Homage to the Legendary Kurdish Singer Ali Mardan

This article is not a biography of Ali Mardan. For biographical details and his influence on Kurdish music please see the following links and the references provided:


Why Ali Mardan? Ali Mardan has indeed become a Kurdish legend. His songs have a lot of energy and power and are popular in all parts of Kurdistan. His songs can be adapted to different types of music both modern and old. He was certainly ahead of his time.

Ali Mardan was different in every aspect: in his way of singing, his inimitable expressive voice, his texts, his clothes and even his looks. His language is full of imagery. His words are to a great extent pure Kurdish (chosen carefully) in comparison with the words of other Kurdish singers of his time who were influenced by Arabic- Islamic culture.

Ali Mardan is the only one who sees religion (indirectly) as an obstacle in his way. He could have risked his life for singing such words. For example in one of his songs he says that he does not care whether his love is a Moslem, a Christian or a Jew. He makes no compromises when it comes to love. In fact, he is ready to go to extremes and prefers being hanged or his flesh minced to losing his love.

Ali Mardan believes in worldly pleasures and is open about female body and charm. But this is part of Kurdish song culture (although it might sound a bit bold in other cultures). He asks for a kiss on the spot and will not wait till midnight (the usual time for making love in Oriental culture). He sings of his love´s tresses, breasts and other bodily charms. He sees her beauty as being against religion (he expresses his fear of losing his Islamic faith when he sees her). His Love´s beauty is most destructive.

Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim
Bremen – Germany, 24 August 2015