Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

UK Immigration vs art, sanity (again)

Disappointed to receive this message this morning, from the wonderful ‘ud player Khyam Allami:

Due to some very unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, we’ve had to start the Double Duo tour as a trio. Ahmad Al-Khatib has still not been granted a visa to enter the UK. We are working hard to try and resolve the problem and hope to have him with us as soon as possible. Needless to say, we are angry and frustrated. We have decided to go ahead with the tour as a trio and will be presenting a slightly revised programme. Hopefully we will have a more positive update for you soon. Khyam, Youssef, Ahmad, Andrea & the Making Tracks team

Ahmad Al-Khatib’s biog on ‘The Oud’ website reads:

Ahmad al-Khatib was born in Jordan into a family of Palestinian refugees. He began to learn the oud from an early age and went on to study music and cello at Al-Yarmouk University in Jordan. After graduating in 1997 he returned to Palestine and helped establish the Oriental Music Department at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, later becoming its head. In 1999 he joined the Karloma ensemble, which has since recorded several CDs. Ahmad left Palestine in 2002 and is currently living in Sweden, where he is studying for a Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at the University of Gothenburg.

Does this man look like a visa risk to you? No. Quite frankly, why anyone who’d got residence in Sweden would want to stick around under Tory government for a second longer than necessary is absolutely beyond me. I’m very much looking forward to the Double Duo concert in Manchester the week after next – hopefully with Khatib present.

One comment on “UK Immigration vs art, sanity (again)

  1. Sarah
    April 14, 2012

    Great news – that the visa came through and the rest of the tour – from 14/4 – is going ahead with Ahmad. Double Duo website with all dates here:

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