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UNESCO appoints Iraqi composer ‘Musician for Peace’

Oud virtuso Nasser Shamma

UN Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced Monday it is appointing Iraqi composer and Oud virtuso Nasser Shamma as its “Artist for Peace” in recognition of his life’s work in favor of peace, a statement from that body said. The UN organization’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, will formally honor Shamma on February 23 and appoint him to the elevated status “in recognition of his commitment to support the musical education of young people in Iraq and beyond” and for his work in promoting “the message of peace through his performances and his dedication to the universal ideals” represented by UNESCO.

The Iraqi will be called upon to support UNESCO’s work on education and for peace among young people and he will also have a prominent role in “safeguarding of cultural heritage in Iraq and in the region,” the statement added.  Shamma, who is 54, is renowned for his Oud performances and his music compositions for film, television and the stage. He is currently at the head of the Arab Oud House in Cairo, which he founded in 1999.

UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCO’s message and programs.  UNESCO works with these distinguished personalities to heighten the public’s awareness of key development issues and inform it of the Organization’s action in these fields.-KUNA

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