Lubana Al-Quntar Performs with National Arab Orchestra at the "Taking Back our Narrative" Event presented by Arab America Foundation and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Arab America Foundation in partnership with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce that Lubana Al-Quntar will perform with the National Arab Orchestra (NAO) on Friday, February 17, 2023, at 8:00 pm, as part of the weekend-long celebration of Arab culture, art, film, and music at the “Taking Back Our Narrative” event in Washington, DC. Al-Quntar is noted for her expressive voice, and ability to sing traditional Arab songs and poetry, and she was the first Syrian opera singer to achieve international acclaim by appearing in numerous concerts throughout Europe.
Lubana Al-Quntar comes from a Syrian family that is deeply rooted in classical Arabic music. She is related to singer/actress Amal Al Atrash (known by her stage name, Asmahan) and her brother, renowned composer, and singer Farid Al Atrash. These connections influenced her musical path and played an important role in her decision to seek a career as a professional singer. Born in Syria, she began singing at an early age and had an unusual gift for singing challenging sung poetry from childhood. Today Lubana performs a wide range of repertoire within the Arab music canon which includes music from the classical, contemporary, folk, and pop genres. Her expressive voice allows her to add luster and richness to the various singing styles. In addition to traditional Arab songs, Lubana studied opera and became the first Syrian opera singer to attain international recognition, as she appeared in concerts throughout Europe. She returned to Syria to head the Department of Opera Singing and launched the Department of Classical Arabic Singing at the Syrian National Conservatory. This was a ground-breaking event because, for the first time, students could study both operatic and traditional singing at an accredited institution. She established the Arabic Music Singing Ensemble that performed across the Middle East. She came to the United States in 2012 and has since performed in numerous venues across the country in addition to her European performances.
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, empower youth, and build coalitions with diverse organizations across the U.S.
February 17-19, 2023: “Taking Back Our Heritage” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Arab America Foundation (AAF) and the Kennedy Center, Conflux Programming Initiative, present “Taking Back Our Narrative,” February 17-19, 2023. The initiative will celebrate Arab heritage and highlight the contributions of Arab Americans to America with performances, art, and film screenings.
Presented in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Conflux Programming Initiative, “Taking Back Our Narrative” speaks to the fullness and diversity of the Arab American experience, values, and cultural landscape throughout the United States.
Artists performing at the event include the National Arab Orchestra on Friday, Arab pop vocalist, Emad Batayeh on Saturday, a short film festival on Sunday sponsored by the Arab Film and Media Institute, and an art exhibition curated by Arab American artist, Helen Zughaib throughout the weekend.
Tickets are currently sold-out. Limited tickets may be available at the door on a standby basis. The reception is by invitation only.
Art Exhibit Curated by Helen Zughaib, All Weekend
Helen Zughaib is a painter and multimedia artist living in working in Washington, D.C. Her themes are centered around hopefulness, healing, and spirituality, using visual arts to shape and foster positive ideas about the Arab World. Her exhibit will be displayed in the Eisenhower Theater Display Case. She has also been selected for the 2021-2023 inaugural social practice residency by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Special Kick-Off Reception, Taking Back Our Narrative” Sponsored by the Arab America Foundation
By Invitation Only, Includes Admission to NAO Concert
Join special guests of the Arab America Foundation, government officials, and sponsors, as we kick off this historic collaborative effort with the Kennedy F. Center for the Performing Arts, celebrating the diversity of the Arab American experience, values, and culture.
The National Arab Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Featuring vocalists Nai Barghouti, Lubana Al-Quntar, and Usama Baalbaki under the music direction of Michael Ibrahim.
Tickets are currently sold-out. Limited tickets may be available at the door on a standby basis. The event will be live-streamed.
Founded in 2009, the National Arab Orchestra, (NAO), a nonprofit, is dedicated to elevating and preserving Arab culture and musical traditions in the United States and beyond through performance, education, outreach, and collaboration. Under the leadership of founder and Music Director Michael Ibrahim, the NAO creates memorable, high-quality musical experiences that keep Arab culture alive and thriving. These concerts bring the beauty of Arab music to entirely new and diverse audiences.
This concert highlights some of the Arab world’s most treasured pieces of music with a performance that will showcase the rich beauty and diverse heritage of the Arab world, all brought to life by the National Arab Orchestra.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Arab Pop Vocalist, Emad Batayeh at the Millennium Stage Grand Foyer
Tickets are currently sold-out for this performance, standing-room only. Event will be live-streamed.
Emad Batayeh is one of the leading Arabic vocalists in the United States. Batayeh is also a musician and producer. Born to a Jordanian family in Detroit, Emad inherited his musical talents from his parents who encouraged him from a young age to pursue music as a career. He became known as a musical genius as a kid. He now performs at Arab American cultural events across the U.S.
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Arab Film & Media Institute Film Screening at the Justice Forum at the REACH
The Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) is a non-profit organization founded by the team behind the largest and oldest Arab Film Festival in North America. AFMI aims to be a complete ecosystem to find, nurture, and showcase Arab talent in the United States. Starting with organizing school screenings, and growing into offering filmmaker services and original programming, AFMI is the place for Arab cinema and its fans, and the home of the Arab Film Festival.
Tickets are currently sold-out for this event.
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