Sadly, Abu’s visa appeal was rejected so he is unable to attend the World Ceilidh this year.
A Syrian who stands “somewhere to the left of Marxism”, rapper Abu Hajar protested and organised revolutionary committees in his hometown of Tartous, until he was arrested and mistreated by the Assad regime. He fled into exile and is now based in Berlin, where he continues to agitate, write and rap at ear-blistering pace.
Abu was also to have performed on the Shieling stage on Saturday and was also due to take part in a discussion of his work and the Syrian revolution with Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami, authors of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War.
He is currently trying to obtain a visa to enter the UK but is experiencing difficulty in doing so.