Arab World Festival: Arab autumn

Arab autumn

Simon Shaheen and Faruk Tekbilek
Photo: courtesy of the FMA

The 12th edition of the Arab World Festival hopes to create harmonious dialogue between individuals and cultures

Earlier this year, the Middle East was in the news even more than usual as a wave of popular uprising washed over Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in what came to be known as the Arab Spring. A positive thing, no doubt, but as the organizers of the Arab World Festival point out on their website, a “lack of communication and dearth of dialogue between individuals and cultures” persist in some corners. But notably through art, they say, it’s also possible to “transform the uproar and cacophony into polyphonic harmony and exquisite consonance.”

On opening night, October 30, Turkish flautist Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Palestinian-American oud player Simon Shaheen will present Manhattan in Quarter Tones, a concert in which Middle Eastern rhythms are blended with jazz, blues and even psychedelic rock. Two weeks later, on November 13, the festival will close with an original creation entitled Charabia (Babble), in which Lebanese hard rock band The Kordz, Sufi singer Abdel Karim Chaar, composer Katia Makdissi-Warren and her ensemble OktoEcho will play music against a backdrop of dance, spontaneous ink paintings and visual effects. Also promising is the A-rap Revolution show happening on November 2, with rappers Khaled M from Libya and RahZemos from Lebanon, as well as Montreal’s own Monk.e and Jiggy.

Other performing arts events, a series of film screenings and the Salon de la Culture, which will feature discussions on such topics as religious diversity and the origins and perspectives of the Arab Spring, are also on the program of this 12th edition of the Arab World Festival.

Arab World Festival
October 30 to November 13
www.festivalarabe.com

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