Voices of the Middle East and North Africa

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – December 1, 2004

This week’s theme is on Kurds, Kurdistan and their culture.

In the First part, we play an interview conducted earlier by Mehmet Bayram and
Sureya Sayadi when they interviewed Christiane Bird an author and acclaimed
journalist who had traveled to Kurdistan of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran and has
written a book about her journey by the title:"A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts,
Journeys in Kurdistan" . Christiane Bird discusses the history, daily living,
religion and politics of the day in Kurdistan. The title of the book is a
traditional Kurdish poem, in complete: A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Tears, A
Thousand Revolts, A Thousand Hopes. This is what Noam Chomsky said about this book
"I cannot recommend too highly this brilliantly evocative portrait of people who
have suffered terrible crimes, but endured, with remarkable courage and charm and
undying hope, captured with rare sensitivity and sympathetic understanding in Bird’s
deeply moving account of her journeys through their lands and her sharing of their

In the second part of the program we have Live Music by NeyDavood Ensemble,Persian
Classical and Folk Musicians. NeyDavood Ensemble members performing live at our
studio are Aryan Rahmanian/Vocal and Setar, Ashkan Ghafouri/Tar and Rachel
Valfer/Vocal and Ud (Absent was Fars Hedayati/Daf and Tombak). They perform two
songs; the first one was an improvised Persian and Kurdish piece and the second song
was a Kurdish Folk song by the title "Sheereen Sheereena" which is a Kurdish name
for a girl meaning Sweet and The Sweet. NeyDavood Ensemble members reside in bay
area and are active members of the community where they give concerts and fund
raising activities such as for the Baam Earthquake. The Neydavood Ensemble performs
Persian classical and spiritual music with the poetry of mystical Sufi poets, Rumi
and Hafiz, as well as various folk songs from the Kurdish culture. Most of the
musicians teach various classical Persian instruments, voice lessons. You can find
more about Neydavood
at www.tarschool.com or telephone 510-703-7403.

Regarding our program please write to us at: [email protected], or visit

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