The House of Songs Ozarkswelcomes Iraqi-American singer-songwriter Rahim AlHaj to Northwest Arkansas for a weeklong residency of music slated for April 15-20.
AlHaj, a two-time Grammy nominated musician and political refugee, is touring on his “A Voice for the Voiceless” tour, which showcases songs and music that fueled the opposition against the Ba’athist regime that oppressed Iraq before the allied war with the country.
AlHaj’s tour will be hosted by The Faulkner Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies and the House of Songs Ozarks, and in conjunction with the Fayetteville Public Library. The stay in the area will be highlighted by a performance at the Fayetteville Public Library Thursday, April 18 from 6-7 p.m. (Event link) and with the Rahim AlHaj Trio at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 19 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. (Event link)
Come and discover the music that fueled the opposition against the Ba’athist regime that oppressed Iraq before the allied war with the country. Learn about the struggles AlHaj endured for his convictions.
AlHaj is an accomplished oud player, and holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, he was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the U.S. in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque, NM ever since.
Musically, he has recorded and performed with other master musicians of varied backgrounds and styles, including genre-busting American guitarist Bill Frisell, modern accordion innovator Guy Klucevsek, Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, and indie-rock pioneers R.E.M. He has composed pieces for solo oud, string quartet, symphony and beyond.