The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies supports events that increase awareness of the history and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim civilizations, and values diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding. Events listed here originate from a variety of campus units and community organizations. The listing of an event does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein.

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September 2018

Performance: Didar – “Beholding the Beloved” with Amir Koushkani and Seemi Ghazi

September 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Richard White Auditorium, Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join Amir Koushkani and Seemi Ghazi as they play Persian music and share stories of beholding the beloved. Amir Koushkani is an ethnomusicologist, composer, performer and instructor of traditional Persian stringed instruments Tar and Setar.  Dr. Koushkani’s training in Persian music began in Iran, where he was introduced to traditional Persian themes, under the tutelage of Master Dariush Pirniakan.  Amir Koushkani holds a Master’s Degree in Western Musical Composition and he also received a PhD in Ethnomusicology at York University,…

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Performance: جشن مهرگان Mehregan Festival

September 22, 2018 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

  A festival of love!  Join the Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke University (GSAID) and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) at Duke University for Persian Folk music and dance this Saturday in Goodson Chapel.  The performance will feature Bahram Osqueezadeh on santur, Bahram Dehghany on ney, Dr. G. Ali Sarami as the vocalist, Nadia Sabet on percussion, Siamak Bozorgi on tar, Mazda Shahani as composer, and Yasaman Khademi dance.   This performance is free and open to…

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Performance: Youssra El Hawary

September 29, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
NC State University Raleigh, NC 27695 United States + Google Map

  Egyptian singer-songwriter, Youssra El Hawary, writes music that is as personal as it is socially aware – compositions that innovate as much in content as they do in style. In the half-decade since she became a slyly defiant sensation in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution, El Hawary continues to be a bellwether of everyday life. With charismatic charm, her lithe sound captures the stories of Cairo, and the charged alchemy of the Mediterranean basin, all led by the…

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October 2018

Presentation: “Embracing Impurity: Modern Migrancy

October 1, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Nasher Art Museum, 2001 Campus Dr
Durhamn, NC 27705 United States
+ Google Map

  Mohsin Hamid is a novelist whose first novel, "Moth Smoke" (2000), tells the story of an ex-banker and heroin addict in contemporary Lahore. It was published in 14 languages and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His second novel, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" (2007), recounts a Pakistani man's abandonment of his high-flying life in New York. Published in over 30 languages, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Hamid's next novel, "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising…

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Performance: Amir El Saffar and Hamid Al-Saadi – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

October 4, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  Amir ElSaffar is one of the United States’ most inventive musicians. With his Two Rivers Ensemble, he plays trumpet, layering Middle Eastern melodies with jazz improvisation in search of tarab, or musical ecstasy. The son of an Iraqi immigrant father and an American mother, ElSaffar is also an ardent advocate for Iraqi maqam, a centuries-old musical repertoire built on yearning melismatic melodies, shimmering microtonal modes, and entrancing cyclical rhythms. In his Iraqi maqam ensemble, Safaafir, the only such group…

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Performance: North Carolina Middle Eastern Ensemble

October 15, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Raleigh Raleigh, NC United States + Google Map

  Discover Middle-Eastern music and enjoy traditional melodies and rhythms played with traditional and classical instruments such as oud  viola, celo, riq, and derbakki. The North Carolina Middle Eastern Ensemble is led by Naji Hilil and composed of professional and dedicated musicians who are passionate about preserving the ancient musical art of the Middle East. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Music presentation at 6:00 p.m. Refreshments included. Tickets are $25.00. For more information, please call 919-389-9989. Cypress Manor, 1040 Buck Jones…

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Performance: Oddisee – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

October 18, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

  Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, or the incisive rapper and elegant producer Oddisee, grew up in two worlds. The son of an African-American mother and a Sudanese father, he spent his weeks in affluent Maryland suburbs, and his weekends in tougher D.C. neighborhoods. To his Sudanese family, he was the exotic western cousin, raised on rap and big-city trappings; to his Washington family, he was the suburban Muslim nerd who watched too much news. That tension has made Oddisee a modern…

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Presentation: “Afghanistan to Gaza: 21st Century Warfare” by Colonel Richard Kemp

October 23, 2018 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Christians United for Israel accompanied by other political groups on campus are hosting internationally known speaker and analyst, Colonel Richard Kemp. Col. Kemp was the commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and now testifies before the UN concerning Middle Eastern issues including the Gaza Conflict. Free admission for any students or faculty with valid ID from any university. No backpacks allowed. Not open to the public. Sponsored by Christians United for Israel. Union Auditorium UNC Chapel Hill

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Performance: ATWA

October 24, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
White Lecture Hall, East Campus, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

Known as ATWA, Ahmad Moustafa Kamel was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He started rapping in 2006, and since has established himself as one of the foremost rappers in the Arab world. He won first place in the Tele Performance Egypt Talent Show 2 years in a row, appeared repeatedly on Egyptian National TV, and collaborated with the best-known rappers in the Middle East. His songs on Soundcloud were played more than 1 million time worldwide. Featured in numerous…

