Last week, news spread about Syrian musician Omar Souleyman being denied visa approval in Sweden, and it's fair to say it caused quite the storm.

Souleyman and his band were scheduled to perform at the Stockholm Music & Arts festival over the weekend and the upcoming Way Out West this weekend. Sweden's right-wing government cited current law and refused the request for visas, fearful that the performers will request a permit to reside in the country.

Souleyman cancelled his plans and released a statement on the unfortunate situation:

"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 five 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."



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