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Learn about the Iraqi Oud in this well-written article about one man's struggle to continue an ancient musical tradition.

The following is an excerpt from the May 1, 2008 New York Times article "A Fabled Iraqi Instrument Thrives in Exile". It concerns the Oud, an ancestor of the guitar introduced to Western Europe from the Middle East in the 8th century. A link to the full article follows below.

BAGHDAD — Dhia Jabbar hides his oud in a sack when he walks down the street in his Baghdad neighborhood.

He used to teach students in the back room of a photo shop, where the sound could not be heard. But last week, militia gunmen invaded the store, destroying one of his instruments and ordering him to stop teaching. He had dreamed of a performing career, but now he has lost hope.

“Iraq is dead,” he says.

A Fabled Iraqi Instrument Thrives in Exile