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November 2018

Performance: Bassem Youssef: “The Joke is Mightier Than the Sword”

November 7, 2018 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Memorial Hall, 114 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill , 27599 United States
+ Google Map

  Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab world, cardiothoracic surgeon Bassem Youssef created the first political satire show in the Middle East, earning millions of viewers every week. Now residing in California, he shares his wry observations on his own story, the current state of American politics, and how propaganda lays the foundation for dictatorial regimes. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit here.   Sponsored by Carolina Performing Arts.   Wednesday, November 7 | 7:30 p.m.…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New look at Shahnameh” with Loghman Zaiim

November 11, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation by Loghman Zaiim on Shahnameh ("Book of Kings") by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.   The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From…

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Cultural Event: 1001 Nights

November 15, 2018 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Great Hall, Student Union, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

  Come explore the greater Middle East through performances, delicious foods, calligraphy, and interactive cultural booths. 1001 Nights is brought to you by the UNC Persian Cultural Society. Free to attend. Free food from Flame Kabob will be served. For more information, please visit here.   Sponsored by the UNC Persian Cultural Society, UNC Persian Studies, UNC Mixed Asia/Pacific Islander Students’ Heritage, NC Hillel, Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina, Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke, and UNC Arab…

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Film Screening: “Israel Rocks!”

November 19, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Directed by Izzy Abrahami (2006) A documentary that features some 20 Israeli singers, bands and choirs playing and singing in various styles, from pop and rock to blues, folk and rap. Each one of the revealing songs depicts the major problems facing the people of Israel from politics to poverty, and their dreams for, and their attempt to create a better future. Also includes an interview with Mr. Shimon Peres This event will explore music in Israeli Film and is…

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December 2018

Cultural Event: Hindi-Urdu Cultural Night

December 7, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
NC State University Raleigh, NC 27695 United States + Google Map

  Students at NC State University will show their Hindi-Urdu language talent, proficiency skills along with cultural knowledge through various presentations, drama and dance performances.   Sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, The Hindi-Urdu Program, and EKTAA.   Titmus Theater NC State University

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January 2019

Cultural Event: “Nezami’s Haft Peykar and Ferdowsi’s Bahram Goor” with Maryam Tabibzadeh

January 12, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Join the Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke and the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina for an afternoon of Persian poetry by Nezami and Ferdowsi, accompanied by Persian songs and dance. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke, the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina, the Von der Heyden Fellows Fund established by Karl & Mary Ellen Von der Heyden, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University, and Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC). Ahmadieh…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New Look at the Book of Kings, Shahnameh, part 3” with Loghman Zaiim

January 13, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a third presentation by Loghman Zaiim on Shahnameh ("Book of Kings") by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.   The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm.…

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February 2019

Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New Look at Shahnameh, Haft Khan-e Rostam” with Loghman Zaiim

February 3, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation on Haft Khan-e Rostam by Loghman Zaiim, as retold by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020) in Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature. This is event is in Persian. The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be…

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Performance: Late Night with Dean Obeidallah and Huda Fahmy

February 22, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Great Hall, Student Union, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

After bringing Hasan Minhaj to UNC 2 years ago, the UNC Muslim Students Association is excited to bring back Late Night, with award-winning comedian and talk show host Dean Obeidallah and comic book author Huda Fahmy! Dean has appeared on Comedy Central's "Axis of Evil" and is the co-creator/producer of the network's critically acclaimed Internet series "The Watch List," featuring a cast of all Middle Eastern-American comedians performing stand up and sketch comedy. Huda Fahmy is the illustrator of the internationally…

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March 2019

Performance: Brother Ali – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

March 7, 2019 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

  From his complicated backstory to his compelling rhymes, Brother Ali is a rapper without a rival. Albino and legally blind, he struggled to find peers in the midwestern states where he spent his youth. But in a pivotal moment at age eight, he found rap, which gave him an outlet and, through the references his favorite rappers made, led him to Islam. For twenty years, he has funneled these elements of his distinctive identity into increasingly profound verses, pairing…

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Performance: MSA Late Night with Ahmed Ali Akbar

March 8, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Talley Student Union, NC State University, 2610 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27606
+ Google Map

The Muslim Student Association @ NC State returns with our annual event EXCEPT it's new and improved! We invite you to the very first Late Night with MSA on March 8th! Our guest speaker is none other than Buzzfeed's Ahmed Ali Akbar and runs the podcast See Something, Say Something. Join us for a night of laughter, performances, and knowledge. Everyone is welcome! Kids ages 6 and under are FREE! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here. Sponsored by the NC…

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Cultural Event: “Celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz”

