Arab America Foundation Announces Performers for Third Annual CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit November 4-6, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2022) The Arab America Foundation is excited to announce its performers for the CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit on November 4, 5 (6 is optional) at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park, Falls Church, VA.
The New York Arab Music Ensemble under the direction of the virtuoso, composer, and arranger, Firas Zreik will feature Arab classic vocalist, Nibal Malshi and vocalist George Ziade at the “Fann wa Tarab” concert Friday evening November 4th. On Saturday evening, Orlando-based, Lebanese singer, Karim Jaber will perform along with the Moroccan pop singer, Abir, who will travel from Los Angeles to perform at the “Al Rabitah Gala Hafla.”
Additionally, the event features an exciting array of speakers in public service, women’s activism, identity, community advocacy, engagement, and leadership. Moreover, participants will have many networking opportunities and will celebrate Arab heritage through music, entertainment, cuisine, and cultural and informational exhibits.
“This year, our program includes discourse on Arab identity, women, leadership, and public service coupled with literature, music, dance, and spoken cultural performances,” said Warren David, president of Arab America and co-founder of Arab America Foundation. He went on to say, “Connecting with each other is so important on a professional and social level–amplifying our voice within our community and to the community at large.”
The Arab America Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit (501c3) educational and cultural organization. The mission of AAF is to promote the Arab heritage, empower and educate others about the Arab identity, connect Arab Americans, and build coalitions with diverse organizations across the U.S.
Meet the Performers:
Nibal Malshi is a Middle Eastern artist, born in the city of Haifa & raised in Isfya Village, located on mount Carmel in Palestine. Nibal graduated from the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, where she was the first to major in Middle Eastern singing. She also majored in dance earning two bachelor’s degrees in 6 years. She received the “Al-Qattan” foundation scholarship for performing arts. She was chosen to participate among other artists in a dance workshop partnered with KVS from Brussels for a month-long in Ramallah, a Voice for Peace project in Germany, and musicians’ programs in London. In 2010, she released her first written and composed song, “Kilmatak,” “Your Words,” and was elected the singer of the year in her hometown Haifa. Nibal has worked on her own songs and continuously collaborates with master musicians and artists, including Simone Shaheen, and the National Arab Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Michael Ibrahim. Malshi is based in Dallas, Texas, where she is a devoted full-time mother of three boys. Her future projects include three new songs written by her and some by Lebanese, Egyptian, and Palestinian artists.
George Ziade was born and raised in Birzeit, Palestine, and pursued music from a young age. In 1986 he moved to the United States, where he studied ‘oud with Simon Shaheen and classical singing and voice with Youssef Kassab, with whom he has toured extensively across the country. George has performed and lectured with such ensembles and institutions as the University of Chicago’s Middle East Music Ensemble with Issa Boulos, the University of Colorado (Boulder), Alwan for the Arts, the United Nations (invited by Kofi Annan), and annually at the Columbia University Department of Ethnomusicology. In 2008, George was a featured solo and ensemble performer at the “Brooklyn Maqam” Festival of Arab Music. From 1995 to 1997, George taught at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah and at Birzeit University. George is considered an authority in the maqam and Arab classical repertoire.
Karim Jaber is a Lebanese pop vocalist, singer, songwriter, and music composer. He is the winner of the Golden Medal in Studio El Fan 2002 (LBCI). Karim is an expert in singing at weddings, engagements, festivals, and all other occasions. Karim & his band are located in Detroit, Michigan. His hit songs include “El Bint El Lebnaneye,” “Bnayya Flastiniya,” and “Metl El Malak,” among others.
Born Abir Haronni in Fez, Morocco, she moved to the U.S. with her family when she was five. Raised in Arlington, Virginia, she started singing shortly after the family relocated. Abir is heavily influenced by Etta James, whose CDs she listened to while cruising with her limousine-driving father. In addition to James, Haronni also drew from her family’s home continent, drawing inspiration from the revered Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. As she grew up, formidable divas, including Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Sarah Vaughan, and Beyonce, influenced her style and powerful vocals. From North Africa to New York City, singer/songwriter Abir buffers her joyful dance-pop with a strong, soulful voice, joining the ranks of contemporaries Dua Lipa, Jess Glynne, Alessia Cara, and Daya. After contributing guest vocals to a handful of tracks early in her career, she made her solo debut in 2016 with the Masego-assisted “Wave.” She later represented Morocco in back-to-back Europa Song Contest competitions before issuing her debut EP, “Mint,” in 2018. She further bridged the gap between East and West on 2020’s “Heat” EP, incorporating sounds from her heritage into her style. Her hit songs include “Finest Hour,” a collaboration with the American EDM group Cash Cash, and “Young & Rude.” In the summer of 2020, she released her second EP, “Heat,” which featured the hit single “Inferno.”
Palestinian Kanun player, composer, arranger & educator based in NYC. At 18, Firas received a full presidential scholarship from Berklee College of Music – their most prestigious award. He worked with international artists of the highest caliber, such as Roger Waters, Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Goshal, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, Amal Murkus, Amir Al-Saffar, Aynur Dogan, Marwan Khoury, Elias Karam, Abeer Nehmeh. Performed in the US, Europe & the Middle East, both as a Kanun player and as a musical director in some of the most prestigious venues and festivals such as BSO, Lincoln Center, Carthage International Festival, Savannah Music Festival, Institut de Mont Arabe, Teatro Mediterraneo, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Smithsonian Museum, Palais des Congrès, Berklee Performance Center, The Jazz Gallery, Nuoro Jazz Festival and more. Firas has so far released two singles and one EP, and he’s currently releasing a full original album with his band. As an educator, Zreik has given workshops and masterclasses at Tufts University, NYU, Berklee College of Music, The Arabic Music Retreat, Circle for World Arts, and many more.
Abraham Diab was born on December 14th, 1974. He has been in music most of his life, since the age of 7. He was introduced to the Arab Org at the age of 13 by his late father, Abdallah Abass, who was his teacher and who inspired him to follow his dreams. Di ab performs with local Arab ensembles at private weddings and parties. Additionally, he plays the Arab Accordion, performing with various orchestras. A keyboardist for over 30 years, and a percussion for 42 years, Diab is a proud Arab American musician excited to perform at this year’s third annual CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit.
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