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Musician Najeeb Al-Sarraj ... A Master of the Syrian composers and a pioneer of contemporary song

The songs composed by the musician Najeeb Al-Sarraj during his rich career, which lasted for nearly half a century, are still alive in the minds and hearts of a large number of people on the Arab scene.

Al-Sarraj who was born in the Souk Al-Shajarah area in Hama in 1923, began his musical lessons since he was three years old . He learned to play the oud-taught  by the famous musician Omar Naqshbandi. Later on he headed to  Damascus where he studied the principles of musical notation.

 

In 1952, he traveled to Egypt, where he recorded a number of his songs on Sawt Al-Arab Radio.  Passing  the acceptance test at Damascus Radio, al-Sarraj was allowed to present two concerts per week. He used to perform one under his pseudonym, Al-Assi son, and the second in his own name. He became well- known to the radio audience through composing melodies of a group of folk songs and poems, including "Belqees", by the lyric poet Omar Halabi, "the secret of her eyes" by the late writer Abdul Salam Al-Ojeeli,  "She said, I will come" by the late poet, Wajih al-Baroudi, and  "O, Her House" by the poet Nizar Qabbani.

The late musician composed melodies for more than 61 male and female singers from a number of Arab countries including Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Among the most prominent singers that he  composed melodies for  are: Ahlam , Maha Al Jaberi , Sahar,  Karwan , Faiza Ahmed, Suad Muhammad , Mary Jubran , Mustafa Nasri , Ruba Al-Jamal , Olia Al Tounisia - Nasri Shams El- Din , Mirai Mustafa , Fouad Ghazi and others.

Najeeb Al-Sarraj’s emotional songs with their simple rhythm are still alive in the memory of people, which shows the genius and creativity of this musician, who devoted his art to highlighting the local identity of the Syrian song, away from the Egyptian influences that prevailed during that period.

The artistic activity of Al-Sarraj exceeded singing and composing to the world of cinema, so he produced a film, called,  "A Passerby" in 1950, and he acted in it, but it did not achieve the hoped-for success.

In his last years, Al-Sarraj focused on discovering and caring for new talents through the amateur programs on the Syrian radio and television.

The late musician left our world on the 18th of June in2003.

 

Amal Farhat

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