The Syrian Women’s Oriental Takht Musical Ensemble performed at the 2nd Sharjah World Music Festival, presenting a variety of songs that included pieces from Syria’s musical heritage and Arabic classical pieces, which earned the applause and admiration of the audience.
The members of the Ensemble are Rahab Azaar on the oud, Dima Mawazini on the qanun, Khisab Khaled on the tambourine, Razan Qassar on the violin, Raghad Haddad on the viola, Rana Ajliqin on the cello, and vocalist Inas Latouf.
In a statement to SANA, Rahab Azaar said that participating in the Festival is a chance to assert that music is still alive in Syria despite the difficult circumstances in the country, saying that representing Syria in such an event is both an honor and a responsibility.
Azaar said Syrian music is in need of a lot of research, compilation, and archiving in order to maintain its momentum and produce new music that keeps up with the times and at the same time stays true to Syria’s musical heritage.
The Syrian Women’s Oriental Takht Musical Ensemble was formed in 2003, and consists of graduates of the Higher Institute for Music in Damascus. The word “Takht” is the name given to Middle Eastern musical ensembles or groups that employs traditional Arabic instruments like the oud and qanun and performs traditional local music.