Sonia M'barek, a Tunisian mother of two and a doctoral student in political science, has been called one of the top classical Arabic music performers in the world.
She sings maluf, court music from Al Andalus, the medieval Muslim kingdom in Spain that came to an end in 1492 with the Reconquest that forced Muslims out of Spain.
They took maluf with them to Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. For M'barek, the ancient musical form represents "our past, our present and our future."
She tells Here & Now that the music connects her with her cultural identity, which is still evolving along with Tunisia following the first Arab Spring revolution there last year.
- Sonia M'barek, singer
- Hanna Khoury, violinist
Sonia M'barek songs heard in this story
- Malouf: Suite En Mode Asbain
- Layla Ishbilya
- Jadakal Ghaythu
- Imla Wasqini
This segment aired on August 6, 2012.