Lebanese acapella choir Fayha Choir, conducted by Maestro Barkev Taslakian, knows what it’s like to come face to face with the coronavirus and defeat it.
Heeding the Health Ministry’s decision, the multi-award-winning choir had canceled all rehearsals since March, practicing only when it was considered safe.
With emptiness in their hearts, Maestro and the singers longed to return to their weekly practices but knew better than to put themselves and others at risk.
However, after the tragic Beirut Port explosion, the choir accepted an invitation to perform in the 40-day memorial of the blast to honor the victims and share the painful memory with the Lebanese people.
Despite taking precautions, the choir was not able to evade the virus that day.
As of the time of writing, more than 50 members of the choir – between its Tripoli, Beirut, and Chouf branches – have contracted the virus and successfully recovered.
After its brush with the virus, the choir is now on a mission to collect blood donations from survivors to help coronavirus patients in need of the antibodies.
After recovering, a choir member decided to start a Facebook page called COVID Survivors in Lebanon, which inspired Fayha Choir, a registered NGO, to adopt the initiative and support its growth under its name.
To use its experience for good, the choir began to act as a link between coronavirus patients and blood donors, using the page to make announcements and alerts about when and where blood was needed.
Today, the choir is focused on creating a database of survivors who can donate blood. It is in touch with crisis cells across the country to collect the contacts of survivors to reach out when there’s a need.
“Our emergency now is getting as many blood donations as possible for the many sick patients as we can. We’ve had an immense response as soon as we started but it’s not enough,” the manager of Fayha Choir, Roula Abou Baker, told The961.
The Power of Positivity
To share their daily experiences with each other, Fayha Choir made a WhatsApp group for the members who tested positive.
Through the group, the members enjoyed each other’s company while self-isolating, and tried to keep a positive attitude.
“We were mainly worried about Maestro, who is of older age and already has preexisting health conditions,” Roula told us.
Luckily, both Maestro and the singers only showed mild symptoms and recovered quickly. The choir attributes its successful recovery story to the emotional support they provided each other.
“Through our experience, we realized that morale is vital in the recovery process,” said Roula. “We took it from a sickness to a bonding experience.”
Hence, Fayha Choir is spreading the importance of positivity in overcoming the sickness. It is working closely with the Syndicate of Social Workers, which is offering emotional support to families who need it.