Entertainment

Shakira visits her grandmother's village in Lebanon

Colombian pop star Shakira on Friday visited the village in Lebanon where her paternal grandmother was born, an AFP journalist said.

A handout picture from the Honorary Consulate of Lebanon in Barranquilla, Colombia, on July 13, 2018 shows Colombian singer Shakira (C) holding a commemorative plaque bearing her name during her visit to the northern Lebanese village of Tannourine
A handout picture from the Honorary Consulate of Lebanon in Barranquilla, Colombia, on July 13, 2018 shows Colombian singer Shakira (C) holding a commemorative plaque bearing her name during her visit to the northern Lebanese village of Tannourine (Honorary Consulate of Lebanon in Barranquilla/AFP)

Colombian pop star Shakira on Friday visited the village in Lebanon where her paternal grandmother was born, an AFP journalist said.

"Hello Tannourine, thank you, I am happy to be here!", the 41-year-old singer said in Arabic during a visit under high security to the village of Tannourine in Lebanon's mountainous north.

Accompanied by local officials, Shakira visited a nature reserve that grows cedar trees -- Lebanon's national emblem -- and planted two saplings.

To mark the occasion, a small patch of the reserve was named "Shakira Mubarak" -- after one of the singer's family names, Tannourine's mayor Bahaa Harb said.

On Friday evening, she will kick off the Cedars International Festival in Lebanon, a concert set to attract 13,000 people.

This is Shakira's third visit to the country. Her first visit came in 2003 and she returnec in 2011 for a concert.

The artist is in Lebanon with her two sons.