Iraqi star to sing of love and peace

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 28 Jun 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: Kadim Al-Sahir, the most successful classical Arab artiste at present, wants to spread the word of peace through his concerts. 

Kadim:I want to show the worldthat Iraqis are not terrorists.Theyare beautiful people

The Iraqi, who did a duet with Sarah Brightman – The War Is Over Now – for her Harem album and has also teamed up with Lenny Kravitz in We Want Peace said:  

“I want to show the world that Iraqis are not terrorists. They are beautiful people. The song I did with Lenny is about peace and love, and it is an urgent call to America to be a peaceful leader in the world,” said the 41-year-old Kadim from his base in Paris in a phone-interview conducted here recently. 

He added that his last performance in Iraq was five years ago and “I am waiting for the day I can return to my beloved country for another concert.” 

The Iraqi superstar, who has had sold-out concerts worldwide, will be performing at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands on July 10. 

“The concert will be my first in a South-East Asian country. I have heard so much about your country from the news and the Internet. I am so impressed with Malaysia and I am looking forward to being there,” he said.  

Born in northern Iraq, Kadim said he usually sang his own compositions, which were sentimental.  

“My music is about love, the Earth, the stars and light. It also tells a story – like watching a movie. You just have to close your eyes to visualise the song,” said the classically trained vocalist and musician, who has been compared to Elvis Presley and Luciano Pavarotti. 

Kadim, who has sold 31 million albums worldwide, took up the guitar at 11 and later switched to the traditional oud (a guitar-like instrument).  

At 21, he entered the Music Academy in Baghdad. His talent was finally noticed in 1987 after he made a video of his song Ladghat E-Hayya (The Snake Bite). 

He later found international fame through the pop song Abart Al-Shat (Crossing the River).  

Another song which will always bring fond memories is Baghdad, which he likens to a beautiful girl. 

“Whenever I sing it, the audience asks that I repeat it, again and again. But I will only sing it twice in a concert,” said the dashing romantic. Tickets for his concert, priced at RM480, RM380, RM280, RM190 and RM90, are available at all Genting sales office and WorldCard service centres as well as Riger Travel & Tours, which can be reached at 03-78752888 or For reservations, call 03-2718 1118 or 1-800-181118 or log on to

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