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art and culture

International Peace Day Festival

Come and enjoy an evening of traditional music, art and culture with the Loor Music Group and the Middle East Sustainable Peace Organization (MESPO) on the International Peace Day.  5:00 p.m. - musical performance by Loor Music Group 6:00 p.m. - music, art dsplays, food, and other activities arranged by MESPO The event is open to all AUIS community and invited guests only. About Loor Music Group: Loor is a Kurdish music group based in Sulaimani, and was formed in 2008. All the 12 members of the group are graduates from different music institutions. The group has recorded eight albums, and participated in several music videos other well-known Kurdish singers. The band has held concerts in different European countries, as well as many concerts in the Kurdistan region. The group also performed at the annual Sulaimani Forum dinner earlier this year in March.  About MESPO: MESPO is a youth-led NGO based in Kurdistan working on promoting peace and creating sustainable cultural bridges between the peoples of the Middle East. The organization was founded by AUIS students. 

Play: 10 Seconds to Go

Free admission: Pease click here to register if you would like to attend the performance.  AUIS staff, faculty and students can invite up to two guests, and should register their names here latest by Monday 24, 2017.  Guests will be required to switch off their mobile phones for the full duration of the play. 

Guest Lecture and Book Launch: Kareem Abdulrahman

  The Moulakis Library hosts a guest talk by Kareem Abdulrahman, who has recently translated and published Bakhtiyar Ali’s renowned Kurdish novel Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination, into English as I Stared at the Night of the City. The book was published by Periscope Books in London last year. Abdulrahman will discuss the unique challenges of translating and publishing contemporary Kurdish fiction. The event will be hosted at the Reading Center at the Moulakis Library.    The book has won a “PEN Promotes” grant, and PEN’s World Bookshelf describes the novel as:   I Stared at the Night of the City is a trip, in more ways than one: a tale of extraordinary people travelling great distances, in their minds or with their feet. It is a lyrical interpretation of contemporary Kurdistan, so much in the news nowadays but otherwise so little understood. Told by several unreliable narrators in a kaleidoscope of fragments that all eventually cohere, the novel manages the neat trick of dipping readers into a fantasia just long enough before wrenching them back to hard, cold ‘real life’.   Kareem Abdulrahman is a translator and journalist. He obtained his MA in Journalism from the University of Westminster and worked for over eight years with the BBC, where translation from Kurdish was part of his remit. In 2013, he was awarded a place on the British Centre for Literary Translation’s prestigious mentorship programme. He lives in London.  

Guest Lecture on Contemporary Photography by Akam Sheikh Hadi

Internationally acclaimed Kurdish photographer, Akam Sheikh Hadi, will give a talk on his approach towards contemporary photography. He will also discuss some of his latest works that have been exhibited internationally. This guest lecture will be the inuagural event of the AUIS10 Art Week running from May 7 - 13, 2017.  A photographer and artist from Sulaimani, Akam holds numerous awards and certificates for his photography skills, and has worked on projects such as HAWA - a commemoration of the Halabja incident - and the Nishtiman project in Turkey that showcased Kurdish mass migration. Akam Hadi was the first Kurdish artist to be officially invited to Turkey to take part in this project. Hadi has won international acclaim for his work, and has shown his work at the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, and the Chobi Mela festival in Bangladesh, among other countries. The talk will be in Kurdish but will be interpreted by a student in English.   The event is open to all AUIS community.     

A Musical Journey from Greece to Kurdistan

  The workshop, held on Monday, April 3rd, was led by internationally acclaimed Greek musicians Dr. Matthaios Tsachouridis and Dr. Konstantinos Tsachouridis. The workshop was facilitated and translated by Hajar Zahawi, and focused on explaining the roots of Greek music and how it varies based on the geography of the country, with an introduction to Greek instruments. It was attended in large numbers by aspiring students from the Fine Arts department at the University of Sulaimani and the Oriental Music Club at AUIS. The musicians also gave demonstrations during their talk, and allowed students the opportunity to play the traditional Greek instrument, the Lyra Pontos, which they later gifted to their friend Hajar Zahawi. AUIS invited members of the community, students and staff to enjoy a concert featuring a blend of Greek and Kurdish music on campus on April 4th. Renowned Kurdish artists Hajar Zahawy, Ertan Takin, and Ayub Ali joined the Greek trio Konstantinos Tsachouridis, Giannis Poulios, and Matthaios Tsachouridis to play in front of packed auditorium at AUIS. The concert lasted well over two hours and was greatly enjoyed by the audience.   The Tsachouridis brothers were born in Greece, and both hold a doctorate in the field of Performance Practice. Zahawi and the Tsachouridis brothers met and became friends as university students in the UK. Zahawi has previously performed in Greece, and recently gave a performance with the Tsachouridis brothers at TEDx Nishtiman in Erbil. Together, they share a great passion for music and to bringing cultures together through their performance. In the last two years, Hajar Zahawy has performed and given various music workshops at AUIS. He plans to continue running workshop sessions for aspiring young musicians every semester, with the hope of starting up a music school at the University in future.    Watch the concert video below.   

