Laith Al-Saadi has made it to the Top 9 of The Voice’s Season 10. Laith has been correctly referred to as Arab-American, but a mistake about his birthplace was published and is being picked up around the Internet. Laith’s girlfriend is dutifully trying to help the media get its Laith facts straight.
An article originally published by The National informed readers: “Laith Al-Saadi, a 38-year-old blues guitarist from Iraq who lives based in Michigan, auditioned for The Voice with a performance of The Letter, a 1967 hit track by The Box Tops.” (It also mentioned, correctly, that “His voice is so enormous, he doesn’t even need a microphone.”) When the story was republished by ArabAmerica, Laith’s girlfriend Karen Suber left this comment: “Laith is not from Iraq. He was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His father emigrated from Iraq in 1957.” Another commenter called the mistake “unethical” and “misleading,” apparently assuming the media outlet intends it as some kind of smear — however unlikely it is that Arab-America, of all media, would use Iraqi heritage as anything but a positive. Facts are facts, though, and Karen Suber is drawing attention to the error. The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.