Simon Shaheen

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Simon Shaheen (Arabic: سيمون شاهين; b. Tarshiha, Upper Galilee<!--Is this correct?-->, Israel, 1955) is a Palestinian-American oud and violin virtuoso and composer.

At the age of 2, Shaheen moved with his family to Haifa, but spent most of the weekends in Tarshiha, an Arabic town under Israeli sovereignty. The Shaheen family is known for its musicality with music instructor & father Hikmat, oud-playing & instrument-making brother Najib, violinist & oud playing William, and singing sisters Laura and Rosette.<!--More specifics, please. Were there other famous musicians in his immediate family?-->

Music career

He began playing the oud at 5, and the violin shortly thereafter. He attended Tel Aviv University, earning degrees in Arabic literature and music performance. He later pursued further studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1980 he emigrated to the United States to study music at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.

He formed the Near Eastern Music Ensemble, which performs classical Arabic music, and organized annual Arabic music retreats and arts festivals.

Shaheen, a Catholic......
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