AFRIN, Syria — To the locals, Mostafa Bakr, a young Kurdish musician from Afrin, is a true virtuoso. Bakr established a small music school in the city — the Awaz Institute — where he teaches budding talents the region’s musical heritage.
Afrin is a town in the northern Aleppo countryside with a rich musical past — many families there own an instrument, often a tanbur, a long-necked string instrument that originates from Mesopotamia. Often hung on the wall, the tanbur is a central part of the Kurdish identity and heritage, and is played at weddings, during Nowruz (New Year's) celebrations and other occasions. It is also popular among the younger generation.