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Album Titles

Baghdad, Ilham Al Madfai
Ilham Al Madfai, Ilham Al Madfai
The Drummer of the Nile Go South, Mohmoud Fadl

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Album Reviews

Self-titled album (1999)
Al Madfai, Ilham
I cannot recommend this album enough. It is simply amazing. Ilham is an Iraqi musician who blends influences from Spain with traditional Arabic music. The result? Truly unforgettable. His songs touch on love, religion, loneliness, forgiveness, justice, youth and aging, and even the effects of the Ottoman and the British Empires on Iraqi life, all the while firmly rooted in an Iraqi cultural context. This is not Amir Diab! This CD also makes a good study aid for teachers/students of Arabic as the Virgin CD includes lyrics printed in Arabic and translated into English. Many of my non-Arabic speaking friends enjoy listening to this beautiful music as much as I do, so it would make a suitable gift for those who enjoy "world music." I ordered my copy from Amazon Enjoy!
- Recommended by Shawn Greenstreet

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Baghdad (2003)
Al Madfai, Ilham
Ilham's newest album continues his experimentation with other region's styles of music, fusing them with traditional Arabic beats and lyrics. Thankfully, none of it sounds forced as each song flows smoothly and naturally, despite the variety of instruments assembled to produce them. Ilham does not sing self-consciously or to impress. Instead, he sounds like he is singing in your living room, just to you, simply because he enjoys it. His beautiful vocals and mastery of the Arabic Oud and the Spanish guitar have caught the attention of several friends of mine who do not speak Arabic. Lastly, the title track "Baghdad" is a poem by Syrian poet extraordinaire Nizar Qabbani set to music. I found this CD at a local Arabic bookstore, but it is available for order online at, though I have not ordered from them before and cannot personally recommend them. There you can also hear samples of his songs online.
-Recommended by Shawn Greenstreet

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The Drummer of the Nile Go South (2001)
Fadl, Mohmoud.
Master drummer Mohammed Fadl is a Nubian artist who started his career as a singer and dancer in wedding celebrations. The CD has 12 different songs that represent the music of regions around the river Nile. Coincidentally, there is a strong similarity between some of his songs and some ceremonial Sudanese songs (wedding celebrations). While some songs have lyrics, others do not. Some of the songs are sung in the Nubian language others are in Arabic. The rhythm of the drum in each song makes the listener want to get up and dance no matter what the situation is. I strongly recommend this album to those who love the sound of the drum and North African rhythms. The CD is available for purchase at
- Recommended by Maha Abdalla

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