Remembering Basel Sara (1975–2019)

Syrian harpist Basel William Sara died in Orbero, Sweden on June 13, 2019.

Basel Sara began his musical studies in childhood as a piano student. While studying law at the University of Damascus, his love of music was so great that he left his law program to focus on studying music. Enrolling in the High Institute of Music in Syria, Basel majored in harp and received a secondary degree in piano. Following graduation, he attended the State Conservatory of Rimsky–Korsakov in St. Petersburg where he received his doctorate under renowned harpist Irina Donskaya–Tishchenko. He returned to Syria as the harp professor at the State High Institute of Music, committed to using his Russian training to enhance his harp teaching. When war broke in Syria, Basel was forced to leave for Sweden, as traveling from Homs, his hometown, to Damascus became dangerous. He continued his musical career in Sweden, finding many opportunities to play with orchestras and perform in concert across the country.

Basel was an active contributor in online harp forums, including Many harpists around the world followed his plight as the war in Syria closed in on his personal safety and forced him to leave his homeland.

Basel leaves behind his father, William Sara, mother, Intwanet Achi, sister, Zeina Sara, and brother, Ziad Sara. Zeina shares, “My brother lived with great faith and great love. He was so kind to his friends and his family, and his death hit everyone with a terrible shock. Basel helped everyone: he played concerts and donated his full income to the children of his hometown, Homs. He was an incredible role model.” Ziad adds that Basel opted to live a simple life on earth and that he worked on building his place in heaven. 


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  1. Dear Basel’s friend :
    I thank you for your love towards my twins of heart Basel
    And I’m thankful to the (Harp Column )site for its kind gesture, talking about Basel ..

    Basel wasn’t only my brother, he was my friend and support in this life , was full of love and positivity

    Despite all the difficulties that have Happened us because of the war , His heart remained full of love, honesty and positive, he was in the worst situations sees only beautiful.
    His death made me feel as orphan..
    Basel Sara’s sister

    • Paul Bennett on

      Hi Zeina, I was just browsing here, and I noticed the sad news of your brother’s passing. I thought I would recount to you a tale that might interest you. I recently found a letter that had been written by your brother to my mother-in-law GP Handelsman in New York USA, in which he thanks her for her gift of a Venus harp. She had sent the harp to the late Carl Swanson- he repaired it and shipped it to Syria for your brother. We often wondered what became of Basel (and of course the harp)..and were always concerned knowing of the troubled times in Syria etc. Best wishes

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