Celebration of Arab Culture at Lincoln Theatre
Look, aside from the World Cup, we Arabs really only enjoy two other things with equal pleasure: Fashion and Music. Take a look back at the last Arab wedding you’ve been to, remember Uncle Sammy dressed in a plaid powder-blue suit and dancing to Nancy Ajram with the ferocity that makes Mick Jagger look like a white boy at a Zulu coming-of-age ceremony. I’ve never felt the clench in such force. Yea, it’s all good fun but we must acknowledge that, although we love those two aspects of our lives, our generation kind of needs to step up our game in those respects. We need to diverge from the dark path of tackiness and repay a visit to the rich culture that produced the class acts of years past. Think of the intellectuals and artists of Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus in their golden decades. Think about when your grandma would dress up in those classic colours and simple fabrics that would evoke memories of warm food and even warmer conversation. Forget Shakira for a second and let’s try to appreciate something that is truly a product of our own culture.
That’s why ADC is proud to present Turaath, a modern celebration of Arab tradition, music and culture in a fresh and dynamic way. The night of festivity will take place in Washington DC’s Lincoln Theatre, a rich and historic venue entirely suitable for the planned performances. The event will start off with a fashion show by fashion savant Hana Sadiq, who in many ways is a lot like the intellectual Aunt we’ve always wanted. Hana is truly a renaissance scholar; she’s a student of French literature, a connoisseur of the arts, an author of two books, an avid collector of traditional silver jewelry and a fashion designer who has been recognized as the Ambassador of Arab fashion in Italy. She’s bringing her latest line of modern-meets-traditional fashion to Turaath, which just so happens to be her North American debut.
To match that, ADC has invited the Michigan Arab Orchestra’s Takht Ensemble to perform some traditional Arab pieces –think Um Kalthoum, sans the full orchestra and the 20-minute introduction. The ensemble is young, ambitious and full with energy just like me.
Topping it all of, the lovely Miss Rima Fakih will be hosting the night in all her glamour, intelligence and beauty. A truly stunning character with a chandelier of a smile, in fact it’s so bright there have been accounts of Rima and our own sun throwing it down in a smile-brightness battle-off. It’s a little nutty you know, a cosmic battle of luminescence. Oh, did I forget to mention that she was Miss USA 2010.
All in all, the night promises to be one that will remind us that our rich culture, regardless of external influences, cannot be diluted. Our art, music and history are much too dynamic and vibrant for that to happen, it simply embraces and grows. So turn down that auto-tuned racket for just a night and let’s celebrate modern Arab culture in America.
If you are interested in buying tickets you can contact the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee on their website at adc.org or by calling them at 202-244-2990