“It was so nice to meet you and Naghmeh at the Folk Music Ontario Conference. Thank-you for your spontaneous and  generous gift of your CD. It is a beautiful album and very, very good.  I have played your album many times in the last few weeks right from the day I brought it home, before the Awards gala to present.  Your album and music were a real gift right that weekend for being with all the feelings and emotions of what was happening that weekend with our friends and neighbours.  I am so glad that you sang your song Weyn Allah with Al Qahwa at the Awards ceremony.  It was very powerful.
Your music has played in our kitchen on dark, cold mornings getting up for school, with candles on the fall nights as the days grow shorter.
In our times, when we can access so much music, we often just listen to a song one time and go on to something else. Your album is so good right the whole way through..all the songs. It’s a treasure to listen to over and over. And that’s a gift then, when the songs-the lyrics and melodies make their way into our minds and hearts and bodies so we carry the songs with us as we walk along outside and go through our day.
I love the album cover art-your braid, the sun-beautiful!
Your songs-the depth..there is strength, courage, comfort, and also music that makes you dance in your kitchen, brings joy, smiles, and laughter-the barks!, happiness, harmony, and peace.
I am very thankful and appreciative of your gift of your CD. Your music has been a real gift, healing and help these last few weeks when there is so much…
Thank-you, you have a fan ❤️ Thank-you for sharing your voice and your music,
Molly McClure
Musician in audience at FMO Award Ceremony

“The newly formed Al Qahwa Ensemble has already established itself as a champion of harmony and understanding. With conflict in the Middle East and as Syria continues to face unimaginable loss and destruction, the Al Qahwa Ensemble breathes life into the artistic traditions from these regions and gives audiences a new appreciation for them.”

Dorian Cox
Canadian Opera Company – Program Manager, Free Concert Series

“…the most stunning musical moment of the evening, the superb Tollar singing, a capella, Afdihi in Hafidhal Hawa Ow Diy’a, a solo that transcended cultural barriers, a passionate, soulful, heart-rending bit of intense emotion that reached every person in Koerner Hall, Eastern, Western, whatever.”

Robert Harris
The Globe and Mail

“It was uplifting, emotive and deeply spiritual whilst keeping a playful musical atmosphere. Having Alfred Gamil play with our local musicians in Toronto was an honour to witness.”

Alex Bordokas
Small World Music Centre

“From exciting to sensual and soulful, the musicians of Al Qahwa – Maryem Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Demetri Petsalakis and Naghmeh Farahmand – never fail to thrill. Every performance is a joy.

If the songs they play with such artistry and skill are new to you, the music will touch you with its heart and beauty. And if you are familiar with the music, it will instantly transport you to all the places you love.”

Carol Kirsh
Curator – World of Music Concerts at Michael Garron Hospital

“Members of Trio Arabica [3 of the members of Al Qahwa] showed their virtuosity throughout, but especially in a series of solos and duets that featured them in the second half of the show. Demetri Petsalakis displayed the range of the oud, a plucked string instrument. Vocalist Maryem Tollar sang a florid and melismatic solo; and then Naghmeh Farahmand did a mesmerizing improvisation on that “moon drum,” the seemingly simple daf, which is both struck and shaken to produce an astonishing range of effects. All were met with enthusiastic applause..”

Laurie Niles
violinist.com – News & Advice – Reviews