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Lebanese Arab Composer Marcel Khalifé Coming to San Diego

by Manal Swairjo, Cultural Coordinator
Al-Awda San Diego, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
August 9, 2007

Marcel Khalife in Concert - San Diego Sunday October 14, 2007

“We travel like all people.
But we return to nowhere …”
Mahmoud Darwish

There is a Lebanese Arab composer and master of the oud (the Arabic lute) living in exile in Paris. He is renowned for putting to song the poems of the eminent Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and popularizing them in the Arab World and beyond, where everyday people now recite Darwish’s poems. His name is Marcel Khalifé. Ambassador of the Arab culture of Palestine and Lebanon, Khalifé brings traditional Arabic music to the world stage, performed by the Kiev Symphony Orchestra, the Italian Philharmonic and the Absolute Ensemble, to name a few. He was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2005 and has published more than 20 albums of instrumental and lyrical works.

In instrumental music, Khalifé offers a colorful mixture of genres from traditional Arab taqasim, improvisation, to traditional Turkish-based samai, to Spanish flamenco, to Jazz. In song, he invents a novel world of sounds, freed of the pre-established rules of the Arab ughniyah but deeply attached to the text on which it relies. Wrapped in enchanting lyricism, Khalife’s song has been a caress for love and freedom and a shout against oppression, racism, occupation and injustice.

As part of his 2007 USA & Canada Tour, Khalifé performs on Sunday October 14, 2007 in San Diego with the Al-Mayadine ensemble at the Birch North Park Theater, 2891 University Ave, Ste. 1, San Diego CA 92104. Doors open at 6 PM.

The concert is presented by Al-Awda San Diego and is supported by many other organizations including Al-Awda's Los Angeles/Orange County and Riverside chapters, The National Council of Arab Americans San Diego and Los Angeles, The Palestinian American Women's Association of Southern California, The Free Palestine Alliance - Southern California, The Arab Community Center of the Inland Empire, The Palestine Children's Relief Fund San Diego, The Center for World Music, The Persian Cultural Center, The House of Palestine San Diego, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee San Diego, Alternate Focus Television and The Middle East Cultural and Information Center.

The program consists of "Taqasim", duo for oud and double bass dedicated to Mahmoud Darwish, as well as popular songs from Khalifé’s classic repertoire.

The ensemble consists of Peter Herbert (double bass), Rami Khalifé (piano) and Bachar Khalifé (percussion and vibes).

To book your tickets:


For more information on the artist, visit

For other upcoming Al-Awda San Diego events, visit

Other information:

Al-Awda San Diego
The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
Email: [email protected]


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