The article below originally appeared in Rudaw on February 27th, 2016.
Some Kurdish singers are keeping an eye on performing next month’s Kurdish Newroz (New Year) concerts abroad, believing they have little prospect at home due to the region’s financial crisis.
Azizi Waisi, a popular singer from Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) has already made plans to go on a nine-day tour in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Denmark starting March 18.
Waisi has a contract for $8,000 for his Sweden appearance some of which he says will go to charity.
Newroz and Crisis
March 21 marks the Kurdish New Year of Newroz which is celebrated with bonfires atop mountains and music across Kurdistan and abroad.
Singers like Waisi have regularly entertained the Kurdish diaspora community in European countries in wedding parties or national events.
This year however, the prospect seems more attractive than before as the Kurdistan Region itself is suffering from a severe financial crisis caused by two years of budget freeze by Baghdad and a sharp decline in oil prices.
Bakhtyar Salih, a voice known for making anyone stand up and dance also has got invitations to enliven Newroz parties in Switzerland and Norway.
Invitations from home haven’t completely dried up. Haval Ibrahim has received some calls for concerts in Europe, but has as well been contacted in Erbil for a Newroz performance.
“I would personally like to be home in Kurdistan for Newroz but that depends on my contracts,” Ibrahim told Rudaw.[To read more, visit Rudaw]