TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — On the rooftop terrace of her Tehran apartment building, 28-year-old Mojgan Hosseini’s fingers pluck the strings of her qanun, an ancient stringed instrument, bringing life to an Iranian capital stilled by the coronavirus.
With performance halls closed and many isolated in their homes as a result of the Mideast’s worst virus outbreak, Hosseini and other Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. That includes rooftops dotted with water tanks and littered with debris, empty front porches and opened apartment windows. Their music floats down on others stuck in their homes, fearful of the COVID-19 illness the virus brings.
Their impromptu concerts draw applause and offer hope to their listeners, even as public performances still draw hard-line scrutiny in the Islamic Republic.
“We’re not front-line medical workers, hospital custodians, or grocery workers, but I think many musicians — myself included — have felt an obligation to offer our services of comfort and entertainment in these trying times,” said Arif Mirbaghi, who plays the double bass in his front yard.
Iran has been hard-hit by the virus with more than 76,000 confirmed cases, including more than 4,700 fatalities.