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Humans of UAE: An inspiring story of a Dubai-based Oud maestro


Published on January 24, 2020 at 10.32

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Sitting in the closet in her house in Cairo - the nook she calls her first studio, little Salma composed music that she would only go on to play on her first Oud, some 20 years later. (Photos by Shihab)
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But to arrive at that, she had to cover one long, winding road in between. In, what seemed to her one long epoch, she lost her father at 10 and let go of music, her biggest passion.
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She even managed to graduate with a degree in Arabic through years of hardship, before taking up ‘just another job’ to provide for her family.
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But one day it all changed when she decided she was meant for things closer to her heart.
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That’s when she found a new lease of life under the acclaimed Egyptian Oud player Naseer Shamma, before coming to Dubai and performing on live TV.
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Kilany, who aspires to be a famous Oud player one day, finds solace in cooking, reading and music — the three things that keep her busy when she is not teaching. But it wasn’t all this easy, says the 28-year-old for putting herself first never occured to her before.
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“Sometimes it is disgustingly difficult, hidden behind your worst fears. It requires fighting and building courage to get on the road to happiness,” she says.
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She dreams of being a professional musician so as to “express herself and bring happiness to the heart” of anyone who’s listening.
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Today, as a proud school teacher, she incorporates music in her classroom where students dance and sing while learning.
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