Lebanese singer Elissa has arrived in Baghdad ahead of her first concert in the city. She is due to perform at Sindbad Land, a theme park in the city's Zayona neighbourhood, on Friday evening.
The star shared a video with her 17.3 million followers on Instagram, showing her and her entourage arriving and being escorted straight off the tarmac at Baghdad International Airport, where she is presented with a large bouquet of flowers. Set against Elissa's 2016 track Maktooba Leek (Written for You), the video also shows snippets from her drive into the city, and her arrival at her hotel. She wears a face mask throughout and is dressed in an elegant ensemble of black jeans, a short-sleeved black blazer and trainers, paired with a Dior tote bag.
The accompanying caption, “My heart is happy. I feel home,” relays the singer's fondness for Iraq. She also expressed her excitement about her coming performance on Twitter, where she wrote: “Finally I will meet all my lovers in Baghdad.”
She has clearly been looking forward to her visit – to mark Iraq's National Day on October 3, Elissa posted a video of the city, with the Iraqi national anthem playing in the background, to her social media accounts, sending her love to the city and writing: "Soon, very soon, in Baghdad."
While this is the first time she will be performing in the country’s capital, she did a show in Erbil in June, marking her first professional appearance in Iraq since 2010.
Sindbad Land revealed on Facebook that VIP tickets for the concert have sold out, with only limited seats in other categories still available.
Much of Elissa’s appeal lies in her openness with her fans – one reason why she was hailed as the leading Arab personality on Twitter in 2019, according to US social media intelligence company Brandwatch. She encourages fans to post images and footage from her shows, which she will frequently retweet in the days after her performance.
She is next due to perform at the Olympia theatre in Paris on Friday, November 5.