- Title: WEST BANK: The Iraqi singer Ilham Madfai holds concert
- Date: 6th July 2009
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JULY 03, 2009) (REUTERS) WIDE OF MADFAI WITH REPORTER CLOSE OF MADAFI'S FACE CLOSE OF MADFAI'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI SINGER, ILHAM MADFAI, SAYING: "Palestine is an Arab country, also Jerusalem is a cultural capital. Every artist should support and help it."
- Embargoed: 21st July 2009 13:00
- Reuters ID: LVA8A5V1VMD2AZ0BUI0WYAWDSTLS
- Story Text: The popular Iraqi singer Ilham Madfai came to the West Bank city of Ramallah to perform at the Palestine International Music Festival on Friday, July 3.
Madfai was surprised to find, on his first meeting with this Palestinian audience, that they knew almost all his songs.
Tickets were sold out two days before his concert.
Madfai who prefers not to talk about politics, called on Arab artists to participate in Palestinian festivals.
"Palestine is an Arab country, also Jerusalem is a cultural capital. Every artist should support and help it," Madfai told Reuters Television.
Many Arab artists refuse to participate in festivals being held in the Palestinian Territories because they have to obtain permits from the Israelis who control crossings between West Bank and the outside world.
However, many enthusiasts see this festival as a must attend event.
"It is a cultural event in the country, which helps the development of the country's economy as well as serving as a cultural opening and development in the country," Tamer Shamia said.
"It is very good, it improves the cultural and heritage values of Palestine," she added Tamer's friend Jessy.
Madfai, in his sixties, who is famous for his folk songs, carries a Jordanian passport and lives in the kingdom.
He has achieved international fame by adapting traditions song to a modern musical style, particularly on the guitar.
The Palestinian international festival, which was organized by the Art Centre, continues with local and foreign troupes till the eighth of July.
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