Mayssa Jallad

24–04—2024 HOTEL OLYMPIK

Mayssa Jallad will play her album dedicated to the battle for Lebanese hotels at Hotel Olympik in Invalidovna

Architecture, the urban environment and, above all, Beirut’s hotels as the main protagonists of the beginning of the Lebanese civil war and of the musical work – this is how singer-songwriter and researcher Mayssa Jallad conceived her debut album Marjaa: The Battle of the Hotels. The Czech audience will hear the alternative folk, which draws on Arabic musical tradition as well as Western rock practices, for the first time on 24 April, thematically overlooking the Karlin skyline from the 19th floor of the Hotel Olympik. At the time of its opening (i.e. in the early 1970s), it was the largest hotel in Czechoslovakia and was to become part of the facilities for the never realised Olympic Games.

Mayssa Jallad studied architecture in Beirut and projected a flair for urbanism into her conceptual debut recording centered on the so-called Battle of the Hotels, which took place in the Lebanese capital in 1975. Opposition forces then clashed in battles over a high-rise luxury hotel district. Here, the urban backdrop (and, according to Jallad, the co-actors) of the incipient civil war tell the story of the origins of a dispute that still affects Lebanese society today. The musical project, created in collaboration with producer Fadi Tabbal, depicts events chronologically – so the first track begins in October and the last describes the events of March 1976, when the five-month battle ended. Jallad’s heartfelt folk thus relives long-lost places and memories that some would rather leave deeply buried.


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