Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges celebrate Arab, Middle Eastern cultures

April 13, 2023 at 5:22 PM

Arab American Heritage Month calligraphy event participants practice writing in Arabic.
Arab American Heritage Month calligraphy event participant practices writing in Arabic.

EL CAJON – April is National Arab American Heritage Month, and Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are celebrating the rich diversity of cultures, histories, and contributions of the many peoples from this part of the world who are represented on the two campuses.

All events listed below are free and open to the general public.

Cuyamaca College:

Wednesday, April 19: Middle Eastern Ethnic Identities Statistically Invisible in America. Presenter Daniel Kakish will lead a discussion on Middle Eastern ethnic identities, what these identities are, who decides them, and kinship of ethnic-linguistic groups. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Online.

Wednesday April 19: Shahrazad Dream, Resin and Geode Art. Presenter Salwa Almodares will showcase artwork and discuss this unique art. It is considered as advanced painting and a new addition to the arts of the modern world. 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center.

Saturday, April 22: We are pleased to showcase two performances honoring the rich culture and traditions of our local Middle Eastern community through dance and song. Both will be held at Cuyamaca College’s Open House event on campus.

Musiqa from East (Arabic Traditional Music). The Fouad Sawa Group will perform the “Arabic Traditional Music” with Ensemble. This performance will include Arabic instruments Oud, Qanun, Nay, and Tabla. 11-11:30 a.m.

Dabka Folk Dance, Symbol of Love, Life, and Unity. Presented by: Fouad Bodak Dabka originated from repairing the roof of one’s house. People to make their roofs with tree branches and mud. When the weather would change, the mud would crack. Legend says that family members and the community would come together to help patch it by forming a line, joining hands and stomping the mud into place. This tradition was passed through generations as a reminder of the importance of family, community, and tradition. 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Thursday, April 27: Understanding the Diversity of Arab-American Community. Presented by Roula Aoneh, this workshop will address the importance of Arab-American diversity in building the U.S. constructive, genuine, and multicultural community. There, every citizen develops in a framework of diversity, history, language, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities. The workshop is also an attempt to shed light on the understanding of Arab-Americans and commemorating their many contributions to this country’s identity, economy, education, and culture. 10 – 11 a.m. Online.

Grossmont College:

Monday, April 17: Day in the Life. 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Career Center 60-140.

Wednesday, April 19: Arab Countries Showcase. Crafts, food, music, singers, calligraphy, a fashion show, and vendors. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Quad.

Thursday, April 20: Middle Eastern Music with the Al Zaytoona Dabke Group. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Performing & Visual Arts Center.

Monday, April 24: Arabian Tea & Coffee Gathering. 1 – 3 p.m. Career Center 60-140. Sponsors of the events at Grossmont College include the Arab Language Program, the Arabic Club, and the Career Center.


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