Rahim AlHaj Trio Brings Middle Eastern Music to Faulker Center April 19

Rahim AlHaj
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Rahim AlHaj

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –The Rahim AlHaj Trio will present a concert of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center, 453 N. Garland Ave. on the University of Arkansas campus.

Rahim AlHaj is a virtuoso and composer on the oud, considered the “grandfather of all string instruments.” He was born in Iraq but fled in 1991 to escape imprisonment and torture by the Saddam Hussein regime. He ultimately came to the U.S. as a political refugee in 2000, settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he met the other members of his trio. 

The other members of the trio are Sourena Sefati, from Iran, a master of the santour, a hammered dulcimer, and Issa Malluf, a Palestinian American born in New Mexico and an internationally recognized specialist in Middle Eastern, Arabic, and North African percussion.

AjHaj has performed around the world and with a wide variety of musicians. He has said he is “too serious” to play music for “fun” – that his musical mission is to “fight injustice and create beauty.” He has recorded a dozen albums, been nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Traditional World Music Album, and received a National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Tickets for this event range in price from $10-$20 and can be purchased here or at the Faulkner Center box office or by phone at 479-575-5387, from 1:30-5 p.m. weekdays.

AlHaj will also deliver a free public lecture, “A Voice for the Voiceless” at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Fayetteville Public Library. He will discuss his struggles as a musician and a political refugee.

These events are being presented in partnership by the Faulkner Center, the U of A's  King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies and the House of Songs Ozarks.

About the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center: The Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center is a 500-plus seat state-of-the-art venue dedicated to providing a community-centered approach to the performing arts. In addition to hosting acclaimed artists and performers, the Faulkner Center is also home to the University of Arkansas music department's large ensembles. With an impressive offering of renowned performers and culturally relevant events, the Faulkner Center excels in its mission of contributing to education and excellence, helping build a new generation of artists and patrons.

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies: The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geo-cultural area in which Islamic civilization prospered and continues to shape world history. An interdisciplinary and interdepartmental area studies center that offers diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities for the University of Arkansas community, it promotes research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle East studies. 

About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Nicole Cotton-Leachman, managing director
Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center
479-575-5692, ncotton@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu

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