Ayaz Nanji

Just Call Him the 'Oud' Man of Music


Najeeb Shaheen in NY, September 2002. Photo by Nigel Parry. Najeeb Shaheen builds, repairs and plays the oud in two bands. Shaheen’s father was a professor of music and a master oud player, and his grandfather was a musician and a church cantor. His brother, Simon Shaheen, is known as one of the oud’s most accomplished adherents, and played on Sting’s song ‘Desert Rose’. Najeeb learned his craftsman’s skills from a one-time Israeli citizen who now builds violins for a living in Manhattan. “Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree. Most often we disagree,” said Segal. “But we are like brothers, bonded by music, and so it has become a joke as well. If I tell him to move from one seat to another, he will turn to me and say, ‘What? You stole my land and now you want my chair as well?’ ” Ayaz Nanji profiles Najeeb in Newsday.