Artist Profiles: Muhammad Abu Ajaj

Muhammad Abu Ajaj was born in 1955 in Kseife. It was from his father’s radio, in the tent that he was born, where Muhammad heard for the first time the great Arab singers. In his ‘desert school’ he saw the American cowboys and Samira Taufic movies. There is something surrealistic in a movie screened in the open air, where only the power of the generator is your link to the western civilization. As a child, the Bedouin ‘fantasia’ men rituals and the ‘women singing’ always attracted him. At the age of 15 he started learning guitar, bought himself a Syrian ud and started searching for teachers to teach him the secrets of the instrument.

It was Hikmat Shaheen (the father of Simon Shaheen) that heard him play and brought him to ‘Beit Hagefen’ in Haifa as his student. Today, Muhammad holds a second degree in Musicology and the Middle East. He teaches music and leads various ensembles that explore the Bedouin’s music and tradition (including the Tarab Ensemble that performs occasionally with Yair Dallal). Together, Muhammad Abu-Ajaj, Salman and Muhaysin present a musical journey from the sounds and grooves of the traditional Bedouins music to the personal desires and love that in the Bedouins tradition can only be realized in songs.


Kseife (2002)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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