Rahim AlHaj fled Iraq in 1991 and eventually landed in Albuquerque, where he now lives. He will perform as part of the Peace Talks Radio 10th anniversary celebration on Sept. 13 in Santa Fe.
Rahim holds a degree in Arabic literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Rahim was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the US in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque ever since. He became a U.S. citizen on August 15, 2008.
Rahim is considered one of the finest oud players in the world. He has won many accolades and awards including two Grammy nominations.