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Egypt's National Orchestra Performs in Chicago

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Egypt’s national orchestra is playing in Chicago tonight for the first time ever. The 17-musician group called the Um Kulthum Orchestra will perform the songs of its namesake, a legendary Egyptian singer. They’ll also showcase other traditional Arab music. Arab American Action Network Executive Director Hatem Abudayyeh says the orchestra is considered the best in the Arab world.

ABUDAYYEH: To have the opportunity to actually watch and listen to musicians from Egypt singing the songs, a lot of these people from my parents generation will say the songs of their youth, it’s going to be incredibly exciting for the folks that are there.

The performance takes place at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall as part of the orchestra’s U.S. tour. Tonight’s concert is also a fundraiser for the Arab American Action Network.

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