Read­ing and danc­ing for the streets of Mu­tan­abbi

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The Arthur and Mata Jaffe Cen­ter for Book Arts at Florida At­lantic Univer­sity Li­braries re­cently hosted “Lis­ten­ing to Mu­tan­abbi Street,” an in­au­gu­ral con­cert and read­ing that paid trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Mu­tan­abbi Street ex­plo­sion. The Bag­dad street, fa­mous for its many book­sell­ers and shops, was the scene of a car bomb­ing in March 2007 that killed 30 and in­jured 100. The con­cert raised $1,800 for Doc­tors With­out Borders, an in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing to re­lieve suf­fer­ing in Iraq and other trou­bled ar­eas of the world.

The Har­monic Mo­tion Ensem­ble per­formed Ara­bic mu­sic, with Joe Zey­too­nian on ud and dar­buka, Elias Kilzi on ka­nun, and Myr­iam Eli on dar­buka and riqq. Eli also per­formed three dances to close the pro­gram.

“Through the read­ings and mu­sic, we hoped to re­in­force the idea of the com­mon­al­ity of Bagh­dad’s Mu­tan­abbi Street to any street that holds a book­store or cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion,” said Cutrone. “Mu­tan­abbi Street starts any­where a book is opened.”

The Jaffe Cen­ter on FAU’s Boca Ra­ton cam­pus spon­sored the ben­e­fit in con­junc­tion with its ex­hi­bi­tion “Mu­tan­abbi Street Starts Here.” The ex­hibit is com­prised of 43 hand-printed broad­sides, cre­ated by the Mu­tan­abbi Street Coali­tion, a Cal­i­for­nia-based, in­ter­na­tional group of artists, po­ets, writ­ers, book­sell­ers and let­ter­press print­ers.

The Jaffe cen­ter will spon­sor a con­cert in con­junc­tion with “Dafatir: Con­tem­po­rary Iraqi Book Art,” a trav­el­ing ex­hi­bi­tion of books hand­made by 17 Iraqi artists, on Oc­to­ber 23 at 7 p.m. Har­monic Mo­tion Mid­dle East­ern Mu­sic Ensem­ble will per­form once again. The con­cert will ben­e­fit the Jaffe cen­ter.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Cutrone at 561-297-0455 or jcutrone@fau.edu.

Mo­tion Mid­dle East­ern Mu­sic Ensem­ble mem­bers Elias Kilzi, left, Joe Zey­too­nian and Myr­iam Eli

Ez­zat Fair­play, left, Arthur Jaffe and Mar­i­anne Hay­cook

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