at the Hilton Hotel in Bomonti, Istanbul.

The conference was sponsored by Damsco Group – Dubai, under the patronage of the Turkish Presidency Office and the Turkish Ministry of Commerce and Basic Care.

More than 150 investors from 58 countries attended the conference that listed 150 projects worth $3 billion, covering the sectors of tourism, energy, industry, advanced technologies, defense, construction, health, agriculture and livestock.

Damsco Group’s Timeline of Achievements:

Established In: Damascus, 2004.

First Investments: Stock Exchange Market, Main Foods Commodities Trade, Trade of Motor Oils and accessories.

First Expansion: Baghdad, 2008.

Expansion of Investments to: The oil and energy sectors, as well as bidding in food tenders.

Second Expansion: Dubai, 2011.

Second Expansion of Investments to: The real estate market, media marketing and organizing government events.

Third Expansion: Istanbul, 2017.

Third Expansion of Investments: (in addition to the previous investments) electric power generation enterprise, trading of minerals and oil derivatives.

During the four years following its establishment in Damascus, the company was able to register a remarkable growth in its revenues. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Mohannad Al Masre, opened a company branch in Baghdad in 2008 to add new investments in Iraq.

In 2011, the group entered the UAE’s competitive arena by opening an office in Dubai, followed by another branch in Istanbul, Europe, in 2017.

Damsco Group at Badeer Conference

The group’s pavilion attracted participants and visitors from different businesses and industries, as well as the media and other interested parties. The visitors observed the Group’s projects and investments in the Middle East and Turkey.

Mr. Mohannad Al Masre, Chairman of the Group, delivered the Group’s speech at the opening of the conference, in which he mentioned Damsco Group’s accomplishments in the Middle East and its successive achievements in various investment fields. He stressed the importance of the Badeer Conference as a platform for communication between Arab and Turkish entrepreneurs to venture into joint economic projects, adding that this initiative offers investment opportunities for foreign companies in Turkey.

Badeer Conference – Goals and Expectations

The conference seeks to increase direct foreign investments in Turkey and better equip them. According to the conference organizers, the Badeer platform will provide accurate information to foreign investors about the investment environment in Turkey and theproject-based incentive system, providing project consultation and facilitation, in a healthy environment that brings together local and foreign investors within a sound participatory structure, which will ensure the successful implementation of the proposed projects.

The Badeer Conference is an economic platform established by the efforts of Arab and Turkish entrepreneurs in Istanbul, in 2017.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damscomarketing.com

Damsco Events’ participation in the Beauty Artist Forum in Dubai

Damsco Events’ pavilion at the Beauty Artist Forum in Dubai organized by the World Union Academy of Cosmetology attracted a multitude of beauty experts, media professionals and others interested in the field. Damsco Events is one of Damsco Group’s companies, directed by Mohannad Fayez Al Masre.

Many Emirati personages such as Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahnoun Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, and Arab media professionals such as Ola Al-Faraj attended the forum, with more than 100 beauty experts from the UAE and the GCC countries.

Like all crafts and professions, the profession of Beauty and Cosmetology has developed through time, and no longer depends on the experience of practitioners only, but, has become an industry that adopts academic foundations for the development of its tools and practices. The innovations and developments in the area of this profession, urged to coordinate international meetings and establish workshops, conferences and specialized exhibitions, to exchange experiences and take note of the latest fashion and beauty trends supporting youth projects.

Dubai, though renowned in the fields of real estate, investment, technology and artificial intelligence, has an outstanding footprint in the area of art and attracts the world’s leading fashion and cosmetology producers. The forum featured many workshops and seminars on the pros and cons of the profession, as well as induction in hairstyling techniques and other professional skills in the presence of international beauty expert Manal Hassan Mohammed.

As for Damsco Events, the company presented a unique model for organizing luxurious weddings, banquets, special events and activities through its team of talented experts.

The beauty and elegance in creating stylish table setups in terms of color consistency, professionalism and luxurious designs, while maintaining the quality of used materials and equipment, was conspicuous in its layouts.

According to the World Union Academy of Cosmetology, the objective of the forum is: “To exchange knowledge between beauty experts and the public, and exhibit their works, as well as, advancing the profession of beauty and cosmetology and raising the professionalism of the participants.”

The forum held at the Al Barsha Hall in Dubai on the 5th and 6th of November, 2018, and was organized by the World Union Academy of Cosmetology, an international organization based in Italy, founded in 1937, and opened in Dubai in 2000.

Mousa Khijo
mousa@damscomarketing.com

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