Podcast: Protecting the Past

  A 2-day conference on October 30th and 31st brought together national and international experts to explore new approaches to monitor, protect and preserve the cultural heritage of all Iraq. The conference, Protecting the Past: Towards a Better Future with Cultural Heritage, jointly organized by the AUIS Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE), the University of Oxford Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East & North Africa (EAMENA) project, and the University of Sulaimani, drew upon the experience of projects and approaches that have been successful throughout the wider Middle East in protecting local cultural heritage. The podcasts from the conference are now available online. Please click on individual talks in the program below or visit our podcast channel to listen to the conference speakers. Kurdish and Arabic translations of podcasts are available, where indicated next to each talk. The podcasts have been produced by EAMENA, and are also available on the Protecting the Past and the University of Oxford websites.  Sunday, 30 October: Towards a better future with cultural heritage in the MENA region  Protecting the Past in Iraq: Challenges and Needs Keynote: Robert Bewley (Director, EAMENA) - Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East & North Africa (کوردی) May Shaer (UNESCO – Iraq) - Safeguarding Iraq's Cultural Heritage: An Overview of UNESCO's Activities (کوردی | عربى) Abdelamir al-Hamdani (State Board of Antiquities and Heritage) - Digitizing the Past: A New Digital Atlas and Database of the Archaeological sites in Iraq (کوردی | عربى) Iraq in the MENA Region: New Initiatives and Approaches (Part I) Graham Philip (SHIRIN & Durham University) The Shirin Project: the development of tools to support collective action in heritage protection and damage mitigation  (کوردی | عربى) Allison Cuneo (ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives) - Monitoring, Protecting, and Preserving Cultural Heritage: Recent Results of the ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives  (کوردی | عربى) Kozad Ahmad (University of Sulaimani) - The Types of Danger to the Cultural Heritage of the Middle East (کوردی | عربى) Abdullah Khorsheed (IICAH) - Archaeological Conservation Programs at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and heritage Katie A. Paul (Antiquities Coalition) - Culture Under Threat: Developing and Implementing Solutions to Cultural Racketeering and Terrorist Financing (عربى) Monday, 31st October: Safeguarding heritage in Iraq Iraq in the MENA region: New Initatives and Initiatives (Part II) John MacGinnis (Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Project, British Museum) - The British Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme (کوردی) Roger Matthews (RASHID, University of Reading) - RASHID International: Formulating a Future for Iraq's Past (کوردی) Bijan Rouhani (AMAL Project, ICOMOS) - AMAL in Heritage: A cultural emergency management tool for MENA region (کوردی | عربى) Cultural Heritage and Capacity Building in Conflict Zones Layla Salih (State Board of Antiquities and Heritage) - The Destroyed Heritage in Mosul - reality and challenges (کوردی | عربى) Tobin Hartnell (AUIS) - Capacity Building for Cultural Heritage in the KRG (کوردی | عربى) Didier Bouakaze-Khan (METU, Ankara) - Archaeological Heritage in Conflict Zones  Protecting the Past in the Face of Development: Defining Goals and Expectations Ricardo Cabral (Kani Shaie Archaeology Project, Universidade de Coimbra) - Using Digital Technologies to Document the Endangered Archaeological Heritage of the Bazyan Basin in Slemani Emma Cunliffe (EAMENA, Oxford) - Site Destruction in the Iraqi Jazirah: a satellite imagery assessment Saman Ahmad (Kurdistan Botanical Foundation) - The status of Flora of Kurdistan region, Iraq (کوردی | عربى) Narmen Ali Muhamadameen (Salahaddin University) - The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and Assessment of Its Archaeological Heritage (کوردی | عربى)

Celebrating Nali

  On November 14th, 2016, students commemorated the National Day of Sulaimani by celebrating the works of the acclaimed Kurdish poet Nali. The organizers included students from AUIS, University of Sulamani and Salahaddin University, who are all on the staff of DidiMn - a literary website.  >> یەکەم ئیڤێنتی کلتووریی دیدی من بەهاوبەشیی زانکۆی ئەمریکی بەڕێوە چوو >> ڕۆژی نالی بە وێنە The evening began with a moving and powerful recitation of the poem "Camekay Nali Bo Slemani" by Rzgar Amin. Bushra Kasnasazi, a writer and professor at the University of Sulaimani then hosted a panel discussion on Nali's work with Kurdish writer Rabwar Siwaili, and Dr. Dilshad Ali, professor at University of Sulaimani. The discussion was focused on the research and publications on Nali's work produced by both the panelists. This was followed by a lively Q&A session with the panel. The discussion was followed by some poetry reading by journalist and poet Shalaw Habiba, while AUIS student Pshtewan Babakir read from English translation of the same poem.  The evening ended with a beautiful musical performance of Nali's poetry by the talented AUIS Oriental Music Club. Students also distibuted beautiful handmade souvenirs with Nail's most famous verses. The event, Nali's Day, was attended in great numbers by the literary community of Sulaimani and the AUIS community. The program was conducted by AUIS student Shatoo Diyar Bakir. The main organizers from AUIS included students Shene Mohammed, Zhiwar Jawhar and Pshtewan Babakir.  The event was made possible with the generous contribution of our sponsors: Chalaak's Place, Ako Printing, Bahar Group, and Taha Sadiq Group.   


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