Never in a thousand years would Omar Suleiman - the Syrian wedding singer- have ever thought that fleeing his country would be the breakthrough he needed. However, his success story suggests otherwise.

With his black shades and traditional dishdasha and egall outfit, Omar Suleiman has taken Western festivals and nightclubs by storm.

The man has been captivating listeners all throughout Europe and America with his infinitely mysterious charm and traditional Syrian dabke (coupled with Techno beats). 

After appearing in a plethora of renowned European festivals, Omar Suleiman caught the public eye when he played the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway alongside top notch artists such as James Blunt, Morrissey and Jake Bugg.

Since then he has amassed critical and popular acclaim in Europe, going on to collaborate with big Western-Pop names such as Bjork and Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz. 

When asked about her collaboration with Omar Suleiman, Bjork– Iceland’s biggest singing sensation said: "What's refreshing about [Suleiman] is the party. It's really alive and very urgent... He's really eager to make something that's vibrant."

A very important aspect of Suleiman’s appeal to Western audiences is his refusal to part with his Syrian folk roots in any shape or form. In an Omar Suleiman concert, everything from the music itself to the traditional outfit to his general stage mannerism, is just like a scene out of a village wedding in north eastern Syria. Except instead of being in the middle of a huge dabke circle, he is on a stage singing to thousands of raving millennials. 

Known for avoiding political issues, Suleiman’s lyrics usually revolve around themes of love and companionship. He delivers these lyrics over a pounding techno beat with long interludes of wild keyboard lines played in Arabic scales. 

While the crowd goes wild, Suleiman’s showmanship is restricted to only clapping and waving, which somehow seems to get the listeners even more engaged.

With six studio albums released and a full touring schedule, Suleiman remains humbled by and slightly at awe with his newfound stardom in the Western throngs of Pop culture. 

“When I started out as a wedding singer, I never thought I’d be able to sing outside of Syria,” he says, “especially for an audience that can’t understand the lyrics.” 

Omar Suleiman’s success has been met with controversy and debate in the Arab world with naysayers dissatisfied with the trivial lyrics and catchy melodies. Fans of Omar Suleiman, on the other hand, applaud his authenticity as the Syrian wedding singer who remained true to his music no matter what.

Omar Suleiman’s popularity among European and American listeners has helmed in a new era of cultural exchange that can be observed in Western clubs and music festivals. Suleiman, perhaps unknowingly has secured a spot for dabke music in the Western Pop-music ream and his success remains a true testament to the universal power of music as a language that transcends words and brings us just a little bit closer together.