Iceland Airways 2013 - Reykjavik, Iceland
Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 - Paris, France
FYF Festival 2013 - Los Angeles, USA
It's outrageous that Sweden is the first country in Omar's career to refuse him a visa. Given the situation in Syria it feels even more important for artists to be able to express themselves freely.
Mistakes and miscalculations can be made. But everyone can correct their mistakes, change their minds and do the right thing. Now, we give Swedish authorities the chance to do just that. Omar Souleyman has a slot waiting for him at Way Out West in Slottskogen next week. Omar has already said yes if he is admitted in to the country. We say - welcome Omar! And to the Swedish authorities we say; here is your second chance.
"I could not believe the reason for which my visa was denied - that of Sweden being afraid that I will want to stay there and apply for a residence permit when I arrive. I am a musician who travels all over the world and to all western countries to sing for people and to make them dance.I have never ever had any wish or intention to remain in any country that has issued me a visa that enables me to perform for people there. It is clear to anyone who will take a look at my extensive touring history for the last 5 years in the western world - where I have been and how many borders I have crossed. Hundreds and hundreds.
I have a family in Syria and I have no intention of ever abandoning them. The Embassy had the information clearly of all my children, wife, brothers and sisters, parents, who all live in Syria. I support them and give my life for them. I have never had nor will he ever have any intention to defect into Sweden. I love my home as troubled as it is right now, more than anything.
The decision of the Consulate is very wrong but I have accepted that; now I hope that my management will do everything together with promoters in Sweden to correct that."