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Poetry Event a Success

Poetry Event A Success

November 16, 2011 Poetry_small1

On Saturday, November 12th, the ACCC and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) came together to co-host “Arab Voices Unplugged,” with featured poet Mohja Kahf, a poetry reading and open mic event at Philz Coffee in San Francisco’s Mission district. The evening was a part of the ACCC and AROC’s “Zeit wa Zatar” series of events, funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The goal of Zeit wa Zatar is to use performance and art to bridge gaps in understanding, cultural appreciation and civic engagement in the Arab and Bay Area communities. “Arab Voices Unplugged” served that vision by allowing community members to read their original works or pieces written by favorite poets, in Arabic or English, and to share their stories of migration and immigrant rights. The tables of Philz Coffee were adorned with zeit, zatar and bread and attendees were invited to write their own immigration stories on paper grape leaves which could then be affixed to an arbor provided by the organizers.

The evening opened with some spirited contributions by community members of both sexes and in both languages. Then featured poet Mohja Kahf, author of “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf” and “Emails from Scheherazade,” read works by Syrian master Nizar Qabbani and original works of her own. Mohja spoke of the struggle for freedom and democracy in Arab countries, especially her native Syria, and encouraged the audience to get out there, get involved, and get angry.

Stay tuned for upcoming Zeit wa Zatar events!