Friday, December 2, 2011

Music Concert Fundraiser for Tahrir Square Field Hospital

As any of you who have been following the news will know, Egypt is electrified with activity. After a period where only modest numbers of protestors could be found in Tahrir Square, late November brought an increase in their numbers, and several calls for a “million man march” in the now-historic square. These were met with a violent response from the SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces), which is currently charged with Egypt’s governance until a transition of power can be initiated. Many of Egypt’s civilians were injured in the resulting clashes, and there is some controversy surrounding SCAF’s tactics, as their forces have been accused of intentionally targeting protestors with a force unnecessary for mere crowd dispersal.

The response to this from NGOs and activists has been varied, and New York has had its share of protests in front of the Egyptian embassy in order to speak for these victims of that violence. As in Tahrir during this ongoing revolution, music seems to make its way into the work of these activists, and we wanted to share with you an event at which you can support those injured by these latest clashes. You can access the event details here.

The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble will be hosting a fundraiser for the victims of these latest clashes, in which funds will be collected to provide medical assistance. The event will be held at the Alwan Center for the Arts, a non-profit arts and culture center dedicated to presenting the best of Middle Eastern arts and culture to the NYC audience, and which is donating their venue for the cause. If you are unable to attend, donations will be accepted online – but really, these musicians are fantastic, and will be presenting a repertoire of the classics from three musical centers in the Arab world, namely Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad. You’ve been listening to some of this repertoire in our latest Hip Deep shows – come out and hear them live, and support a great cause!

If you are not in NYC, you can still get a sample of the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble when they performed on WNYC's New Sounds with John Schaefer below:

Most recently, the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a program of music celebrating the reopening of the Islamic Art Galleries. The ensemble features the following musicians:

George Ziadeh, oud, vocals
Tareq Abboushi, buzuq, vocals
Sami Shumays, violin, vocals
Johnny Farraj, riqq, vocals
Zafer Tawil, qanun, violin, vocals
Amir ElSaffar, santur, vocals

What:  Tahrir Field Hospital Fundraiser
When:  Sunday, December 4th, 8 pm (doors open at 7:30 pm)
Where:  Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street, New York, NY

-Mariam Bazeed
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