Insight Magazine
May ‘14
May Hariri rose into the music scene back in 2004 with her smash hit 'Hasahar Ouyonou'. Ten years later, she keeps proving that she is not just a one-hit wonder. She has gained much attention within the music field due to her dynamic vocal presence. When she sings, one can feel the raw emotion and energy coming through. The very kind May Hairiri took a moment while she was on her treadmill to answer our questions.
The biggest challenge was to deliver my true emotions and feelings to make people realize the importance of mothers.
May Hariri


If you could accessorize one woman in history (past or present), who would it be, and why?

Eva Braun, the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and his wife for less than 40 hours. Imagine a man like Hitler I believe he didnt love anyone- the woman who made him fall in love deserves so much respect.

Lets talk about the new song, which we absolutely love, needless to say you sound amazing. What was your biggest challenge making it?

It is a very special song to me. I lost my mom about two years ago and she was my life. I did this song with my poet friend Yasser, we were sitting together and I heard his lovely words and the song came along. The biggest challenge was to deliver my true emotions and feelings to make people realize the importance of mothers. Nowadays you see kids disrespecting their mothers, I still cry whenever I remember mine. All sacred books have instructed us to respect all mothers; I believe mothers are after God on earth.

After all these years in the business, are you still insecure about your voice?

Yes definitely, personally I always worry about everything. Who am I between all these icons? I worry about failing; I worry about forgetting the lyrics or falling off stage. I believe all big artists worry about their responsibilities. For instance, in my latest Valentines concert in Abu Dhabi, I worried that the audience wouldnt respond to my performance or enjoy the party. I even worry before doing any interviews or talk shows.

What do you notice in an audience when youre performing?

People think when an artist is on stage; he/she doesnt pay attention to anything. However I watch everyone, because the most important thing is the chemistry and response between the artist and his audience. I like to check everyone in weddings, concerts and festivals; I keep my eyes on all the details.

Which present artist do you consider your idol?

Wael Jassar, he is a great artist, he reminds me of the legendary Abdel Halim Hafez. I love how he sings, especially in his song Garh El Madi I cry every time I listen to this song. I love Sherine too. I love their genres and types of music; theyre full of passion and feelings.

Whom do you like to sing on stage with?

The amazing Mohamed Mounir, I miss doing concerts with him, he is a good friend of mine. Hopefully things turn better in the Middle East and we can come back to sing in Cairo.

What has been your proudest accomplishment in your work so far?

Every piece of work whether its a song or a clip has its taste and I always feel it is not accomplished yet. However, I am very proud of the song I sang at the United Nations Childrens Fund occasion; unite for the kids at the Cairo Opera House, for their campaign to protect children from AIDS and Hepatitis C. On an artistic level, I am very proud of my video clip Bahwak.

Whats the toughest thing about being an Artist?

The Artists life is a very tough and stressed one, but I try to be cool and easy. I dont like malice or hatred; it is already a life-consuming career. I think an artist should live his life as much as possible, despite all the spotlights and media frenzy. One has to try his best to live, because one only gets to live once.

What is the worst thing about working in the entertainment industry?

You get to deal with a lot of bad people, no matter how good you treat them and help them. You discover they were only using you, its heart aching.

What are your future projects?

I am working on a new CD with Waleed Saad, Adel Ayesh, Bahaa El Din Mohamed, Ahmed Mohey, Ahmed Fouda, Tony Saba, Selim Assaf and Ziad El Rahbani. I am ready to launch it but I am waiting for the right moment, as you can see the political situation in the Middle East isnt that good, people are sad, hopefully things get better soon and peace prevails.


How do you deal with all the male attention youre constantly getting?

I have learnt how to keep my distance in a very decent and polite way. I believe the woman is the one with control.

How do you keep balance between your work and your personal life?

Family is my priority; family comes first then does my work. Personally I believe that family is the only thing that will last. I have seen lots of artists whose careers have taken them away from their spouses and kids. Nothing beats sleeping beside your kids, not everyone will understand this unless they have kids.

How do you like your life as an artist?

Its not easy, you dont get to do everything you want. For me I love running, but it is impossible for me to run on the Kornish in Lebanon. However, I did it once in Egypt it was so funny, they didnt recognize me but they knew I was someone famous. I know they believe we all (Lebanese Artists) go to the same doctor since we all look the same. :)

What is the one thing you think a woman should never leave home without?

Definitely her purse, and for me my credit card, without money I wont be able to do anything.

How do you get ready for the summer season?

I already started my solarium bronzage session so I can start wearing all the pastels. I am thinking of changing my hair color this summer, I think I might go blonde.

What is the most important lesson you learned about love?

Love is not a lesson; love is affections. Love is the best thing in the whole world. Proudly I can say I am a very giving and affectionate woman, I have a big heart. Currently I am not in love, it is very hard for me to fall in love because I know how love can hurt, especially when you love someone who knows your points of weakness.


My secret talent is:


The nickname my friends have for me is:


My all time celebrity crush is:

I dont have celebrity crushes anymore. When I was a little girl I used to like every actor I watch, but now I am a mature, grownup woman I like and admire their works.

My weirdest phobia is:

Actually I have many phobias. I am afraid of planes, deep water, darkness and being kidnapped because of the lack of security. I worry about my daughter very much. I believe phobias are brought to ones life because of a childhood trauma or something. No matter how you try to cure it, it gets better but keeps living inside you.

My best stress reliever is:

Running, I run on my treadmill from 2 to 3 hours a day.

My favorite thing to do on a Saturday night is:

I like to go out with my friends Atrawak (dine) and have a shisha.

The illegal thing I would do if I could get away with it:

Anything illegal would be GREAT if you can get away with.


Fashion designers?

I like a lot of designers Mike Pavoni, Elie Saab, Zoheir Mourad, Cavalli, Celine and D&G. I am actually hoping to have lots of concerts this summer because I loved a lot of Zoheir Mourads new dresses.


Shanghai Lily by Tom Ford.


Any movie by Adel Emam, I love to watch all his movies and plays, the guy is amazing, he always makes me laugh.

TV Soap?

I dont watch series, I dont have enough time to watch TV but when I do I watch movies.


Anything sour I love lemons, especially in seafood.


Tennis and Skating.

If you could travel back in time to meet any famous person who would you choose?

I would choose two great Arabic leaders: Gamal Abdel Nasser, which I believe Sisi resembles a lot and Hafez El Assad. I dont think anyone could be like them.

Any style tips for our readers?

Dont follow the trends blindly, see what fits you and wear it. If a woman has pale skin, she cant wear pastels it will be vey dull, or if she is a little curvy she cant wear tight dresses.

By Roulla Soussou