Kareem Salama, an American Muslim born in the U.S. to parents who emigrated from Egypt, is not like most country music stars.

Yes, you read right: He’s a country music star … From Oklahoma, no less.

Salama has also been on a U.S. government-sponsored tour of the Middle East, sharing his experiences as a Muslim growing up in the heart of America’s conservative south. That tour, according to Mother Jones, is thanks to a fan of his at the State Department, who felt his message would be a powerful tool to encourage tolerance both at home and abroad.

Watch the video below to see why he could be the best thing to happen to country music since beer.

This video was published to YouTube on Dec. 9, 2009.