Iraq’s al-Sadr calls for singer Kathem al-Saher’s song to become national anthem

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Iraq’s populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr has expressed his admiration of star singer Kathem al-Saher’s song ‘Salamu Alayk’, Iraqi artist Sinan al-Azzawi revealed. Sadr also said that he would organize a musical performance for Saher to perform the song, which Sadr deemed a national anthem.

On his Facebook account, Azzawi said that during his conversation with Sadr, the latter voiced his readiness to host Saher in Iraq and provide all logistical and security requirements for him to perform in Mosul. He also added that Sadr had commissioned him to follow up on the matter with Saher.

Saher’s song was first recorded and performed in 2008 amid sectarian fights in Iraq, and many Iraqis have called for it to be adopted as the country’s national anthem instead of the current one which had been temporarily chosen by Parliament in 2005.

Saher, known as the Caesar of Arabic songs, left Iraq during the period of Saddam Hussein's regime. He visited Baghdad only once in 2007 after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, but never held any concerts there.

Sadr's invitation was well received by many artists and those in the industry, who hoped for Sadr's initiative would contribute to more musical and arts events.

Azzawi said that this meeting with Sadr took place a month and a half ago, during which Sadr praised Saher’s song, calling it “a national anthem.” A proposal was formulated to invite Saher to visit Iraq, and ensuring that a concert would be held in Mosul as it was the last territory to be liberated from ISIS.

Azzawi, who works as a director and theater actor, said that the suggestion of hosting Saher to record the national song in Mosul will give a bigger boost in promoting it as a national anthem and act as a global call for the reconstruction of the liberated areas starting with Mosul.

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