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How Boston's Little Syria and it's Music Scene Gave Birth to Tony Tawa & his Near East Caravan Tony Tawa, circa 1964. Boston Globe 7 July 1964. Newspapers.com Research interest in Boston’s Little Syria and Arab Boston metro area has skyrocketed in the last four years. Some of this interest springs from academic and public history seeking to document the long history of Arab immigrant and Arab American community building, cultural expression, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, night clubs, and labor histories. At Midwest Mahjar we have profiled or featured several Arabic-speaking musicians from Boston and a few half-dozen more who resided in Massachusetts at various points in their careers. There was, of course, Russell Bunai , Tony Abdelahad , Lila Stephan , and Ronnie Kirby , who were in the state for most of their lives. Others like Rev. Theodore Ziton and Rev. Ilyas Kurban spent a portion of their priestly careers with brief stints in and around Boston.
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Louis Kawam: Jamming with Arab American Musicians Old & Young Some of the best musicians ever, never front their own band. They are not among the orchestra or ensemble leaders, and if we’re fortunate enough, they have left behind a piece of their creative genius in a credited or uncredited recording. Perhaps their names escaped mention in the liner notes, or their surname shows up on a label suggesting they composed, wrote, or performed a piece, if for nothing else than pure posterity. Most of this is true for oudist Louis Kawam. Born 20 July 1913 in New York City, Elias Bashir Kawam entered the world one of three, and the only male child of his parents Bashir Abdallah Kawam and Assna Kawam. Immigrants from Aleppo, Greater Syria in 1905, the couple crossed the ocean departing from Marseilles on board a shipped named the Roma and settled on the main west-east corridor of New York’s Little Syria two – Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. There at 178 Atlantic Avenue , in the shadow of lo