Society / Hot Ticket

National Arab American Month Celebrations Kick Off in Houston, Drawing International Art Stars

BY // 04.05.17

The Arab American Cultural Community Center celebrates its fourth annual National Arab American Heritage Month, beginning today, with myriad events showcasing the cultural and historical contributions that the Arabic community has contributed to the US and beyond. Highlight of the presentations at the center in southwest Houston will be the speech on Wednesday, April 19 by internationally-recognized artist Mona Hatoum.

The opening ceremony kicks off today with a cocktail reception and opening of Jim Lommasson‘s compelling exhibition titled, “What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria.” The artist documented the objects left behind by Syrian and Iraq refugees who were fleeing from their war-ravaged environments. He will be present to speak on the inspiration behind the photographs.

Syrian born pianist Chaden Yafi will take the spotlight at the piano for a Beethoven recital on Friday at Kawai Piano Gallery.  Having worked as a collaborative artist at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, Yafi holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University and a Masters in Piano Performance from Longy School of Music in Boston.

Born in Lebanon into a Palestinian family, Hatoum will present a talk titled “Measures of Distance.” Her work includes numerous medias such as installation, performance, and photography. Hatoum is widely noted for her  1982 “Under Siege” (1982) seven-hour presentation in which she was trapped in a see-through box, naked, with clay surrounding the floor. This spring, she in residency at Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University and will have an exhibition in the fall at The Menil Collection.

The International Cultural Ladies Night will take place on Friday evening, April 21,  featuring dancing to unique world music and tastings from various Arab cultures.

On Thursday  April 27, the center will screen the documentary “A Thousand and One Journeys – The Arab Americans,” and includes a Skype Q&A with the filmmaker, Abe Kasbo. The film shows the Arab American’s story of immigration and interviews those who lived through the migration to America from the Middle East in search for new opportunity.

The activities wrap on Friday, April 28 with the jazz band Raphael Gadot Trio including drummer Osama Raad, transplants from France, Russia and Lebanon. They will perform original compositions as well as standard pieces.  

What: National Arab American Heritage Month

When: Wednesday, April 5, through Friday, April 28

Where: Arab American Cultural Community Center,  10555 Stancliff Road

Tariff: Gratis, registration here is requested

Further information: Call: 832-351-3366 (ACC) or www.acchouston.org

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