Nadin was born in Baghdad into an artistic family. Her late father was an actor and her late mother played the Piano. During her childhood 1980 – 1991 Nadin lived in Iraq under different circumstances of great irony: a musically inspiring home and studying the Classical Western Violin in Baghdad. But also practicing a daily life under the threat and horror wars brought to Iraq during the first and the second Gulf wars.
As a child music always made Nadin stop for a moment and think. She explains:
” Expression, intensity and emotions transfeared to me as a receiver / listener through a musical instrument. The singer’s voice, pronunciation, body language, face expressions and eye contact. All these communication tools fascinated me as a child. Music helped me ”dreaming my self away” from reality in difficult situations. I often think of the times when hiding with my family and hundreds of other families, in the shelter in Baghdad during the second Gulf war. I was ten years old. I was actually rhyming and making making up lyrics in my head to the ”rhythm” of each bomb or explosion sound. I recall writing some words, I wanted to believe they were song lyrics on the shelter’s wall. But I also connected music to feelings of love, joy, loving the life, feeling free and in balance.
My earliest memories with music goes back to when I was almost just one year old. I was crawling towards the Piano, while my late mother was practicing. I stood by the Piano and my hight allowed me to see only my mother’s fingers on the Piano from the profile. That was according to my late mother, the first time I actually stood up. I crawled towards the sound of the music. Sounds like a good song title!”
Year 1992 Nadin moved to Cairo where her mother was born and later died after a long struggle with Cancer: ”All of it was hard, tough and intensive. Loosing my mom, experiencing two wars, being one of 20 million people who lived and worked and struggled in Cairo, looking at the Pyramids every morning in my way to school, living a way from my home town Baghdad and being a foreigner in Egypt, the political struggles in the Middle East and the world, the media, news of stoning women till death in some parts of the world, dictatorships and injustice … and many more thoughts.. all of that started a long list of questions and observations in my head as a teenager. I knew then for sure, all of that was just the beginning of an interesting and tough journey of life!”
Back to Baghdad, Iraq in 1998 Nadin was strongly inspired by the Western Music and culture. She was fascinated by the global peace and justice movements in the 60’s and 70’s. One day and accidentally, Nadin found a dusty plastic bag placed on a shelf in an old music store in Baghdad. The bag contained a videotape of Joan Baez singing protest songs at the Washington square 1963, an audio tape with recordings of Joan Baez singing for children and families during the Vietnam war in a church. This was a moment of realization and life changing “accident” to Nadin:
”It was important to me to have an idol, someone to look up to and believe in. Someone who touches my soul with both voice, words and actual actions. Someone who inspire and ”guide” me as a teenager. A role model whose message is peaceful, humanitarian and global, since my life up to that age had been focused on not only surviving the war and it’s horrific psychological defects, but also on actually adjusting to war as a “life style” and the only reality. The political, social and moral corruption in Iraq in the 90’s suffocated me and many other young people around me. Everything felt dangerous and infected: chats with friends in public, walks in the book market or simply a discussion about our lives and future dreams. Western music with political or “radical” approach (even if radical musically as hard rock or punk) was banned. Those tapes of Joan Baez I found became my window into the outside world.”
SWEDEN AND INTERNATIONAL CAREER
Along with many war refugees, Nadin arrived to Sweden year 2001 leaving her home country Iraq and her memories behind. Nadin decided to start learning the Guitar once she got out of the refugee camp. She directly started writing her songs in English and performed them in a small singer & song writer venue in Gothenberg. Year 2003, Nadin moved to the south of Sweden, the city of Malmö where she studied the Swedish language and also worked in a fast food restaurant. She combined that with local performances at small venues and pubs, presenting cover songs in English. Year 2005 she first met the director Nicklas Sandström, the founder of Teater Foratt, who’s work based on mixing music and theatre in both Arabic, English and Swedish. Later, Nadin started participating in several music and theatre programs, which natuarly led to later performances. Nadin was unable to continue her classical music studies on the Violin through the years because of the war circumstances and the long ”trip” refugee to Sweden. But her determination to learn music and adopting it to be her profession led her to many musical meetings and collaborations. As the meeting with the Swedish Folk musicians Gabriel Hermansson and Dan Svensson ( known from the Swedish Folk music ensembles JIDDER , ALLA FAGRA and ODE ) who also showed their interest in collaborating. That meeting led directly into building the Swedish Arabic ensemble TARABBAND.
Through her years in Sweden, Nadin have been actively leading and engaging in music, theater and cultural projects that are focusing on: Face to face meeting and story telling through music. Nadin is mostly seen on stage as a singer and a musician, and sometimes as an actress at Malmoe National Theater. It was in Sweden where Nadin first discovered her interest for the Arabic music. First with presenting /re arranging folk and traditional Arabic songs. In Nadin’s radio program at the Swedish National Radio ” Farfars tallrik ” of Folk & World Music, she presents her own story from childhood in Iraq till arriving to Sweden as a refugee in both fictional and real way. Those stories unfolded her experiences of exile, love and war. The program’s title is based on a small plate with symbols of horses scratched on it, the only physical thing Nadin packed together with some clothes when she left her country Iraq.
” Through my music & theatre shows, radio programs at The Swedish National Radio, I aim to inspire people by sharing my story and other’s stories. I wish and work hard to increase tolerance among people from different cultures, to help understanding each others cultures – and the different cultures. I feel very privileged being an immigrant in Europe. Today I stand with this diverse identity taking part of two great cultures and civilisations from the East and the West. Having music and never the less many inspirational people around me through the years helped shaping this identity. ”