© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Syrian-Born Singer Zein Al-Jundi's 'Ajmal Gharam' (The Most Beautiful Love)

Putumayo's July 2012 release "Arabic Beat" features music from the Middle East and North Africa.

Zein Al-Jundi has a graduate degree in architecture, which was her dream, but a serious accident altered the course of her path to a career of performance.

Al-Jundi was featured on the 2008 Putumayo compilation "Acoustic Arabia," for which she also wrote the liner notes, and her song "Ajmal Gharam" is featured on the July, 2012 Putumayo compilation release, "Arabic Beat"; "Ajmal Gharam is also on her full-length CD, "Sharrafouni," which was released in 2010.

"Ajmal Gharam" (the most beautiful love) is "the ultimate love story for anybody who's so madly, passionately in love with someone," said Al-Jundi.

Her first CD, which was released in 2004, featured all traditional Syrian songs, and since then she has moved on to more contemporary Arabic music, a reflection of the development that is happening in the Middle East.

"I never thought that everybody would know where Holms is in the worst possible circumstances," said Al-Jundi, "but I was born there, we moved to Damascus when I was about five, and I lived there until I moved here about 30 years ago."

The war in Syria is in the worldwide press on a daily basis, with places like Holms and Damascus two of the hotbeds for fighting and violence. Both places are close to her heart, and she said she still has friends in the country who are trying to stay safe.

"Everybody's alive, everybody's unharmed, everybody's not OK," said Al-Jundi.

My journalism journey began with an idea for a local art and music zine and the gumption to make it happen with no real plan or existing skill set.