In Arabic countries, we see that oud was first seen in Egypt and in a later time it is started to be used in Syria and Iraq. We know that oud was spread to all Arabic countries at the beginning of the twentieth century. One of the most important causes of the situation is that Ottoman Turks were carrying out a duty in those countries. It is known that in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other Arabic countries, artists were playing ouds that constructed in İstanbul.
Construction of oud in Arabic countries started in Damascus at the beginning of the twentieth century. Armenian Abdo Nahat and his family, who migrated to Syria from Mardin, started to construct the first ouds of Arabia. George Abdo Nahat has become famous in making oud because of his own style of construction. Members of this famous family, Nihat İhvan, Hanna Nahat, and Rufan Nahat, were also masters in construction, and they continued to construct till 1960s in Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. After the foundation of Turkish Republic, famous virtuoso Şerif Muhiddin Targan went to Bağdat University to teach playingand making oud and he trained a large number of oud virtuosos. Among them Chaldean Cemil Beşir and Münir Beşir brothers have been very famous and because of Beşir brothers oud has been a famous instrument in Arabic countries. At that time, oud maker Muhammed Fadıl, who works in Baghdad, started to construct really beautiful ouds.
Construction of Arabic ouds needs to be examined within four categories:
Ouds with fixed bridges, which is the classic one.
Oud with floating bridge which is the invention of Muhammed Fadıl. (Another name is Iraki system)
Nahat model ouds, measuring, length between two bridges; 61,5 cm.
Damascus model ouds invented by Cengiz Sarıkuş,
Today, in Arabic countries, many masters are constructing ouds with both of these systems and they are really prosperous ouds. Arabic ouds are different from Turkish ouds with their tuning systems. Tuning of Arabic oud is one and a half sound low pitched than Turkish oud.
Now, Arabic ouds are being constructed in Turkey, too. Cengiz Sarıkuş is constructing them since 1980 in Turkey. Master Cengiz invented a new model of Arabic oud in 1980, he named it Damascus model. This oud can be played by tuning in both Arabic and Turkish styles. Measurements of Damascus model are; length between two bridges 60 cm, bowl size 50,5 cm, and length of fingerboard; 20 cm. Master Cengiz, by developing brand new technics, is constructing Arabic ouds that are suitable to warm climate of Arabic countries. To construct the bowl he used woods like Palisander, Yellow Palisander, Wenge, Padouk, Iroko, Maple, Mahogany, Amarak, Ivy, Cypress, and Walnut. And he uses woods like Cedar and Pine from black sea region for the soundboard. Their brace system is a different type of middle age lutes. With this system rotund bass sounds and long sharp sounds are achieved. At the fingerboard of our ouds there is no buzz sound.
We export our Arabic ouds to countries like Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, Oman, Libya, Arabia, Israel, USA, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Morocco, and Tunisia.