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Rahim AlHaj NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
19 Sep 2017
November 13, 2015 by SURAYA MOHAMED Ancestor to the lute and the guitar, the oud ?is an ancient stringed instrument commonly played throughout the Middle East, North Africa and countries like Greece and Turkey. The oud has charmed audiences for more than 5,000 years, and the tradition continues with this reverent performance by one of the world's best players, Rahim AlHaj. Born in Baghdad, AlHaj possesses a life story as powerful as his music. He learned to play the oud at age 9, and later graduated with honors and a degree in music composition from the Institute of Music in Baghdad. He also earned a degree in Arabic literature from Mustunsiriya University in Baghdad. Active in the underground revolutionary movement, AlHaj wrote protest songs opposing Saddam Hussein's repressive regime. He was imprisoned twice, once for a year and a half, and was regularly beaten by his captors. In 1991, AlHaj was forced to leave Iraq because of his political activism, and ultimately found a home in N
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