Today I was transported somewhere else, I had my first Oud lesson by a true master in the art. I had my first exposure to music in Arabic, learned that the quarter beat is only found in Arabic music and began strumming my first tunes. The richness of the music is indescribable. To hear more from my instructor, search on Youtube.com for Ihsan Imam. Throughout the lesson, the tragedy which is Iraq hit me more poignantly. Decent, intelligent and incredibly talented people like Ihsan who should be in Iraq, living as Iraqis and building their society are instead scattered through the four corners of the earth while mercenaries and soldiers of all sorts of nationalities are playing cowboys and Indians. The most I can do is learn all he has to offer me and maybe one day I too will pass it on.