Maya Hussam Asmar or better known by her stage name, Maya Nasri (Arabic:مايا نصري) is a Lebanese actress and singer. After working as an actress for several years, Nasri achieved fame when she entered the Arabic music industry with her debut single "Khallini Bel Jaw". Since then, she has released four studio albums, working with several Arabic composers like Ziad Boutros, Marwan Khoury, Mhammad Rahim, Mhammad Rifai, Samir Sfeir, and Salah Sharnouby.
Early life and beginnings
Maya Nasri was born in a small town in Northern Lebanon and later moved with her family to Beirut in 1976. There she joined the Lebanese University of Fine Arts to study theatre arts, TV and cinema, acting and directing. She acted in Lebanese series, theatres, plays, and movies, and was a high fashion model. In 1996, she worked as a presenter on national television but later made the transition to singing in 1998. She participated in the television show Kas Al-Nojoum where she sang the famous songs of Egyptian star Layla Mourad. She won all three gold cups. After her victory, she began to work vigorously on creating her debut album.
Nasri first gained attention with the release of her album Akhbarak Eih...?. It exceeded expectations and was well received in Lebanon. The three singles "Akhbarak Eih?", "Ya Waheshni", and "Khalini Biljao" boosted Maya to her fame. The singles topped the charts in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Gulf and all of the Middle East and the Arab world. The album achieved record sales and Nasri became a household name. As a result of her album's success, Nasri embarked on two sold-out concert tours in the Middle East and in North America.
After taking a short break, Nasri returned with a new album, Law Kan Lak Alb. Law Kan Lak Alb was successful and received excellent reviews. It topped charts throughout the Middle East. The album's second single, "Habbit Hob" also achieved great success. It topped various charts and achieved extensive radio play. The album once again achieved record sales. She then released the single "Ana Bahtaglak" in season one of Star Academy Lebanon.
In July 2005, Izzay Te'rafni was released under the production company Rotana. The album produced two singles: "Rooh", "Al Asmarani". "Rooh" was an immediate success which topped countless charts across the Middle East. Nasri then released the single "Al Asmarani", which was also successful. It remained number one on various charts throughout the Middle East for over six weeks. After the success of "Al Asmarani", Nasri decided to release the last single off the album. "Shou Feeha Law", which was composed by Lebanese composer Samir Sfeir, was also successful. Fans have requested Nasri to film it, however this was not done due to war in Lebanon.
Jayi lwa't (The Time is Coming) was released in February 2008. The title song was composed by Marwan Khoury. The cinema clip was directed by Egyptian Director Ahmad Elmahdy.
Although Nasri had received numerous offers to perform in Egyptian movies, she did not appear in a film until 2007 when she starred in the Egyptian movie, Code 36 with Egyptian actor Mostafa Sha'aban. The movie was not well-reviewed by critics although one magazine said that "Maya was the best surprise of the movie". In February 2007 Nasri appeared in the Egyptian television serial, Sultan El Gharam with Khaled Saleh. She also released a second film, Khareg 'ala Lqanon, in December of the same year. During its first week it grossed EGP 7 million (USD 1.5 million). In March 2008 Maya started shooting a new Ramadan series Wekalet Aatiyya starring Houssein Fahmy and Ahmad Bedeir and directed by Ra'fat Elmihi. In the series Nasri plays the role of a Palestinian woman who ran away from Palestine in 1948. It is expected in Ramadan 2009. The series will during Ramadan 2009. In November 2008 Nasri's third film was released. Entitled Bamboozi, the film is directed by Ihab Lamey and also stars Hasan Hosny and Ezzat Abou Aof with young actor Khaled Sarhan. Lamey chose Nasri to be the female main role. The movie is a political black comedy, and is scheduled to be released in June 2009. In March 2009 Nasri began shooting another television series, Rijal al Hasm. In the series she plays the role of the role of Miraj, an officer in the Israeli Mossad. Concerning her role, Nasri said, "I am so proud that finally I will be able to show how bad the Israeli enemies are." Although many could consider that iroic considering the series the singer was participating in was a Syrian one and many Lebanese for politically and historic reasons consider Syria as hostile, although not to the extent they do Israel. The Anti-Syrian rhetoric is also common among many Lebanese. However, Lebanese singers avoid for public reasons never to adopt views such as this openly in avoidance to be consider "traitors" by the rest of the Arab world. Since unlike denouncing Israel doing so for Syria would not be consider a positive thing.
* Akhbarak Eih? (2001) (How are you doing?)
* Law Kan Lak Alb (2003) (If You Had a Heart)
* Izzay Te’rafni (2005) (How Do You Know Me?)
* Jayi Lwa't (2008) (The Time is Coming..)
* "Enta habib 3yone" (1999)
* "Akher Hammi" (1999)
* "Ana Bahtaglak" (2004)
* "Aywa Keda" (2006/2007)
* "Ana Kont Eh" (2006/2007)
* "Khallini bel Jaw" (2001)
* "Akhbarak Eih..?" (2001) - Tony Abou Elias
* "Ya Waheshni (2002)" - Myirna khayyat
* "Law Kan Lak Alb (2003)" - Ahmad El Mahdi
* "Ana Bahtaglak (2004)" - Mirna Khayyat Abou-Elias
* "Habbit Hob (2004)" - Mhd. Gomea
* "Al Asmarani (2005)" - Salim elTurk
* "Rouh (2006)" - Emile Slaylati
* "Jaye ElWa2t" (2008) - Ahmad El Mahdi
* Code 36 (2007) - Egyptian movie
* Sultan elGharam ("Sultan of Love") (2007) - Egyptian TV series
* Kharej An elQanoun ("Against the Law") (2007) - Egyptian movie
* Wekalet Atiyya (2008) - Egyptian TV series
* Bamboozia (2009) - Egyptian movie
* Rijal Alhasm (2009) - Syrian TV series