Rahim AlHaj is a globally recognized, Grammy-nominated master of the oud. The oud, a grandfather of all stringed instruments, is rooted in the ancient traditions of Middle East and North Africa. Iraqi-born AlHaj’s compelling life story infuses his playing with a distinct gravity.
A musician since the age of nine, AlHaj became involved in the revolutionary movement, writing protest songs opposing Saddam Hussein’s regime. After twice being imprisoned, he was forced to flee Iraq in 1991, ultimately finding a home in the United States as a political refugee. Now a US citizen, he’s released 10 albums and tours the world with his harmonious blend of tradition and new work.
In 2015 Rahim was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor for traditional arts in the country.