Webinar: Teaching Arabic Language and Culture Through Music and Poetry

A performance brought to you by the British Council and Qatar Foundation International who are working together to encourage the teaching and learning of Arabic language and cultures in UK schools.

The session presents Arabic language and Arab culture as an alive and interactive form of expression, attractive and relevant to young people, and with the potential to create exciting content for language teaching. Three UK-based Arab artists combine performances of their art with stories of their identity, cultural belonging, and bilingualism in Arabic and English. They are role models of Arab creativity and present the Arabic language as a dynamic and articulated force in the UK.

Maya Youssef is hailed as ‘queen of the qanun,’ the 78-stringed Middle Eastern plucked zither. Her intense and thoughtful music is rooted in the Arabic classical tradition but incorporates elements of jazz, Western classical, and Latin styles. Originally from Damascus, Maya is based in London.

Amerah Saleh is a spoken word artist, born and bred in Birmingham. Her Muslim Yemeni roots offer her space to become lost and found on multiple occasions between identities. She aims to inspire the younger generation whilst also making the older generation look inwards towards the current state of our society and addressing needed change.

Kareem Samara is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and composer based in London. His particular area of interest is in diasporic identity and the de-colonized possibilities of sound and music. In this session, he performs on the oud, a traditional Arabic instrument, and precursor of the guitar.

This webinar took place on November 14, 2020.

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