LISTEN — Omar Souleyman Stream

June 6th, 2017

“With his (Omar Souleyman) new album To Syria, With Love he has finally broken his silence. Two songs, “Chobi” and “Mawal” deal directly with the homesickness and grief of a Syrian forced to leave their country. (Souleyman himself lives in Turkey now.) “Mawal” is the only downtempo song here, a dirge-like lament with doleful strings, on which he sings “Being away from home/Is like having dust in the eyes/I walk and my heart/Feels dead among the dead.” On “Chobi,” his voiced sounds flat with heartbreak. Context is everything, and in this case, it is devastating. These aren’t simply sad songs about missing home, but songs that describe the wrenching collective trauma of mass exile and a diaspora in the offing. On this album, it’s tempting to hear even the love songs as being in some way about home.”

— Via Paste