Obituary: Zakarya Solah, Born, c. 1921 – Died, 1 Oct 2012, by Diab Alkarssifi

From Lebanese Archives of Diab Alkarssifi 1889-1993, Edited by Ania Dabrowska

Abu Yahya, left: 1946, photograph courtesy of Mustafa Shalha Archive, right: 2011, photograph by Diab Alkarssifi.

Zakarya Solah, known as Abu Yahya was a legendary figure in Baalbeck community, known across the region and Lebanon  for a lifetime commitment to the art of dancing, known as Dabka.

He has helped many singers in their career, dancing at weddings and theatre for decades.  He has taught generations of younger dancers the history and techniques of this ancient traditional ritual of dance.  His performance was a highlight of hundreds of weddings in the city since his youth till the very end of his life.

He died yesterday, 1st Oct 2012 in Baalbeck, at the age of 90, nearly or just over, since not even he knew the exact date of his birth.

His spirit and memory are now immutably linked to the sound and steps of Dabka.  He leaves behind a community that will not forget Abu Yahya.

Last year we published a story dedicated to him, The Man Who Dances >

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