I am originally from Garland, Texas. A large portion of my family is from Damascus, Syria, and the rest is from various places in Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my spouse and our two cats.
Before the pandemic, when I was not doing math I rock climbed regularly and was often in a band. In undergrad, I played guitar in my college jazz band, and in grad school I occasionally sang in a rock band with my dear friends.
Now, in my free time I play oud and guitar in my apartment and sometimes knit sweaters if I am stuck inside for long periods of time. I am very interested in the preservation and continuation of Syrian traditional music and art, and enjoy learning about music theory from Syria and the surrounding region. Here is a resource by a musician and scholar I greatly respect with information about modes (called maqamat), rhythms (called iqaat), and some scores as well.
Here is one of my favorite oud players, Omar Naqshbandi, performing his famous piece "Raqsat Sitti":