Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Middle Eastern Cultural Society is hosting a Middle Eastern Week at Swarthmore this week. The series of events will lead up to two special events: a performance by MidEast Ensemble brought together by UCLA professor and musician A. J. Racy and co-hosted by Philadelphia’s Arab cultural non-profit, Al-Bustan: Seeds of Culture on Saturday at 8 pm, and an Arabic drumming and dance workshop on Saturday at 2:30 pm.
The week will feature a variety of activities that include a Middle Eastern photo exhibit in Shane Lounge, a lecture on Egyptian law on Tuesday, Paces CafÃ© takeover in Wednesday night, a discussion on Middle Eastern identity on Thursday night and a comedic Persian movie showing on Friday, according to one organizer Christine Ernst ’10. “Keep an eye out for table tents in Sharples and flyers around campus with specific times and locations,” she said.
Ernst and Neda Daneshvar ‘10 formed the Middle Eastern Cultural Society, last year, to create a formal Middle Eastern community on campus. The planning process for this week has been aided by Camilia Kamoun ’11 who introduced them to Hazami Sayed, the leader for Al-Bustan: Seeds of Culture and Dean Zapata of the Intercultural Center.
About the Middle Eastern Cultural Society itself, Ernst said, “It’s an open group, and we’re excited to have anyone who’s interested in the cultural aspects of the region.”