Reading and dancing for the streets of Mutanabbi
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 [email protected]
Motion Middle Eastern Music Ensemble members Elias Kilzi, left, Joe Zeytoonian and Myriam Eli
Ezzat Fairplay, left, Arthur Jaffe and Marianne Haycook