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Crossing Paths in the Middle East: Cultural Struggles of Jewish-Kuwaiti Musicians in the 20th Century

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Abstract:

The Jewish brothers Saleh (1908-1986) and Daud Al Kuwaiti (1910-1976) were among the leading urban musicians of Kuwait in the 1920s, producing songs that were favorites of the learned class and royals of the region. In order to advance their musical careers, both Kuwaiti men left for Iraq in the 1930s. In Baghdad, a foremost music hub of the Middle East, the brothers received great acclaim. They established and performed in the orchestra of Iraq’s first radio station, and their gifts as composers, singers, and musicians (Saleh on violin and Daud on oud, i.e., lute), gained them notoriety throughout the Arab world as well as locally: they were beloved by King Faisal of Iraq. In the 1950s, while still revered, the brothers moved to Israel only to harshly discover that their “Arab” type of music was not valued, indeed, it was viewed by many with great disdain. Thus, the last decades of their lives were difficult as the men struggled to fit into a new culture. The professional journey of Saleh and Daud Al Kuwaiti manifest the challenges of artists migrating between three Middle Eastern societies. This poster session presents these almost-forgotten musicians as a case study of immigration and cultural anxiety within the Middle East in the 20th century.
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Name: American Historical Association
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http://www.historians.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p194480_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Urkevich, Lisa. "Crossing Paths in the Middle East: Cultural Struggles of Jewish-Kuwaiti Musicians in the 20th Century" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., Jan 03, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p194480_index.html>

APA Citation:

Urkevich, L. , 2008-01-03 "Crossing Paths in the Middle East: Cultural Struggles of Jewish-Kuwaiti Musicians in the 20th Century" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p194480_index.html

Publication Type: Poster
Abstract: The Jewish brothers Saleh (1908-1986) and Daud Al Kuwaiti (1910-1976) were among the leading urban musicians of Kuwait in the 1920s, producing songs that were favorites of the learned class and royals of the region. In order to advance their musical careers, both Kuwaiti men left for Iraq in the 1930s. In Baghdad, a foremost music hub of the Middle East, the brothers received great acclaim. They established and performed in the orchestra of Iraq’s first radio station, and their gifts as composers, singers, and musicians (Saleh on violin and Daud on oud, i.e., lute), gained them notoriety throughout the Arab world as well as locally: they were beloved by King Faisal of Iraq. In the 1950s, while still revered, the brothers moved to Israel only to harshly discover that their “Arab” type of music was not valued, indeed, it was viewed by many with great disdain. Thus, the last decades of their lives were difficult as the men struggled to fit into a new culture. The professional journey of Saleh and Daud Al Kuwaiti manifest the challenges of artists migrating between three Middle Eastern societies. This poster session presents these almost-forgotten musicians as a case study of immigration and cultural anxiety within the Middle East in the 20th century.

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