• Khaira Arby

I imagine it’s hard to leave your homeland when it’s rocked by political strife, but the great Malian singer Khaira Arby is back in the U.S. for her third tour since debuting here in fall 2010—she performs Thursday night at the Old Town School. In a recent interview published by the Washington City Paper, Arby expressed her concerns about the coup in her country: “The innocent victims are my worry. Many families have fled the north to neighboring countries or to the desert countryside or to the south of Mali. My own family has fled to the south. So have the families of the members of my band. We are very worried for our families’ safety and especially for those who have remained in Timbuktu and the north. Their circumstances are now extremely difficult. The coup and rebellion have created a humanitarian crisis. First, I pray that everyone will help the innocent women, children and families. They are the ones who are suffering.”