Updated: Feb 1, 2021
Kurdistan Region – Erbil’s historic citadel will provide the beautiful backdrop to the Daffodil Cities Concert on June 20, bringing together world-renowned musicians in a celebration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The free concert, presented by a coalition of 10 artists known as the Peace Builders, begins at 8.30pm.
“Rudaw Media Network, together with a group of international musicians, will hold a music concert on top of the Erbil citadel as a gift we would like to present to the people of Erbil and Kurdistan,” said Hazhar Zahawi, a musician and organizer.
They chose the ancient citadel to host Thursday’s concert because “it is the oldest site of continued humanity, and it is also to support the history of this ancient castle,” Zahawi said.
“Everyone can come to enjoy Kurdish and global music.”
Naseer Shamma, an Iraqi oud player and UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador, headlines the live performance.
Other performers include:
Zahawi from Kurdistan
Karen Briggs from the US
José Manuel Sierra from Spain
Robin Vassy from France
Ashraf Sharif Khan from Pakistan
Luis Robisco from Spain
Aytac Dogan from Turkey
Ali Qamsari from Iran
Gautama Campo from Spain
The concert is sponsored by Rudaw Media Network, Korek Telecom, the KAR Group, the Darin Group, and Rotana Hotel.
UNESCO designated Erbil citadel a World Heritage Site in 2014.
The 24-acre site, believed to have been built by the Assyrians, includes the remnants of houses, an amphitheater, what were once shops, and other buildings.
One family is known to still reside in the citadel, which was once home to 1,631 people and 247 houses, according to the Kurdistan Region census of 1995.
Parts of the citadel have become a tourist attraction with a souvenir shop and museums of textiles and geology.
Local authorities, including the directorate of antiquities, are undertaking efforts to restore the site.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) allocated more than $13 million for restoration work in 2010, but much of the progress has been slowed or halted because of the economic crises and the Islamic State (ISIS) conflict.
However, preservationists and archaeologists are still eager to research and conduct digs at the site.
In recent years the citadel has become an exhibition space for artists and concerts.