America’s Got Talent heroines… Mayass dance group spreads joy in “miserable” Beirut

With flowers and balloons filling the VIP lounge at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri Airport, the Lebanese welcomed the Lebanese women’s dance troupe (Mayas).

The band returned on Friday, September 16, after winning the “America’s Got Talent” competition on American television earlier last week, and received a prize of one million dollars.

The band posted on the “Instagram” application a video clip to show the victory, which included a scene simulating modern discoveries in space, and the harmony of accessories, feathers, costumes, and the performance of the dancers with the colors of outer space. And the band wrote under the photo, “We did it, as your honor, Lebanon.”

While surrounded by his family, who were very happy celebrating the band, founder and director of Mayass, Nadim Cherfan, 36, told TV, “Mayas is Lebanon and Lebanon is Mayas. Parents, we were not here. We have been since the first day and Lebanon has supported us.”

Rita Samaha, a dancer in the Mayass troupe, said: “We are all here in Mayas, we were waiting for the moment when we would land in Lebanon because we didn’t want you, we wanted to celebrate with our family and with the whole world, who supported us, who are the Lebanese.”

Lebanon has been experiencing a severe financial crisis since 2019 that has led to the loss of the local lira more than 90% of its value and has thrown 80% of its population into poverty, and forced hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to search for jobs abroad.

Cherfan had told local media earlier that Mayas dancers often had to train in dark studios that had no electricity and some of their members were absent because they did not have the fuel to get to the training.

Tina Abdullah, a dancer in Mayas, said, “The atmosphere in Lebanon did not help us. We used to come every day, times when there was no gasoline, there was no electricity, but everyone was psychologically, not happy with the atmosphere. But we made it happen. On the stage and we heard our name, everything we forgot, all the fatigue, all the work, everything. Seriously, it was a very sweet thing.

Congratulatory messages filled Twitter on the morning of Thursday, September 15, as the Lebanese learned of the news of Mayas’ victory, which happened overnight while they were asleep.

Nadine Shaheen, the mother of Lilia Chahine, a dancer in the Mayas band, said, “You can imagine when you go to the stage and go down, how bright their faces will be. skylight”.

And the Lebanese singer and actress Haifa Wehbe tweeted, “Hats off to Mayas band. America’s Got Talent winners… are happy and proud of your accomplishments.”

Lebanese officials also joined in praising the Mayass band. Inside the Lebanese parliament, where the parliament was holding a plenary session on Thursday, September 15, to discuss the budget, applause was raised for Mayass’ victory, and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Elias Bou Saab, considered that the band made a global achievement in Los Angeles that dazzled the world. .

The president also awarded the band the Lebanese Gold Medal of Merit “in appreciation of its artistic gifts and success in the most important international talent programs.”

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