An autographed photo of Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham, signed by Sabah Qabbani, the founder and first director of Syrian TV

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Qabbani had recently returned to Damascus after serving as Syria's ambassador to the US in 1974-1980. Back in 1960, Qabbani had discovered Duraid Lahham and linked him with veteran comedian Nihad Quali, creating the most popular duo of the Arab world, modeled after Laurel & Hardy. In the 1950s, when working at Damascus Radio, Qabbani had an instinct for hunting artistic talent and discovered Egyptian singer Abdul Halim Hafez and Lebanese diva Fairuz, promoting both through Damascus Radio - From the archives of Duraid Lahham.