'Music is a universal language'

Kurdish musician Hazhar Zahawi to open music house in Erbil citadel

NEWSROOM — Renowned Kurdish musician Hazhar Zahawi announced the opening of a new music house in the Erbil Citadel, named “Zahawi Music House.” This initiative aims to provide music education, with a focus on the daf, a traditional percussion instrument.

Zahawi, who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Faruk Medical City hospital in Sulaymaniyah with a musical performance, emphasized the importance of quality in various aspects of life. “Quality is important to me in everything — in music, in character, in clothing, in sports, and in food,” Zahawi told 964media.

With 30 years of musical experience and performances in over 50 countries, Zahawi has participated in numerous international festivals. “I do not make comparisons between Kurdistan and other countries like France, Britain, and Germany, but I always strive to present high-quality work in Kurdistan,” he said.

Zahawi expressed pride in his Kurdish heritage while acknowledging his global artistic identity. “Music is a universal language that brings people together. As a Kurd, I am proud of my heritage, but I also integrate my art with other cultures to create a common language,” he stated.

The year 2024 marks another international season for Zahawi, with several major projects planned involving Kurdish, French, Italian, and Indian music collaborations.

Born in 1980 in Diyala’s Khanaqin district, Zahawi spent a significant part of his early life in Iran before moving to the United Kingdom in 1990.

Zahawi began playing the daf at a young age and, by age 13, was invited to join the Kurdish Music Orchestra in Europe. He pursued his passion for music academically and earned a bachelor’s degree in ethnomusicology from SOAS University of London. His university project focused on Kurdish dance (Halparke in Kurdish).

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