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26 octobre 2005

Not your father's Ramadan

Sengalese superstar Youssou N'Dour, who protested the Iraq war, talks about the beauty of Africa, Sufism and his fight against fundamentalism.

By Larry Blumenfeld

On Sunday evening at Carnegie Hall,
Youssou N'Dour was caught between an elderly Senegalese griot and an unhappy soundman. Seems the xalam, a five-stringed Senegalese folk lute, wasn't easy to mike. The opening concert of his four-night series just hours away, N'Dour nonetheless radiated calm.

N'Dour -- the most popular singer in Africa and the archetypal
world-music star -- is used to reconciling antiquity with modernity. Besides, he's negotiated trickier divides.

In March 2003, on the eve of the most ambitious American tour of his career, N'Dour simply cancelled. "As a matter of conscience," he wrote in a press statement, "I question the United States government's apparent intention to commence war in Iraq. I believe that coming to America at this time would be perceived in many parts of the world -- rightly or wrongly -- as support for this policy."...

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