Musicians of the Enemy Reply

Sent by Emile Cohen

Thank you Tom Franks for the very poignant article which highlights the repression of the music of Saleh Alkuwaity in Israel when he arrived there in 1951, and the disgraceful act of Saddam of erasing his name and denying him credit of all his compositions.

However music and culture cannot be suppressed for long and Saleh’s music was never forgotten and is now resurging in popularity in both Israel and Iraq. The people of Iraq and Kuwait love his music and continue to sing his songs which have become to represent the Iraqi traditional music. Saleh Alkuwaity music transcends through nations and generations. Even in UK there has been a renaissance of his compositions. On 3rd December 2008 there was a centenary celebration of his birth, at the School of African and Oriental Studies, where a day of talks and lectures was held, together with a concert of his compositions. The day was attended by music lovers of several nationalities, various denominations and different political creeds, to acclaim and commemorate his music. The applause and the euphoria were most edifying for the organisers of the event. In fact there is now a website that subscribes to Saleh Alkuwaity and that memorable celebration. In response to public demand there will also be DVDs and CDs of the event which will be available shortly on the website.

It is only fitting that the street in the neighbourhood where the two brothers lived in Tel Aviv would finally be given the name of the Kuwaity brothers, which is only a scant recognition for the humanitarian value of their music and the universal acclaim that they truly deserve.