Farah Siraj
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Farah Siraj

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band World Singer/Songwriter

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"Berklee To Release Benefit CD For Darfur Women's Relief"

BOSTON-On Oct. 3, Berklee releases We Are All Connected: Berklee College of Music Reaches Out to the Women of Darfur, a collection of R&B, soul, jazz, pop, World, and gospel songs written, performed and produced by Berklee students, faculty, staff, and alumni to raise awareness of the plight of women and children affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. the CD will be available through iTunes.com and CDBaby.com. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit the Mercy Corps Darfur Fund. Fore more information please visit www.berklee.edu/darfur/.

We are all connected is the culmination of a collaborative effort engaging many members of the Berklee community. Early in 2005, a delegation of Boston women, including Bright Horizons Chair Linda Mason, wife of Berklee president Roger Brown; award winning TV journalist Liz Walker ; and the Rev. Dr. Gloria E. White-Hammond, traveled to the Sudan with Mercy Corps to investigate the use of rape as an instrument of war. They took with them two songs - "We Are All Connected" and "To The Sudanese Women" - written and performed by Berklee students Andrea Whaley and Farah Siraj.

The songs, the result of a songwriting competition proposed by president Brown and initiated by Jack Perricone, chair of the songwriting department, were produced specifically for the trip and presented to the Darfurian women as a musical gist from their sisters a world away. The music was played for women in the refugee camps on a lap-top - a device that many of them were seeing for the first time. Upon hearing the two songs, the Darfurian women leapt to their feet and began trilling and singing in jubilant musical response. That outpouring of emotion was recorded in the field and brought back to Berklee.

During the trip, the Boston delegation heard firsthand accounts of the violence that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaces millions to refugee camps, ripping families apart and leaving women and children homeless, hungry, cold and in personal danger. Mason shared these stories with the Berklee Women's Network, inspiring the group to take action to produce a full-length CD - including the initial two songs - with the goal of raising awareness and funds. - JazzWeek


Discography

The Arabian Jazz Project – Farah Siraj ©2012 USA
Nomad - Farah Siraj (Webcasts & Broadcasts in the USA, Europe and the Middle East)
Homenaje a Chocolate - Olé y Amen - Pitingo ©2011 (Universal Records)
Palladio - Xibus - Boston String Quartet ©2006 USA
To the Sudanese Women ©2006 (We are all connected CD) USA
King of Hearts ©1999 Jordan

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Bio

Named Jordan's “Musical Ambassadress”, jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj balances a career that spans the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Farah has performed at some of the world's most prestigious platforms, including the United Nations, Nobel Prize Hall, the World Economic Forum, The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in New York, MTV, Coke Studio, the TV show Good Morning Live in the USA, MBC TV in the Middle East and the Antena de Oro Awards of Spain. Farah has performed before HM King Abdullah II and HM Queen Rania of Jordan, HM King Juan Carlos of Spain, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HE Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. In addition, Farah represents Jordan annually on United Nations World Peace Day.

To this date, Farah has toured the Middle East, Europe, India, South America and the United States, spreading the message of peace through her music. In 2011 Farah internationally released her album entitled NOMAD, funded personally by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. In NOMAD, Farah performs her original compositions, fusing influences of middle eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa and pop, with lyrics in Arabic, Spanish and English. The recordings took place in the Middle East, Spain and the USA, including more than 30 internationally acclaimed musicians from five different continents. 

In 2012, after the success of NOMAD, Farah presented the world premier of her new work, entitled The Arabian Jazz Project, featuring original compositions and traditional middle eastern tunes set to a jazz context. As a result of the success of The Arabian Jazz Project, Farah was chosen as one of New York's “Summer Stars of Jazz” and named “the Norah Jones of the Middle East” by New York Time Out. 

In June 2014, Farah released her latest album, Dunya, meaning “world” in Arabic and Hindi. Farah currently leads an ethnically diverse quintet of Arabian Flamenco Jazz, with world-class musicians from the Middle East, Europe, the United States and South America, including music from all four regions. Farah and her band have toured the Middle East, India, Europe and the United States and South America with sold-out concerts in all four regions. During her tour of India, Farah shared the stage with India's most renowned composer, A.R. Rahman, performing Zariya live on MTV. The song hit #1 in the music charts in India and #3 in the Middle East. 

Farah's musical education includes the prestigious Trinity College of Music in London and Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she was recognized for her lush arabian vocals, as mentioned in the article “Out of Berklee, A Gift of Music” by the Boston Globe. Farah's music often expresses the reality of war and raises awareness for the urgent need for peace. In recognition of her humanitarian efforts, Farah was invited to perform at the 2012 United Nations Humanitarian Awards in New York. In addition, Farah's music was played before the United Nations Security Council before passing a legislation regarding the genocide in Darfur. 

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