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Eddie ?the Sheik? Kochak
Eddie ?The Sheik? Kochak. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Eddie Soubhi Ibn Farjallah Kochakhi was born and raised in Brooklyn, in a Syrian Catholic family on Atlantic Avenue. His sister brought him his first dumbek from Aleppo when he was ten. He came to be known as Eddie ?the Sheik? while in the Special Services during WWII. Upon returning from the service, he pioneered in popularizing Middle Eastern ?Belly Dance? music and dance in New York. Kochak formed a lasting partnership with Iraqi violinist Hakki Obadia (now deceased), and created a signature sound he named, ?Ameraba? ? Arab classics and folk songs adapted to New York City?s diverse audiences, dancers, and musicians.
Arabesque-A Journal of Middle Eastern Dance and Culture
Courtesy of Phyllis Saretta. Arabesque. Volume II No. II. July-August 1976.