Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma will be the Artist for Peace to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) due to “his commitment to peace, especially by targeting youth during his musical performances”.
“Shamma is named in gratitude to his commitment to the musical education of young people in Iraq and elsewhere and his tireless efforts to carry a message of peace through his concerts,” Xinhua news agency cited the Paris-based organisation as saying in a statement.
With the new title, Shamma “will support the organisation’s work to improve peace education for young people and the preservation of cultural heritage in Iraq and the region”.
Born in 1963 in Iraq’s Kut, the oud player “is a musician internationally known for being one of the world’s greatest oud virtuosos”.
He has developed a technique to play the oud with one hand, to allow children wounded during the Gulf War to play music.
From 1993 to 1998, he taught oud at the Tunisian Higher Institute of Music before being named director of the Arab Oud Centre in Cairo.
Currently, he is director of the “Arab Oud House” in Egypt, an institution he founded in 1999.
The nomination ceremony is scheduled for February 23.