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Damascus

In the first of a two-part feature, Samir Farah of the BBC Arabic Service visits Syria’s capital Damascus to explore the character of the country and its people through its music.

Branded by the USA as a ‘rogue state’, yet possessing one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures, Syria is little understood as a nation.

In the first of a two-part feature, Samir Farah of the BBC Arabic Service visits Syria’s capital Damascus to explore the character of the country and its people through its music.

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1 hour

Music and featured items

  • Ruwayda Attieh

    Sam Farah travels from Lebanon to Damascus

    Duration: 03:30

  • Music Played

    • Ruwayda Attieh

      Min Nazra

      • Min Nazra.
      • Al Shams/MBI CD225.
      • 4.
  • The 'Superstar' competition

    Ruwayda Attieh and the 'Tarab' tradition

    Duration: 08:23

  • Music Played

    • Ruwayda Attieh

      Teebti Mak

      • Min Nazra.
      • Al Shams/MBI CD225.
      • 2.
  • Traditional Tarab and the younger audience

    A modern take on traditional Syrian music.

    Duration: 05:13

  • Music Played

    • Ruwayda Attieh

      Aamin el lom

      • Min Nazra.
      • Al Shams/MBI CD225.
      • 6.
  • Kulna Saw in Damascus

    The struggles of being a musician in Syria

    Duration: 07:54

  • Music Played

    • Kulna Sawa

      Um al shaheed

      • Musaique.
      • EMI Music Arabia 07243 5949162.
      • 8.
  • Ali Al Dik

    Syrian artists and political issues

    Duration: 03:56

  • Music Played

    • Ali Dik

      Alouche

      • Super Star 2004.
      • Future Records, no number.
      • 2.
  • An interview with Ali Al Dik

    One of Syria's biggest stars.

    Duration: 07:01

  • Music Played

    • Ali Al Dik

      Back to the Harvest

      • Super Star 2004.
      • Future Records, no number.
      • 1.
  • The Syrian music style and Tarab

    Ali Al Dik

    Duration: 06:26

  • Music Played

    • Ali Al Dik

      Alouche

      • Super Star 2004.
      • Future Records, no number.
      • 2.
  • Aramaic

    With singer Adraus Taira.

    Duration: 06:26

  • Music Played

    • Adraus Taira and Samir Hillel

      Trad: Aramaic love song

      • BBC recording on location.
  • Zajal - traditional improvised poetry and song

    Adraus Taira and Samir Hillel tell Sam about the art of Zajal

    Duration: 07:14

  • Music Played

    • Adraus Taira and Samir Hillel

      Trad: Del'ouna

      • BBC recording on location.
  • Zajal

    In the Syrian village of Malula

    Duration: 02:13

  • Music Played

    • Adraus Taira and Samir Hillel

      Trad: improvised zajal (poetry)

      • BBC recording on location.

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