Alternative Musician from Jordan wins International UNESCO Prize

Posted on: September 27th, 2007 by Ramsey 4 Comments

Local musician Ruba Saqr receives the UNESCO prize for ‘best performance bridging traditional and contemporary traditions’ at the sixth annual international music festival in Samarkand late last month (Photo courtesy of Ruba Saqr) - JT
“For Ruba Saqr, even the most unconventional dreams can come true,” a recent Jordan Times article started off. The newspaper’s reporter called me the day after I sent a short announcement saying I just came back from Uzbekistan after representing Jordan at the Sixth International Music Festival of Samarqand. I performed three of my originals the 2nd night of the Festival, and on the 4th night – on August 30, 2007 – I was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Best Performance Bridging Traditional and Contemporary Traditions.

I went there as a solo singer/songwriter from Jordan, accompanied by my companion and friend, my black acoustic Fender guitar. It was a magical moment, singing at a venue that took one back hundreds and hundreds of years… to times when Sufis used to chant mantras at the Madrasas (schools) surrounding the Registan Square. (more…)