Today’s news:

‘Oud’, not ‘Sitar’

To The Editor:

In the article by Elaine Meyer on the above subject, she referred to the instrument played by a Palestinian musician as a “sitar.”

The sitar is an Indian musical instrument and was not played at the dialogue project. The instrument played by the Palestinian musician was an “oud,” a popular Middle-Eastern instrument.

At the very least, a person purporting to be a “reporter” should have identified the instrument correctly and if she did not know what the instrument was, she should have inquired of the musician what his instrument is called.

More important, however, as part of our understanding of other cultures, identifying the instrument correctly would have given the readers information about Middle-eastern culture they might not have known.

The oud player was exceptionally talented and played the instrument beautifully and should have been mentioned by name.

I might also add that her selection of excerpts from the imam’s speech were very incidental to the essence of his talk. I wonder if she was there to hear him.

Lydia Gordon


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