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KUWAIT CITY: Amani Hajji is nothing if not stubborn: For 20 years, she has refused to give up on her dream of making opera mainstream in her native Kuwait. A soprano by training, and with her trademark bob haircut, Hajji is Kuwait's first opera singer with a small but dedicated local following. Fifteen years later, Hajji appeared onstage at the Cairo opera house.Kuwait opened its first opera house in 2016 – but Hajji was not invited to appear onstage.Now an instructor herself at Kuwait's national conservatory, she is starting to sense a budding interest in opera at home.Ahmed Kandari, an opera teacher at Kuwait's conservatory, had to face his family's disapproval over his choice to study opera. Today, he is fighting to introduce music into Kuwait's educational system.The work of Hajji, and Kandari, has inspired youth beyond Kuwait.
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