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Nablus' only oud maker keeps city in tune

Through a long career dedicated to the oud, Ali Hassanein has a unique perspective of the ancient and treasured Arab musical instrument.
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NABLUS, West Bank — In a small workshop in the old city of Nablus in the West Bank, Ali Hassanein, 56, has been busy for 60 days manufacturing an oud. Hassanein is the only oud maker in Nablus, and citizens from there and neighboring cities head to his workshop to buy ouds and have their own instruments restored and repaired.

The oud, which is also Arabic for "wood," is a pear-shaped stringed instrument. Considered one of the oldest man-made musical instruments, dating back more than 5,000 years, it is one of the most popular instruments in Middle Eastern music.

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