Album Review

AlHaj, Rahim Oud and String Quartet – "Letters From Iraq" – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, International

Rahim Al Haj has been an oud player since he was a child in Iraq. When he graduated from the Conservatory of Muisc in Baghdad he had won awards and had played in many parts of the world. When he refused to support Saddam Hussein’s regime he was twice imprisoned and tortured. Under threat of execution he went into exile in Jordan in 1991. Later he moved to Syria and then to the U.S. The 8 “letters” here are mostly very sad with accompanying very sad stories in the notes. Letter 7 is the most upbeat and Letter 8 is hopeful. According to Al Haj this is “Music to help us realize peace”. His wish is that this album will inspire listeners to choose love, wonder and hope. AArbor

you heard it 13 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 3 days ago, Naysayer played Letter 6: Unspoken Word - Laila
  • 4 days ago, Cousin Mary played Letter 4: The Last Time We Will Fly Birds - Riyadh
  • 5 days ago, Ann Arbor played Letter 8: Voices to Remember - Zainab
  • 7 days ago, Avakhov played Letter 4: The Last Time We Will Fly Birds - Riyadh
  • 9 days ago, Cousin Mary played Letter 7: Fly Home - Fatima
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