Caesar of Arabic music, Kadim Al Sahir reveals how reading expands horizons and respect for others at SIBF 2023
SIBF 2023

Caesar of Arabic music, Kadim Al Sahir reveals how reading expands horizons and respect for others at SIBF 2023

Nov 6, 2023

The Iraqi superstar is collaborating with the UN Chambers Music Society to launch an English song calling for the stop of the war in Gaza

Kadim Al Sahir, renowned as the ‘Caesar of Arabic music,’ offered a wealth of inspiring insights
into his professional and personal journey during a panel discussion at the 42nd edition of the
Sharjah International Book Fair. He stated that his early love for reading ignited a deep passion
for the Arabic language, enabling him to craft music that has touched people’s lives across the
At the onset of the session, part of SIBF’s ‘Music and Literature’ programme, the Iraqi superstar
lauded Sharjah’s efforts in the cultural domain, saying, “As long as there are efforts like the ones
carried out by Sharjah; the regional capital of culture and heritage; books will continue to play
their role. This is honourable and makes me extremely happy.”

Reflecting on the responsibilities of artists within their local, regional, and global communities,
he remarked: “It is our duty as human beings to do what it takes to stop the violence.” He
added: “With the current violence in Gaza, I am collaborating with the UN Chambers Music
Society, directed by Brenda Vongova, to record a song titled ‘Hold your Fire’ calling for an end
to the devastating war. It will be recorded in English to send a message to the world to stop the
violence being inflicted on innocent civilians and the catastrophic death of children.”

Commenting on the role that reading played in his life, Al Sahir said, “Books played a major role
in my childhood; it broadened my knowledge and enabled me to write my first poem at the age
of 13 as well as create a song for it. When children read, the words take them to new worlds
and introduce them to new cultures, traditions, and religions. Their knowledge expands, instilling
in them the respect of others and their opinions.”

Advising parents to encourage reading in their children at a young age, he stated that reading
has helped him increase his vocabulary and helped his songs resonate with listeners. “Reading
provides emotional support for me when things are tough. It instils serenity in me. My mother
had a profound influence on me, and her dedication to providing for our family of ten living in a
70-square-metre home was truly incredible.”

Addressing a captivated audience within the Sharjah Expo Centre’s ballroom, he divulged the
integration of poetry into his musical creations. He recounted his collaborations with celebrated
poets, such as the late Nizar Qabani and Karim Al Iraqi, which propelled his career to stardom.
With a music career spanning 35 years, he remarked that Arabic audiences possess a profound
affection for poetry and are renowned for their discerning critique.

To the wonderment of attendees, Al Sahir ended the inspirational talk by reciting parts of his
famous poem ‘Life’.

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