The Music Chief of Baghdad

The first time I saw Karim Wasfi, director and chief conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, we were in Baghdad. It was early 2008, the Surge had just begun to take effect, and getting around the city still required plenty of nerve. I wrote on these pages that Mr. Wasfi had turned up at the wheel of his highly visible white Range Rover wearing a blazer, vest and ascot, and had driven me downtown with "Ride of the Valkyries" blaring on the stereo. The "checkpoint militias gaped incredulously...

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- An article from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, written by MELIK KAYLAN.

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