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Arab world mourns ‘The Lady of the Qanun’

Iman Homsi, known as the ‘the lady of the qanun’, died on Wednesday in Beirut, aged 45. The cause of her death is undisclosed.

A performer who appeared in three continents, playing western music as well as traditional Arab forms, western music, she pioneered a technique of playing the stringed instrument with 10 fingers instead of two. Watch, and learn.

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  1. neil van der linden says:

    Thanks, Norman, for including this. Iman had been ill for a long time, with some periods of partial recovery. The youtube clip is taken during a period or recovery, after a period of heavy medicinal therapy. It was a miracle that she was there and she played miraculous. The performance by Rima Khcheich, the singer, is moving too.

  2. Keith McCarthy says:

    I second Neil’s thanks, Norman, for your presenting this soulful performance by Iman Hansi, who I wasn’t aware of before today. Wonderful.

  3. What wonderfully beautiful music. So sensitive and profound. One can read about Rima Khcheich here:

    I could not find a bio for Iman Homsi on the web. Perhaps someone can give us a link. Its unfortunate that so few people in the West know about Arabic classical music. What a sad loss the divisions between the Arabic and Western world causes.

    • neil van der linden says:

      Rima has become a name on Western stages, not the least through her cooperations with some Dutch jazz musicians like Yuri Honing, Tony Overwater and Joost Lijbaart (to whom I had introduced her and vice versa about fifteen years ago). Iman most of the time was an accompanier, not only of Rima but also of Feiruz, and a master teacher at Beirut Conservatory. The institut du Monde Arabe released an album of hers. The liner notes of that album provides more information.

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