The audience at King Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman, Jordan, was treated to a performance by a world-renown Sufi band, “Ateeq” and a hypnotizing performance by whirling dervishes on July 8th.
"We saw something new today and we enjoyed it. We felt the spirit of Sufi music. There was a blend between ancient Sufi music and modern Taarab music," said Mohammad Hamdan, audience member from Syria.
The band consists of musicians from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and performed under the title of “Itrab Wa Dour”.
Tafeq Mekhan, a member of the international band, strummed on a 10th century instrument known as the kanun.
Meanwhile, a dervish spun to the music played by fellow band members. Zain Asfour tickled the ivories as Nasser Salameh assisted on percussion.
The mystical spinning dervish dance is both active and meditative and is practiced by Sufis to heighten their spiritual connection to God.
Sufi Islam is considered a more mystical part of the religion and its rituals involve devotees attending shrines of revered saints. The Sufis have been under attack by extremists who believe them to be heretics.
Mohammed Hamdan – audience member