Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

AAPG Poetry Festival Draws Record Audience

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

AAPG Poetry Festival Draws Record Audience

Article excerpt

AAPG Poetry Festival Draws Record Audience

Arabs love poetry and if you have any doubts about this, they would have been dispelled by the crowd of 350 people who filled the American Druze Society Center on Feb. 20 for the 12th annual Poetry Festival of the Arab American Press Guild. "The people were so pleased and kept asking for more until we decided we should have a second festival this year in the summer," stated AAPG President Samir Twair.

Commented Shaheen al-Wirr, who was visiting from his home in Jordan: "I've survived every tragedy that has befallen the Palestinians since 1947, but tonight gave me hope to see Arabs from all countries united to celebrate their rich heritage in poetry and music."

Frosting on the cake was a half-hour performance of Andalusian muwashshahat by the Kan Zaman Folkloric Ensemble under the direction of Wael Kakish.

"I felt as if I were back home for a few hours," commented one happy participant. Another said it was like a shot in the arm to realize that Arabic poetry and music are alive and well in California. …

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