Lebanese composer, singer and oud player. Born in 1950, Khalife studied the oud at the Beirut National Conservatory of Music and graduated in 1971 where he then taught until 1975. He also taught in public universities and other private music institutions. In 1976, he created Al Mayadeen Ensemble and became famous all over the world for songs like Ummi (My Mother), Rita w'al-Bunduqiya (Rita and the Rifle) and Jawaz al-Safar (Passport), based on Mahmoud Darwish's poetry. In 1999 he was granted the Palestine Award for Music. In turn, he contributed the financial portion of the award to the National Conservatory of Music at Birzeit University in Palestine. In 2005, Khalife was named UNESCO Artist for Peace.