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Industry Media
Genre Arab, World
Founded 1999
Founder Bashar B. Barazi
Headquarters Chicago, United States
Number of locations
Chicago, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid
Parent 3B Media Inc.

MAQAM is a US-based production company specializing in Arabic and Middle Eastern media. The company was established by a small group of Arabic music and culture lovers, later becoming a division of 3B Media Inc. "MAQAM" is an Arabic word meaning a position of high esteem. It also refers to a musical mode in Arabic music that is based on the quarter-tone scale (Arabic maqam).

The company's consumer retail web site is considered to be "The World's biggest on-line source for Arabic Music".[1] In 2007 the company launched the first legal Arabic music digital service[2] and the first online Arabic music radio/streaming service. They also produce the nationally syndicated radio program Radio MAQAM, which is broadcast weekly on public radio, and is hosted by Bashar Barazi.[3] The show is the first ever Arabic hour on public radio. In 2015, the radio program moved to a two-hour format on some stations, along with several re-runs during the week on others.[4]

In 2001 the company co-produced a commemorative album for Iraqi oud player Munir Bashir entitled Mesopotamia.[5] This was followed by another cultural production for Iraqi Oud prodigy Asim Al Chalabi entitled Monajat.[6]

In 2005, the company premiered the first Broadway-style theatrical production of Arabic and Middle Eastern dance and music in Tokyo, Japan called A Dream of Arabia.[7] This was followed by a series of shows in Asia and then the US premier in Chicago on June 12, 2008. The show received wide coverage in the media,[8][9][10] and was critically praised as a groundbreaking show and described as "..a majestic fusion of dance and theatre".[11]

MAQAM has also been credited with bringing Arabic culture to the Western mainstream.[12] The company frequently collaborates with top Arab artists from the "golden age" such as Fairuz, Warda Al-Jazairia and sponsors their official web sites. MAQAM's music label is known for only accepting artists on an exclusive basis and their roster includes acts such as Egyptian Academy, famed Egyptian percussionist Gamal Gomma, Nourhan Sharif, Nanae, Yousry Sharif, Mary Ellen Donald, Mimi Spencer, and the Oriental-Jazz group Hijazz. MAQAM is a member of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.[13]

It has been reported that the company frequently sponsors charitable causes including benefits for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), food drives, Benefit for Gaza,[14] Hope for Haiti, as well as being committed to environmental responsibility[15]

On January 28, 2011, MAQAM turned their official Facebook and Twitter pages into live feeds, reporting all calls, emails, tweets, photos, video, and news from Egypt, giving Egyptians under the internet blockade access to their global audience during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. During that time they also mobilized their fan and audience base under the banner "freedom@MAQAM", continuously broadcasting dial up access numbers, direct IP addresses for blocked web sites, local emergency phone numbers, blood donation information and sites throughout Egypt, and recorded phone calls from citizens in Egypt. MAQAM has since been continuously reporting on the Arab Spring in Tunisia (Tunisian revolution), Egypt, Bahrain, Libyan Civil War, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Syrian civil war, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and across the Middle East and North Africa. Their reporting is noted for being uncensored, unedited, and a direct broadcast of the protests allowing viewers around the world to experience the revolutions as they happen. It was reported in July 2011 that the MAQAM web sites had been under brutal malicious attacks in response to their coverage and reporting on the revolutions.

On November 2, 2012 MAQAM opened a new show of folkloric Arabic music and dance entitled Arabian Journey which is currently on tour in Asia.


  1. ^ KALW 91.7 San Francisco (Public Radio) - Tangents
  2. ^ MAQAM MP3
  3. ^ Radio MAQAM
  4. ^ KGLP 91.7FM Gallup New Mexico Public Radio
  5. ^ CD Roots
  6. ^ Asim Al Chalabi Web Site
  7. ^ A Dream of Arabia Official Web Site
  8. ^ ABC (television network)
  9. ^ NPR Market Place
  10. ^ Broadway World
  11. ^ 'A Dream of Arabia': A Dream Worth Living
  12. ^ Bringing Arabic music to America
  13. ^ IFPI
  14. ^ "Gaza Benefit in NYC raises $6000 with 100% of profits going to Médecins Sans Frontières"
  15. ^ Environmental Responsibility

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