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Syria has been in the forefront of the news for many weeks. A violent quagmire, a geopolitical and moral dilemma keeps bringing the world news about the troubled country, embroiled in a seemingly intractable sectarian war.

But what about Syria’s music? Syria is a very old country with a diverse musical culture. This week’s Rhythm Planet explores Syria’s music, from the devotional music of sufi whirling dervishes, Islamic incantations, Christian Orthodox church hymns, as well as pop singers, poets like Abed Azrie, and powerful singers such as the renowned vocalist Sabah Fakhri. We also get a short history of the Syria’s complex past, the national anthem, and the pan-Arabic anthem Ya Rayah (“You Shall Return”), a song of hope for all displaced Syrians that wraps up the program.

Not all of these albums–some quite rare and unavailable–are pictured above. Unfortunately, there are not any images for these albums.

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Rhythm Planet Playlist: 9/13/13

  1. Syriana / Syriana / The Road To Damascus / Real World
  2. Syrian National Sympony Orchestra / Human Ad-Diyar (Syrian National Anthem) / Syrian National Symphony Orchestra / Snso
  3. Ensemble Al-Kindi Feat. Sheikh Habboush / Djoubi / Rough Guide To Sufi Music / Rough Guides
  4. Gaida Hinnawi / Dream / Levantine Indulgence / Palmyra
  5. Abed Azrie / Like Water / Lapis Lazuli / Columbia
  6. Omar Souleyman / Mendel (I Don’t Know)The Western Concerts / Sublime Frequencies
  7. Omar Souleyman Feat. Bjork / Crystalline / Single / iTunes
  8. Kinan Azmeh / Needless To Say / Hewar: Letters to a Homeland / Incognito
  9. Abdullah Chhadeh Featuring Natacha / Lama Bada / Abdullah Chhadeh & Nara / Abyc Records
  10. Muezzins D’Aleppo / Final Prayer / Chants Religieux De L’Islam / Ocora
  11. Syrian Orthodox Church / Like The Merchants / Syrian Orthodox Church / Unesco
  12. Noureddine Khourshid Et Les Deerviches De Damas / Sers Le Pur (Serve The Pure) / La Voie D’Extase (The Path of Ecstasy) / Institut Du Monde Arabe
  13. Sabah Fakhri / Ya Mel Il Sham / Master Of Andalusian Folklore / Hollywood Music Center
  14. Rachid Taha, Khaled & Faudel / Ya Rayah / 1, 2, 3 Soleils / Mondo Melodia

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