We participated in the largest New England's International Festival,
which was held at the Bayside Exposition Center in Boston, MA. Our
participation included a three-day information booth providing information
on Arabic, Assyrian and Kurdish cultures. We also performed Arabian
Stallions featuring actor Michael Nurse as storyteller, Oud player
Said Khoory and vocalist Wafaa' Salman.
on the East & Africa
by Naseer Shemma
@ McLeod Suits/Northeastern
The Blackman Auditorium
A talk and a slide show on women in Iran after the Islamic revolution
by Shahla Haeri, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
by Dr. Jorunn Buckley, a Historian specializing in
Mandaeism at MIT
The talk includes a rarely seen colored film made in Qalat Saleh in
the Mandaean ceremonies.
Jebel Barkal, Sudan's Sacred Mountain
by Timothy Kendall, Associate Curator, Dept of Ancient Nubian Art,
MFA, Thursday May 7th
A slide show on the recent excavations of the Museum of Fine Arts,
by Joseph Baratta, Ph.D., a Historian of International
Thursday May 21st
by Wafaa' Al-Natheema, Founder of INEAS,
On December 21, 1997, INEAS sponsored a weekly radio program, Baghdad
Cafe, every Sunday on 90.3 FM. The
program features music, guests and special reports from around the
Arab and Islamic Worlds, Africa, Asia and Europe. The radio program's
last episode aired on Sunday February 6th, 2000.
The troupe of the Zannobiya Productions performed Arabian Stallions
at the Newton Free Library (See the February
1 Boston Globe article concerning this performance and other INEAS
programs). The program was performed by actor and storyteller, Michael
Nurse; vocalist, Wafaa' Al-Natheema and
oud player, Said Khoory.
Between April and May 1997, INEAS co-sponsored a Tuesday Lecture Series
with the .
Three lectures on "The Mandaeans/Sabaeans: An Unknown Minority
Religion in the Middle East" by Dr. Buckley,
"Living in The US as Immigrants -- The Iranian Experience"
by Simin Bakhtiar, and "Anti-Arab Racism and
Stereotyping" by Wafaa' Al-Natheema.
Our Institute sponsored a Thursday lecture series, which ended in
April, and held at the Boston Public Library. Lectures were given
once a month and covered a variety of subjects. On January 30, Afaf
Stevens gave a lecture on "The Baha'i Faith and The
Evolution of Islam". On February 13, and in celebration of Valentine's
Day, Wafaa' Al-Natheema gave a talk on "Love
Songs and Poetry in Arabic Culture". The lecture drew a much
larger than usual Thursday evening audience. "Living in The US
as Immigrants-- The Iranian Experience" was the topic of the
lecture given by Simin Bakhtiar on March 27. On April
24, the final lecture, "History of Music and Musical Instruments"
was given by Wafaa' Al-Natheema. The lecture's content
was previously aired on WZBC and WMBR, and is currently available
on cassette (to be made available on our products
Storyteller Hussein El-Ali; Oud player Sai
Matta and vocalist, Wafaa' Al-Natheema also
performed Arabian Stallions twice at 2:00 PM and 4:15 PM on Tuesday
December 31 during the FIRST NIGHT festivities in celebration of the
New Year. It was a greatly successful family show. A video tape of
the performance was produced and made available for schools and libraries.
A professional video tape
of the First Night performance is available for schools and institutions
(to be made available on our products page).
On Saturday November 9, George Capaccio, Said
Khoury and Wafaa' Al-Natheema performed
the same program at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Over 70 people
attended the afternoon performance despite the bad weather and gave
mostly positive feedback.
On June 13, 1996, the Zannobiya Team of INEAS performed Arabian Stallions
at the West Roxbury Branch Library. The team included Oud player,
Abla Shuqair ; storyteller George Capaccio
and vocalist Wafaa' Al-Natheema. Those who attended
indicated that it was entertaining, informative and humorous.
In February, 1996, we began organizing The Zannobiya Productions,
our school enrichment programs to introduce students (grades 5-12)
to Arabic and Islamic cultures through music, language, poetry, songs
and storytelling. Such arrangement included designing brochures, researching
the educational material, writing and editing the script of the performances,
rehearsals and publicity. A team comprised of talented and professional
individuals was established to perform three programs, Arabian Stallions,
Baghdad Cafe' and Thousand and One Nights. The goal is not only to
perform these shows, but also to offer a follow-up classes, residencies
and workshops to educate students, teachers and parents about the
Arabic, African and Islamic cultures at junior and high schools as
well as other institutions.
On Thursday, October 19, Naseer Shemma gave a lecture
on Arabic Music and Maqamat at MIT and on Saturday October 21, he
solo on the oud (or lute) at the First Church Congregational in Cambridge.
His performance was one-of-a- kind.
The Boston Globe
indicated, "...His concert Saturday night was both intellectually
fascinating and deeply moving, one of the most striking solo performances
to come through Boston in recent years."
The concert was made available
on video tape.
In order to fund Naseer Shemma's concert, we organized and hosted
Thousand & One Nights which was celebrated with music, art, talks,
film clips by director, John Gianvito, storytelling
by George Capaccio, piano playing by Silvard
Kool, a lecture on Iraqi art with slides by Wafaa'
Al-Natheema. The evening took place at the Newton Art Center
on August 5, 1995. Few days later, we were approved for tax-exemption
status and the struggle to solicit funds resumed again.
We filed for tax-exemption status, while working on another
major event. A month earlier, we began our regular contact with Tunisia
to arrange for the performance of a famous composer and oud player.
In May 1995, we managed to find a law firm that was willing to work
on Naseer Shemma's visa. After a bitter and a long waiting period
of five months, Naseer Shemma, an Iraqi composer
and oud player, finally arrived in Boston on October 14, 1995.
Letter and Phone
Campaign to Lift the Embargo
We were active in an educational and humanitarian campaign to lift
the embargo against the people of Iraq. We held a talk arranged with
the help of the Peace and Justice Commission of the Episcopal Diocese
of Massachusetts in Boston. In March of 1995, we organized a letter/phone
campaign with the Peace and Justice Committee of the Christ Episcopal
Church in Needham. We urged, helped in and funded the writing of letters
and making phone calls to the White House and the UN. More than 80
letters were sent to Clinton and the UN following these two events
including a letter sent directly by the Peace & Justice Commission
to President Clinton.
INEAS' First Event
The poetry evening featuring Lamee'a Abbas Amara
took place at the Islamic Center
of New England in Sharon, Mass., and was highly successful. It included
dinner and music followed by poetry recitation in Arabic by Lamee'a
Abbas Amara, a famous Iraqi poetess, with its English translation
recited by Wafaa' Al-Natheema.