How we celebrated Arab and culture in 2023.

Bill C-232, passed in November 2021, officially designates April as Arab Heritage Month. This legislative move opens up avenues for Arab Canadians to proudly exhibit the richness of their cultural heritage. Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society looks to celebrate Arab Heritage Month by facilitating the sharing of Arab culture through music, dance, visual arts, and food for the second year. Now in its 12th year, the Society began as a modest film festival, and has evolved into a year round offering; notable highlights include the inclusion of Arab stand-up comedians, collaboration with acclaimed filmmakers, and the planned production of a documentary and Arab-Canadian series.The Society is proud to call writers, theater directors, and radio hosts among its board members.
Arab Heritage Month serves a deeper purpose beyond celebration. It serves as a vital opportunity to share, educate, and contribute to the enrichment of our multicultural home, fostering understanding and unity among all who call it their own.

2023:
The Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society organized the successful first edition of Arab Heritage Month in 2023 at cSpace, which was well attended by more than 100 Calgarians who enjoyed Arab music, dances, henna tattoos, visual art, and learned how to Dabke dance.

2024:
The Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society, based on past year’s success, decided to go bigger and hold our second edition at the Calgary Public Library on April 20, 2024″

 

Aya Mhana & Niño de la Cabilia

Aya Mhana is a Syrian-born singer, songwriter, and self-taught oud player. Inspired by her volunteer work with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Aya used her music to explore the human capacity for hope during wartime and performed her compositions in her home city. In Canada, she translates the rich culture of her homeland for audiences who often know little of Syria, but are eager to embrace her soulful melodies. She hopes that her music helps shape Canada’s vision for a peaceful and vibrant cultural mosaic. Niño de la Cabilia is an Algerian born musician and creative artist. Niño moved to Canada in 2019 after traveling the world from South America to Western Asia. Influenced by his North African and Berber heritage, Niño creatively merges traditional Latin, Mediterranean and Arabic musical styles either solo or with others. He plays a variety of string instruments such as guitar, banjo, and his personal signature Mandole, a traditional Algerian instrument.

Egyptian Folk Dance | Radwa

Radwa Nasr is the artistic director of “Egyptian Folk Dance Academy” in Calgary, Canada’s premier source of Egyptian Folklore. She is a native Egyptian dancer, who grew up in rich cultural and historical environment of metropolitan Cairo. Radwa was trained and mentored by Master teachers (Reda Troupe), a famous dance troupe in Egypt. Radwa established “Egyptian Folk Dance Academy” in 2019 to introduce the authentic Egyptian folk dances to the Canadian community.

Dabketna YYC

Dabketnayyc is the first female led dabke group. We pride ourselves in spreading happiness and joy through our dance. Our goal is to keep this dance that unites us alive and spread it around the world to show how proud we are of our culture. Dabke is a Levantine Arab folk dance, popular in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Dabke combines circle dance and line dancing and is widely performed at weddings and other joyous occasions.

Zaria & Mario

Zaria Rajha Dancer, Choreographer, and Researcher of the Body Hailing from Damascus, Syria, Zaria grew up learning Hip-Hop, jazz, and contemporary. Later, Zaria became a graduate of The Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, Damascus, Syria where she held her bachelor’s degree in dance movement. Zaria is deeply drawn to absurd theatre studies and to her research about human existence. In 2018, She worked as a professional performer with Leish physical theatre troupe Damascus, Syria and choreographed many dance productions based on the idea of contradiction by combining two opposites movement, themes, methods together.During her career journey Zaria trained in multiple theatre, mime and dance techniques. Mario Obeid Movement Artist and Choreographer Having discovered dance through bboying and breakdance, Mario played a significant role in the establishment and strengthening of both urban and rural hip hop dance communities in Syria before receiving training in contemporary, classical ballet and jazz at the Damascus Institute of Higher Arts. Mario is interested in how the dance expresses the body’s yearning for both freedom and connection through the scales of our deepest relationships and the communities through which we find belonging. In 2023 together, Zaria and Mario co-founded the Error 404 Dance collective

Dj Sabrology

With a passion for music that runs deep through his upbringing in Egypt, Sabrology has quickly established himself as a go-to DJ for events and parties of all kinds. As a DJ, Sabrology prides himself on his ability to read a crowd and curate a playlist that perfectly captures the vibe of the moment. Whether it’s getting people hyped up for a night of dancing or providing the perfect background soundtrack for an event, he knows how to deliver a memorable experience. But for Sabrology, DJing is more than just playing music – it’s about creating an unforgettable experience for every person in the room. Whether it’s through clever mashups, unexpected drops, or perfectly-timed transitions, Sabrology knows how to keep the energy high and the crowd engaged. With a commitment to excellence and a dedication to his craft, Sabrology is always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of what’s possible and create a sonic experience that his audience will never forget.

Aaliyaa Basheer

We are delighted to introduce the talented henna artist, Alaliyaa Basheer, who will amaze you with their skill in Arabic calligraphy. Aaliya will create beautiful henna tattoos and even write your name in stunning Arabic script. Aaliya worked on North Indian style, modern and intricate henna designs back in her home country. The styles in Arabic designs inspired her when she moved to Saudi Arabia. Since then, she started to do Arab designs on henna with flowers , leaves and vines. She also worked on Arabic calligraphy names and some portraits with henna. Aaliya is so happy to be a part of the event representing Arabic art, even though she is not Arab.