Thursdays from 2-3pm
‘Arab Music Arab Culture’ is a cultural program at heart where the listeners are taken on a journey into the heart of Arab culture to capture its rich rhythms and diverse traditions and history. The Arab world is rich with culture and history, from ancient civilizations, such as Ugarit, Ebla and Mari that have emerged from the heart of Syria, to the ancient city of Babylon in the country known as Iraq today, to ancient Bosra in southern Syria that was once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia. The eastern part of the Arab world known as the Middle East is a region that has absorbed and embraced all the biblical messages: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and was key in their spread to the rest of the world. These are a few of many culturally as well as historically rich aspects of the Arab world. There are 22 Arab countries on the world map today, covering the regions of all of North Africa as well as Southwest Asia.
‘Arab Music Arab Culture’, which was launched in October 2001, carries a theme every time. The theme is about some aspect of Arabic culture or history, and sometimes pertains to a cultural or historical event that may be on-going. In addition, I bring to you interviews with artists, writers and poets from the Middle East among many other types of interviews.
Some Arabic Artists and Poets have become well known in the west. Some of those include the great Lebanese poet Gibran Khalil Gibran; the UNESCO Artist for Peace, the captivating Lebanese composer and Oud master, Marcel Khalife, who has influenced entire generations with his soulful music as he sung the beautiful poetry of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darweesh; the fascinating Palestinian composer and amazing performer on the Oud and violin, Simon Shaheen; the Iraqi composer and master of the Oud, Grammy-Award nominee Rahim Alhaj; the Algerian king of Rai music Cheb Khaled, as well as the wonderful soulful voice of the Algerian Cheb Mami amongst many others.
All this is but a flavor of what I have in store for you on ‘Arab Music Arab Culture’, a one-of-a-kind program in Mid-Missouri that is made possible to you by your community radio station. This is what KOPN continues to bring to Columbia and the surrounding Mid-Missouri area.
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I am an Arab-American. I was born in the city of the Gateway Arch, the city of St. Louis, Missouri to Syrian parents. At age three, my family moved back to Syria, to the ancient and beautiful city of Damascus where I grew up. I spent the next 18 years of my life in the culturally rich and diverse city of Damascus, the capital of Syria. I was surrounded by Arabic music and culture in every aspect of my life during those 18 years, and from that reservoir of knowledge I came to produce 'Arab Music Arab Culture' as you know it today.
Professionally, and since I have moved away from Columbia in summer 2009, I have continued to be a professor of physics, currently at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley. Prior to that, I had been at Moberly Area Community College for a decade. Columbia had been my home away from home; I lived in it for 18 years, just as long as I did in Damascus. I had arrived in Columbia straight from Damascus, Syria to study at the University of Missouri in 1990.