…with Dr. Ali Ajel Al-Khafaji
On today’s episode of the Soulfull Sound Podcast, I am joined by the wonderful Dr. Ali Ajel Al-Khafaji who is a singer-songwriter and medical doctor whose vision is to overcome cultural barriers through music, fusing harmony, instrumentation and lyrics from English and Arabic backgrounds; an invitation to integrate and embrace diversity.
As a practising medical doctor Ali uses both his medical experience and his music to help others heal holistically.
From growing up in the traditional Muslim and rather restrictive society of Baghdad, to living in the diverse and vibrant culture of modern-day London, his music reflects his experiences and the transitions he has been through on his journey so far.
Join us as Ali shares his story of moving from turbulent times in Iraq, to the UK as a refugee and some of the strategies he used to help him adapt to a new and very different culture. He opens up about how his creativity and finding his voice through singing uplifted him and helped him overcome depression.
Ali also touches on being a medical doctor and how he links the physical ailments to the mind and emotions of his patients.
Points of Discussion:
- Ali shares his story of growing up in Iraq and moving to the UK as a refugee (4:25)
- Ali’s journey into music (6:48)
- Ali’s take on overcoming cultural barriers and embracing diversity (17:55)
- How he links the mind, emotions and spirit of his patients to their physical ailments (34:50)
- Ali’s definition of healing (47:35)
- Morning ritual… (51:20)
About Ali Ajel
Ali Ajel Al-Khafaji was born and raised in Iraq during a period of upheaval and war, which had a major influence on his outlook on life. Although he was always passionate about writing poetry, songs and singing, he felt obliged to follow family and society traditions which dictated ‘that he studied medicine and became a doctor’.
The tragic violence in Iraq forced him to leave his home ‘Baghdad’ and he eventually settled in the UK to practice as medical doctor. At the same time he began to realise that he had a growing passion for music and writing. Taking a brave step, he decided to shift his focus and create space in his life for what he always loved and desired; music.
Ali now has a songwriting degree from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (London) and he continues to write music to heal and inspire others. You can also find him working in hospitals as a medical doctor where he supports is patients on their healing journey.
Once you’ve listened to this episode, I’d love to hear from you.
Let me know your biggest takeaway in the comments below!
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