A Lebanese Musician On The Titanic

The Untold Story

 

When Al-Emir Fares Chehab, age 29, boarded the RMS Titanic in Cherbourg, France on April 10, 1912, he was clinging to his most precious possession nestled in a bottleneck-shaped case, as if for dear life. Inside rested a venerated musical instrument: The Oud. With its distinctive teardrop shape and decorative rosettes adorned with mother of pearl inlay, the Oud also know as Lute, is considered the most important instrument in the Arab world and is dubbed the “Prince of Ecstasy” and the “Sultan of Musical Instruments”.

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The Titanic and New York

Who Knew?

Unlike Halifax that was dubbed the “City of Sorrows” for its grim role in the recovery and burial of the Titanic victims, New York City became notorious as the city that welcomed the 713 survivors. After a three-day journey hampered by fog, ice and rough seas, the RMS Carpathia docked at 9:30pm on April 18, 1912 at New York’s Pier 54. The rescue ship was greeted by tens of thousands of people anxiously waiting under a heavy rain. “At the pier, rich men, poor men stood shoulder to shoulder, all of them united in the hope of seeing the faces of those they loved,” Wyn Craig Wade wrote in “The Titanic: End of a Dream.” “People at the pier began weeping quietly. There was no hysteria; everyone remained in control.”

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A Lebanese Titanic Survivor

The Story of Shaanineh Abi-Saab

When 38-year-old Shaanineh, my great grandfather’s cousin, boarded the RMS Titanic in Cherbourg on April 10, 1912, the dusk was just settling in and the lights of the great ship were blazing under the fading sun. Was she, a poor immigrant from Lebanon traveling as a third class passenger, awe-stricken at the first sight of the mammoth vessel? Or was she merely relieved after a strenuous journey to have finally reached the famed liner, which would transport her to her final destination in Youngstown, Ohio? Perhaps both.

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Will of Titanic Passenger Recently Discovered


Did A Young Scot Anticipate His Own Demise?

Mr. Robert Douglas Norman, a 28 year-old electrical engineer from Glasgow, Scotland, was traveling on the Titanic from Southampton to Vancouver, Canada where his brother resided and where he owned some land. He boarded the doomed ship as a second class passenger. On the evening of April 14th Douglas played the piano at a hymn service presided over by Reverend  Ernest Carter. After the collision, Norman met Kate Buss and Marion Wright and told them the ship had struck an iceberg but assured them there was no danger.

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