Student Musicians Perform with Conductor Al-Khatib

Students in the newly-launched Birzeit University Music Program performed on the stage of Nasib A. Shahin Auditorium on January 14, 2017. The students were led by international oud musician and conductor Ahmad Al-Khatib.

Dean of the Faculty of Art Majdi Malki said that “this program creates unique opportunities for talented students and young musicians to be recognized in Palestine and overseas as leaders in their chosen artistic discipline.”

He went on to say that the program “fosters a community of passionate and talented students who possess the self-discipline and intellectual curiosity to succeed and shine. The Bachelor’s of Music is designed not only to develop students’ performance abilities, but also to engage Palestinians in a comprehensive spectrum of creative arts and cultural practices.”

Ahmad Al-Khatib was born in Jordan in 1974. He began to learn the oud from an early age, and went on to study music and cello at Yarmouk University in Jordan. After graduating in 1997, he moved to Ramallah in Palestine, where he taught in the Oriental Music Department at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

Forced to leave Palestine in 2002 due to the political situation, Ahmad continued to promote the work of the conservatory overseas and also produced a series of oud instruction books and transcriptions of Arab classical works. In 2004, he settled in Sweden, where he began to study for a master's degree in Musical Education Methodology at the University of Gothenburg. The following year he saw the release of his first solo oud compilation, “Sada”.  Ahmad is currently a lecturer at the university's Academy of Music and Drama, where he teaches modal music, composition theory and ensemble music.