Spring Fling 2014 Highlights

Bassam Saba
BPFF Film Screening: Ismael
The Arabic Music Ensemble under the Direction of the CAC’s Artist in Residence, Bassam Saba

The Arabic Music Ensemble at the Center of Arabic Culture (CAC) is in its third year, under the leadership of the CAC artist in residence, Mr. Bassam Saba, an internationally acclaimed musician, music educator, and musical director of the New York Arabic Orchestra.

The group consists of a changing membership of mostly students of Arabic music, some with professional musical training, and others, self taught amateurs who come from different parts of New

BPFF Film Screening: “Ismael”
The CAC is proud to announce that the Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) will sponsor the showing of the film “Ismail” by Nora Alshari.

Inspired by the late Palestinian painter Ismail Shammout (1930-2006), this story is about a young Palestinian who sells cakes in an effort to support his parents after their expulsion to a Refugee camp in 1948 by the Israeli forces.

Despite the distressing conditions he holds to his dream to go to Rome to learn painting. One day and after leaving the train station with his kid brother, they heedlessly enter a minefield. As Ismail faces death, and in his struggle to save himself and his brother, we discover his true spirit.

Mirza Dance Ensemble
CAC Children's Choir

Mirza Dance Ensemble


MIRZA DANCE ENSEMBLE was created in 1985 by Christine Mirson-Tohme who is artistically also known in the dance world as Shadia. Mirza is in its fourth generation of dancers, some of whom are children of the original dance members.

Mirza is are a professional folkloric troupe dedicated to representing the cultural heritage of the Middle East, Near East and Arabic speaking regions. They perform traditional and contemporary dances for cultural events and weddings. Befriend them on Facebook and view their Website www.mirzadanceensemble.com

During the Open house, Mirza performance will be a potpourri of dances from the Arab World.  Please join Mirza in a lively dabka at the last dance of their performance!

Christine Mirson-Tohme

Dancer, choreographer, workshop instructor and master teacher (known as Shadia in the ME dance world). Shadia began her folkdance education by learning Azeri social dancing from her father which continued throughout her teen years at the many Turkish and Arabic events in the Boston area.  In 1975, she and her late husband, Ibrahim Maalouf toured on the Arabic Entertainment circuit throughout the U.S., Canada and South and Central America for  ten years.

Her involvement in numerous Mideast Folk Troupes continues to this day with the Mirza Dance Ensemble which she created in 1985.  She has taught raks sharqi (a/k/a  belly dance and folk dance since 1972. Mirza has performed for many wedding celebrations, university educational presentations and haflahs in the New England area. She has studied over the years with master folk dancers from the Middle East and continues to learn new folk dances.  Her current project of teaching, “The Roots of Belly Dance”, classes to educate audiences of the beauty of the women’s solo dance as performed by both artists and women in social dance events.

CAC Children’s Choir

The CAC Children Choir was established on March 2, 2014. The Choir’s main mission is to promote the Arabic culture through folkloric, contemporary and modern Arabic music and songs.

CAC Choir Goals:

  • Introduce Arab-American youths to the Arabic and Middle Eastern music, musicians and singers.
  • Learn about the Arabic quarter tones and singing styles.
  • Introduce the Arabic and Middle Eastern music to the American Society at large.
  • Encourage children and teenagers from all backgrounds to join irrespective of speaking Arabic.
  • Carry on concerts around Massachusetts and beyond to spread the word about the rich Arabic musical heritage.
  • For those who are interested in practicing their Arabic language skills the choir is a fun and contemporary method to build stronger knowledge of Arabic.
  • Singing in harmony and a cappella will enrich the children and teenagers’ musical background.

 Karim Nagi & Goujemaa Razgui

Karim Nagi SHARQ Ensemble

The Ensemble is lead by Karim Nagi, a native of Cairo Egypt, master percussionist, and proponent of traditional Arab folkloric dance. Nagi tours all over the world 45 weeks per year performing and teaching, and has authored 12 CDs and 5 DVDs.

Boujemaa Razgui from Marrakech Morocco. Razgui is a multi-instrumentalist who has had careers in Morocco, France, Canada, and now the USA with the Sharq Ensemble.

Tarab Chorus

Healing Syrian Refugee Children through Art

Tarab Chorus

The Tarab Chorus was founded in 1997 to revive and preserve Classical Arabic music. Tarab seeks to provide a cross-cultural bridge between East and West through the art of music and singing.

The group’s primary goals are to preserve the authentic classical art forms of Arabic music and to serve the Arab and American communities of Massachusetts and beyond.

Members of Tarab come from all walks of life. They volunteer their time and their enthusiasm and dedication over the years has refined and nuanced their singing of Classical forms such as: Al-Mouwashah, Al-Dawr, and Al-Taqtouqa. The time periods covered by the group span from the 10th century through the early 20th century.

Healing Syrian Refugee Children through Art

In the summer of 2013, Sara Mraish Demeter from ARCK and a CAC board member, set out to help about 30 Syrian refugee children for a week-long workshop titled, “Storytelling Through Art.”

The children learned how to author a book, illustrate and write it. They learned hope when they built a city out of cardboard. They learned to seek perserverance and wisdom when they took the books that they designed with them, and it became their only belonging to heal from after they left from war.

Gallery opening – May 10, 2014

During the CAC Spring Fling

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