15 Minutes With Faia Younan

A young Syrian singer, Faia Younan was the first Middle Eastern artist to crowdfund her debut single. Born in Aleppo, Younan spent her youth in Sweden and went to university in Scotland before moving to Beirut to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. A YouTube star today, Younan is committed to art with a purpose and sharing the beautiful side of her country.

Younan will be performing on November 10th at Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St W) as part of the first-ever Festival of Arabic Music & Arts (FAMA). Running from October 28 to November 12, the Festival will present a series of concerts and other live performances across the GTA and aims to build bridges through the musical heritage of Arab culture.

SDTC: What should we be paying more attention to?

First thing that comes to my mind is human relationships – our relationship to one another and to ourselves. Real hugs, real smiles, real talks, real humbleness, and real love, away from all the small screens and all the filters. Social media is great, but it has affected the real social world and redefined communication in ways we may not yet fully understand. We should all appreciate each other and all the beauty around us.

What was the last Netflix series you binged on?

Vikings.

One new thing you learned this year?

That fear is our greatest enemy.

Biggest music industry pet peeve?

Profit-based copy-paste recycled music.

What book/song/lyric/etc is resonating with you right now?

An Arabic song: “Fi Skoot el Lail” by Kamilya Jubran.

What childhood memory makes you smile?

When my sister and I gave each other haircuts and mom came in and saw the massacre!

Best advice you’ve been given?

Listen to your inner voice; all the other voices will eventually shut up.

What is the best part of being your current age?

Twenty-five. That’s like in the middle. It’s a transition. Naive but wise. Reckless but balanced. It’s like the bridge between your twenties and thirties. But really, they’re all just numbers. The best part is being here and now.

What word or phrase should we use more often?

“Wait, there’s a misunderstanding.” I feel that it would save us many unnecessary conflicts.

What is your biggest regret?

Non, je ne regrette rien.

What do you want us to understand about Syria?

Syria is the cradle of civilization, since the dawn of history it gave humankind all good and beauty; the war in my beloved country is the exception, not the norm. Syria passed through many catastrophes throughout history, but it always rose stronger.

What bothers you most about people?

When they underestimate themselves and their potential.

What trends are you loving right now?

Increased awareness about our precious environment.

Who was your celebrity crush when you were a kid?

Tom Hardy (still is).

Describe your ideal Saturday.

Anything from a warm cup of tea to a fine glass of wine, as long as I’m with my amazing family and/or friends. Reading a book or watching a movie alone doesn’t sound bad either!

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