July 5th, 2017
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune.
All performing and creative artists who hold complex identities also face complex journeys. Certainly, classical musicians of Middle Eastern heritage and/or Muslim faith often find themselves navigating very complex spaces in the United States of the 21st century. With talent and persistence — also a little bit of luck — those artists can overcome some of the challenges and prejudices they face. In the process, they can bring deeply personal perspectives to their work and to modern social and political issues that may inform that work. Which is to say their music can give them a powerful voice with which to speak out against war — indeed, to shine a beacon of compassion and hope in the face of violence and tragedy in the Middle East.