Bombs are, sadly, not unusual in Baghdad. But when a car packed with explosives detonated in the busy Mansour district on 27th of April 2015, killing at least 10 people and injuring 27, something very unusual happened. 

Karim Wasfi, the renowned conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, turned up as soldiers and police secured the area.

He took out his cello, sat down on a chair, and started to play. Images and video clips of the man some simply call "maestro" quickly went viral, not only on Iraqi social media, but further afield.

Karim Wasfi Conducting the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in "Russian Iraqi Premieres" 31.3.2011


Then 13-year-old American prodigy Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner from Los Angeles plays with the INSO with Karim Wasfi Conducting 20.3.2010


Karim Wasfi Conducting the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra with Hassan Hassun, solo flute

Despite the power outage for almost a minute, music flows continuously 13.5.2010


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