Monday, November 26, 2007

Iraqi Symphony Orchestra: Music in the Mayhem

Al Jazeera has run today a news item on the making of beautiful music in Iraq, against all the odds.

The Iraq Symphony Orchestra began in the 1930s as a string quartet but quickly grew and became popular in the days of Saddam Hussein, who gave it his protection and blessing.

The Iraqi Symphony Orchestra has survived decades of war, sanctions, death threats, explosions and the deaths of some of its members.

The orchestra is made up of Sunni, Shia and Kurds and their practices and performance sound an example of how all these different groups can get along together.

The orchestra members pride themselves on continuing to be a symbol of Iraq’s indomitable spirit. It is an orchestra that proclaims hope and harmony.

Al Jazeera has not posted this news video on its site yet but keep a look out for it.

Here is a link to a video clip on the Iraq Symphony Orchestra. Or go to YouTube and search for the ‘Iraqi Symphony Orchestra’. The commentary in the clip is in Arabic but the music is international.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Iraqi Symphony Orchestra.