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Middle Eastern musician, who played at first-ever Folk Festival, returns this weekend

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-13 14:14:52-04

BUTTE – Rahim AlHaj played at the very first Butte Folk Festival, back when it was called the National Folk Festival, in 2008. Returning for this year’s event, he discovered Butte people have great memories.

“The first minute I entered the hotel, the lady working for the festival said ‘Oh Rahim!’ she gives me a hug. This is 12 years ago, you know,” said AlHaj.

Rahim and his trio will perform Middle Eastern music. He said he loves music because there’s not a language barrier.

“We don’t need to know the language, the language we have it already in our hand, that’s why they call it the universal language,” said AlHaj. “If you are a poet or a writer, that would be difficult because you use your own language, but I [use] universal language.”

He will be performing music he composed for a record called “One Sky” because he believes all people live underneath the same sky.

“There’s [no] such thing as African sky or Asian sky […] all the humanity lives under this one sky,” said AlHaj.

He adds that he really enjoys the people living under this one sky in Butte.

“The nice people, always smiling, people that are so sweet and wonderful and welcoming, it’s like crazy and wonderful. It’s beautiful,” he said.

-Reported by John Emeigh/MTN News