Syrian singer Omar Souleyman took to the stage at a Swedish music festival on Thursday (08Aug13) after overturning an initial refusal to grant him entry into the country on a work visa.
The musician was forced to pull out of a scheduled performance at the Stockholm Music and Arts festival over the weekend (03-04Aug13) after officials refused him entry on the grounds that he could apply for permanent residency in Scandinavia to escape the civil war in his native country.
Souleyman, who has collaborated with Blur frontman Damon Albarn and Icelandic singer Bjork, was outraged by the decision and travelled to the Swedish consulate in Istanbul, Turkey to argue his case with officials.
He was successful and the travel ban was reversed, and he was offered a slot at the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg by organisers who had campaigned against the decision to bar him from the country.
A statement posted on the festival's website reads, "This is a fantastic victory for everyone that's been struggling with this issue. For Omar... for Way Out West and above all the audience. This shows that you can correct a wrong. We send a big thanks to everyone who has helped out this past week."
Souleyman confirmed the news to Britain's The Guardian, adding, "As troubled as it is, I love my country, I would never defect to Sweden. Thank God that the visa has been finally resolved."
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