Oud to a new beginning

By Shepparton News

By Alex Linton

Iraqi refugee artists Naseh Alzaheiri and Dawood Al Misidawee started their new life when they arrived in Shepparton.

Both spent years in Sydney after fleeing from Iraq, but left to fulfil the dream of owning a home.

The pair started practising music together since Mr Al Misidawee moved to Shepparton this year.

‘‘I’ve been playing as a hobby since childhood,’’ said Mr Alzaheiri.

‘‘But Dawood is a specialist; he’s a singer and he has studied the oud.’’

The duo performed in Maude St Mall yesterday. Mr Alzaheiri played on the darbuka, and Mr Al Misidawee sang and played the oud.

Being a painter and sculptor, Victoria’s art scene enticed Mr Alzaheiri to Sydney.

‘‘I was looking for a different style of life,’’ he said. ‘‘Melbourne is a more artistic city than Sydney, and I would like to work at the art museum here in Shepparton.’’

Although Sydney’s lifestyle did not suit Mr Alzaheiri, he could not be happier to be in Australia.

‘‘It is like a new world, there is no comparison with our previous life,’’ he said.

‘‘Australia was like something in our imagination, we just hear stories about it.’’

Alex Linton is an RMIT Journalist undergraduate completing an internship at The News.