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Damascus, unlike other Islamic cities, is distinctive for Islamic chanting that follows a specific tradition dating back to hundreds of years - one founded by Sheik Abdulghani Al-Nabolsi and adopted by Damascene chanters. Later on, some valuable additions were brought into this tradition that became one of the city's features.

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Early in the twentieth century, many chanters with beautiful voices and wide knowledge of music, like the passed-away Hajj Soleiman Dawood, learned and transmitted the tradition across generations. His tutor was the musician Saeed Farhat who composed a lot of religious songs (Ibtihalat) and chants for him. Early  in 1951 Hajj S. Dawood started to do his performance by radio and on air with the group he has already established in 1947.

The group's first performance abroad took place in the Holy Mosque of Aqsa, Palestine, on the 27th night (Laylatol Israa wal Me'raj) of Ramadan 1956. The group received an in invitation from Kuwait in 1964 to chant in many religious occasions and to record some chants for the Kuwaiti radio. After that they were invited into many Arab and foreign countries like Jordan, France (the Arab World Institute, Paris, 1996) and the Netherlands (International Festivals of Sufi Music, 1998).

In 1974 S. Dawood, along with the late Tawfiq Al-Monaj'jed and Hamza Shak'kour, the best and most famous religious Sufi chanters then, established the Association of Chanters in Damascus (Rabitatul Monshideen). The Association, in coordination with the Ministry of Awqaf, performed in all religious occasions the state celebrated. The three aforementioned chanters were the leading chanters of the three original groups composing the association.

The first leader of the association was the late T. Al-Monaj'jed (1974 - 1998), then came the late S. Dawood (1998 - 2002) and then the late H. Shak'kour (2002 - 2009). After his death, Shak'kour was succeeded by Hamed S. Dawood, Soleiman's eldest son.

Hamed S. Dawood accompanied and learned from his father in his childhood, and this atmosphere widely enriched his background. He also received the arts of Arabic, music (from the late musician Adnan Eloush), reciting, poetry and improvisation from the Sheikhs (tutors) of Damascus -that established his good knowledge in the deep-rooted art of chanting and put him in the right place. After his father passed away he was able to establish his group that has his name - Hamed S. Dawood Group, and now it is reputable and it performs chanting in the different religious occasions in the Arab and foreign countries. H. S. Dawood is also a graduate of Damascus University - the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

Being committed to what his ancestors has started, Hamed S. Dawood managed after H. Shak'kour to form a new core of the Association of the Chanters. This came after the two talented chanters Imad Rami (grandson of the famous chanter Mosallam Al-Bitar) and Ihab Akram (grandson of Sheikh Kamel Baqdounes, a famous muezzin at Omayyad Mosque, Damascus) joined the association.

The new association undertook the mission of spreading and preserving this tradition, that is part of Omayyad Mosque's tradition, and chanting in religious occasions the state celebrates in coordination with the Ministry of Awqaf, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, and that are transmitted by radio and TV all during the month.


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