The Netherlands,

Farida Mohammad Ali

Sipping tea with the queen of Iraqi maqam

Writer

Bram Peeters

Photographer

Tom Janssen

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Inside Farida Mohammad Ali’s brick duplex in the Netherlands’ snowy district of Utrecht, framed prints in the living room read ‘Diva of Iraqi Maqam’ and ‘La Voix de Irak’. Beside them, glamourous shots of Ali and her family posing in a photography studio show another side to the otherwise grand celebrity of Iraq’s leading female maqam singer.

Ali has graced stages across the world, from the UAE to Australia, as well as countless venues throughout Iraq. In the Netherlands, too, she sang for Queen Beatrix in 2004, after being invited to the palace for an exclusive performance. ‘The queen of the Netherlands met the queen of maqam,’ her husband and fellow maqam musician, Mohammad Gomar says.

 

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Sipping tea with the queen of Iraqi maqam
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