The much anticipated Program Guide for the 2011 Arab Festival is here! Be sure to check it out so you don’t miss all your favorites, and keep coming back to the website for updates and features on your favorite performers and artists!
The Arabesque Trio, featuring Moroccan-born qanun performer Hicham Chami, Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khory and Syrian-born percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain, will be headlining at the 7th annual Arab Festival on October 8th and 9th at Seattle Center.
The performance will take place at the Mahrajan Stage in Fischer Pavilion on Saturday, October 8th from 3:30-5:00 pm. The trio will deliver an Arabic Music workshop on the Freedom Stage on Sunday, October 9th from 1:15-2:00 pm. The trio is dedicated to increasing understanding of Arab culture through the universal language of music.
Moroccan-born Qanun player Hicham Chami is an educator, a musician and a graduate of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Rabat, Morocco. Chami is founder and Executive Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble as well as the Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture, an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish and Armenian Music.
Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khoury graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a bachelor’s in Economics and Music Performance, and obtained his Master’s in Music from Temple University. As Artistic Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble, he has led several nation-wide tours, performing traditional Arabic music in major venues and universities. Khoury recently toured with Lebanese superstar Fairuz and can be heard on several pop recordings including the Grammy-nominated song “Beautiful Liar” (featuring Beyonce and Shakira), and “Love and Compassion” (with Paula Cole and Kazem Al-Saher). Khoury recorded strings for Shakira’s Grammy performance of “Hips Don’t Lie”.
Syrian born, Venezuelan raised percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain is an accomplished master percussionist, fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven, made his first stage performance at nine, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan; winning the regional percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela, he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught middle- and high school students for several years a variety of percussion styles, blending Arab and Latino music.
In addition to the Arabesque Trio mentioned in the last newsletter, Arab Festival Al-Noor will also feature a performance and workshop by young Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi of New York City. He’ll be bringing copies of his new book Poetic Injustice.
NEW this year: instead of individual “country booths” the festival will have an Arab Suite! This will include the Freedom Stage, which will feature a variety of panel discussions, lectures, stories and presentations by local Arab Americans. The Arab Suite will be dressed in Arab Décor with highlights from different countries, symbolizing our unity. Guests will have opportunity to get to know who the Arab’s really are over tea/coffee and sweets, by meeting us and having meaningful conversations. The Arab Suite will be housed in Seattle Center’s Pavillion B, which is next to the new skateboard park.
This promises to be a truly inspirational festival. To learn more and get involved, please join us at the programming meeting this Saturday, July 30th, from 11am -1pm at Seattle Center, Center House Room 311.
If you can’t make it to the meeting, but want to volunteer, please email volunteer (at) arabcenterwa (dot) org
This is the shortest way to describe the work of Intisar Khalifeh. Ms. Khalifeh presented a sample of her world-renowned thobes (or Palestinian dresses) at the ACW Arab Festival Fundraiser Saturday June 18, 2011 at the Red Lion in Bellevue. In true vogue style, tens of beautiful women walked the runway modeling outfits ranging from casual to extremely formal. Each ensemble had the audience “oohing” and “aahing.” Ms. Khalifeh became interested in the dresses, or thobes, the Palestinian women were wearing during her work with the Palestinian Red Crescent. From her talks with the women about their dresses and from her studies about the patterns and the history, Ms. Khalifeh fell in love with the motifs, the colors, and the meanings behind each design. She saw how deeply the Palestinian identify was connected with the thobe and she became determined to bring the thobe out of the refugee camps and keep it alive in modern society. She did this by maintaining the integrity of the thobe: keeping it long, conservative, handmade and full of beautiful and colorful cross-stitches. But, she modernized it with new cuts, lighter fabrics, and more vibrant colors. The result is absolutely stunning and cannot be described with words.
Thanks to the hard work of Patricia Auch and Oraib Khalifeh and all the table captains who invited their friends and family. We were able to experience the work first hand and in motion. This fashion show was held as an ACW fundraiser for the past two festivals, and both have been a phenomenal success. Hopefully, ACW can convince Ms. Khalifeh to return in 2013. If so, be sure to sign up as a Table Captain, it’s an event you don’t want anyone to miss!
Please click here to view photos from the fashion show, courtesy of Katherine Gaudette.
The Arab Festival 2011 is excited to announce its participation in the Festál Fabric of America Project: E=mc2! FFAP: E=mc2 (Engaging through Media spreading Culture at the speed of light) is the participatory art project that lets you express your passion, your pride, and your point of view on ethnicity and cultural heritage in 2011.
WHAT DOES ARAB CULTURE LOOK LIKE?
Our question “What does Arab culture look like?” invites you to move beyond the stereotypes and appreciate Arab Culture in all of its depth and diversity.
Create an image by answering our question through images, symbols, and words, then submit it! Share with people from all walks of life and backgrounds in drawing a complex yet meaningful picture of Arab Culture. Define Arab Culture and what matters to you!
After many months of hard work, the marketing team has finalized a new logo and branding scheme for the Arab Center of Washington. As you explore the new website we you’ll get a chance to explore the new logo and color scheme. We hope you are all as excited about this transformation as we are!
The latest installment in Town Hall’s ongoing “In America” concert series offered a weekend of events celebrating the Arab-American experience through the lens of the performing arts. The featured concert showcased the West Coast debut of French-Algerian singer Nassima Chabane with her ensemble. Chabane is a popular artist in North Africa and the Middle East for her performance of the music of Andalusia and North Africa, and appeared at Town Hall prior to a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Also performing on the program is noted Iraqi ud player Rahim AlHaj, who made his Town Hall debut. AlHaj has twice been nominated for a Grammy for his traditional performance of Iraqi music, and for his explorations combining Arab and Western music.