March 9, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina & Persian Students Association at Duke University for a celebration of Nowruz. This event to celebrate the Persian New Year will feature original music by Siavash Pourfazli, Shahram Mazhari, and Hamed Tabkhi; Persian dance; choir; and readings from the Shahnameh. Free and open to the public. Space is limited; please be on time. The Duke Divinity School is located next to the main Duke Chapel; parking is available in the nearby garage next…

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Concert: Palestinian Rapper Tamer Nafar of DAM

March 22, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Free and open to the public. Registration required. Concert opening for the “Conflict over Gaza” conference. Click here to register. Tamer Nafar is a musician, actor, screen-writer, and social activist. Nafar grew up in Lyd/Lod, a mixed city of Palestinian and Jewish residents, situated 20 minutes from Tel-Aviv. As a teenager, Tamer discovered hip-hop and became the world’s first Palestinian rapper. His lyrics and activities reflect the Palestinian struggle, women’s rights, and the promotion of alternative art within a conservative society. In 2000, Tamer formed the first Palestinian…

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April 2019

Performance: Habibi – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

April 4, 2019 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

  Garage rock delivered in Farsi? That’s what Brooklyn band Habibi plays on Cardamom Garden, its delightful 2018 album. At the start of its finale, singer Rahill Jamalifard launches into a pepped-up rendition of “Green Fuz,” a garage-rock classic, with a bold proclamation rendered in Farsi: “Here we come, and we’re coming fast.” It’s a fitting declaration for a group committed to such surprising unions of cultures and styles. An unlikely juxtaposition of infectious surf pop and riff-heavy punk, imbued…

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Concert: North Carolina Middle Eastern Ensemble Concert

April 14, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
NC State University Raleigh, NC 27695 United States + Google Map

Join us for a night of Middle-Eastern music! Enjoy traditional melodies and rhythms played with traditional and classical instruments such as Oud Viola, Celo, Riq and Derbakki. For more information, visit here. Sponsored by the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies. James B. Hunt Library Auditorium NC State University

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Cultural Event: Near and Far Festival

April 28, 2019 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Celebrate global culture within Chapel Hill at this fun and funky street party! Community and campus cultural groups share their heritage through crafts, activities and interactive experiences.  Music, dance, and spontaneous arts performances will fill the stage and street.  The flavors of the world will be on offer at food trucks and downtown Chapel Hill’s diverse restaurants. Bring the whole family for this unforgettable afternoon of education, appreciation, and celebration of global cultures. Interactive exhibitors include a UNC Global booth,…

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May 2019

Performance: Zara

May 1, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Zara is a one person show about race, religion, and identity in the American South. Andrew Aghapour was raised by immigrant parents in a multi-racial and multi-religious household. Zara is a comedic account of an anxious, asthmatic Muslim kid’s search for meaning and the chance encounters that impacted him. Drawing on personal stories, philosophy, and the history of monotheism, Zara is a story about how identity is inherited and remade in 21st-century America. The project won the Durham Arts Council’s Catalyst Grant, a program supported by…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: Saadi’s Look to the World with Dr. Ghadamali Sarami

May 5, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation on Saadi, prominent Persian poet and writer of the medieval period. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition, earning him the nickname “Master of Speech” or “The Master.” This is event is in Persian. The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From 4:45-6:30pm, there will be a presentation…

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June 2019

Cultural Event: Chaand Raat 2019

June 2, 2019 | 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

Join the Faruqi family for this year's Chaand Raat, a festival marking the end of Ramadan and the coming of Eid. Chaand Raat is Sunday, June 2. All are invited. Free light iftaar will be served to those present at the venue around maghrib, courtesy of the Faruqi family. Stalls and other activities: Community based food vendors, Paan, Faluda and Kulfi, Henna, Clothings, Jewelry, face painting and karaoke. Admission: General Admission $3.00  FREE for kids below five. For more information and vendor inquiry please email,  seemafaruqi@hotmail.com or call @  919-475-1425.…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “An Examination of Love and Desire in Sufism and Poetry” with Dr. Ali Kathiri

June 9, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Club House, 400 Oak Tree Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517 United States
+ Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for an evening of Persian poetry and music. The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From 4:45-6:30pm, there will be a presentation by Dr. Ali Kathiri on love and desire in Sufi poetry followed by discussion. From 6:30-8:00pm, there will be refreshments, poetry readings by the audience, and live Persian music. Parking is available in any space that is…

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‘Arabi Arts Camp

June 17, 2019 - June 21, 2019
Emerson Waldorf School, 6211 New Jericho Road
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Join teacher and storyteller Samia Touati, to explore art, culture and language from the Middle East and North Africa, with focus on Morocco. Samia is passionate about sharing her life experiences from her upbringing, interdisciplinary training and travels. Enjoy stories, songs, poems and arts from the ancient Arab world, including Arabic calligraphy, la cuisine Marocaine, cooked on clay pots, Moroccan tea ceremony, and henna. Experience the sounds and flavors and delights of the ancient cities of al-Maghrib! For children 8-12…

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