IRAB is a Beirut-based non-profit association which has worked since 2003 to enhance the promotion, production, and distribution of what they call “Oriental music.” IRAB works to support contemporary local artists, increase their visibility, and engage the public. By “Oriental music,” IRAB means music in all its traditional and contemporary forms that references the musical heritage of the Middle East. The association focuses on music that lacks market promotion, engages with social issues, and that is unavailable in regular outlets. It has produced a number of CDs and books, in addition to organizing successful musical concerts for a number of renowned musicians and artists from Lebanon and neighboring countries. These include Toufiq Farroukh (Lebanon), Marwan Abado (Lebanon/Palestine), Rima Kcheich (Lebanon), Hassan Al-Haffar (Syria), Ahmad Al-Khatib (Palestine), Nasir Shamma (Iraq), and Rami Khalife (Lebanon).
IRAB has engaged in an ambitious archival project that aims to digitize, classify, and make available a collection of rare Arabic songs. The collection includes seventy-eight Gramophone records produced primarily in Egypt between the 1910s and the 1950s and is unavailable in any public format.
For more information, visit the group’s website here.