The ancient Assyrian language is rarely present in contemporary popular music, but Faia Younan, Assyrian-Syrian singer and activist and Syrian activist, is the voice behind the hit title “To Our Countries”. His songs, written in Assyrian, bring diversity to today’s Middle Eastern music scene and are a symbol of the true nature of the region, which is ethnically diverse and rich in history. Younan is also known as the region’s first female artist to debut through crowdfunding.
Younan was born in 1992 to an Assyrian Christian family in the Syrian village of Al-Malikiyah, and moved between Damascus and Aleppo while growing up. She and her family moved to Sweden at the age of 11 and continued their studies in social sciences at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
In her twenties, Younan volunteered with the Swedish Red Cross and also sang at cultural events. In fact, she loved to sing since childhood, and she even sang at her cousins’ weddings. It was also a way to heal her soul after losing her brother in 2008. But, perhaps, she hadn’t planned what was to follow.
Syria was going through turmoil in the first half of the 2010s and, in October 2014, this inspired Younan to make a collaboration with his sister, Rihan. The duo together produced a video called “To Our Countries”, which addresses the issues facing the region with the performance of songs by Lebanese diva, Fairuz. The video went viral, encouraging Younan to take up singing as a full-time career. And as they say, the rest is history!
Younan then launched his career in 2015 with his first single “Ohebbou Yadayka” (“I Love Your Hand”). However, she did so by funding a total of $ 25,000 through 119 backers, which has become a social media phenomenon among supporters. It might seem ordinary under usual circumstances, but it earned Younan a place on the Guinness World Records as the region’s first female singer to fund her debut. She was officially certified in 2018.
Over the years, Younan continued to produce new singles and release his debut album “A Sea between Us”, in addition to touring Europe with Damon Albarn and the Syrian Musicians Orchestra, and collaborations. On January 30, 2020, she teamed up with John Legend in a highly anticipated concert at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. Currently, fans can listen to all of his songs on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.