Syria Resilient Series: Poetry/Music Performance: “Stripped to the Bone”

211 E. 46th Street, New York

LAU NY Academic Center is organizing an evening of poetry and prose co-Sponsored with the New Pen League, reflecting on issues of gender, identity, strife, and resilience. The readings by Syrian-Canadian author Ghada Alatrash will be accompanied by live music from the co-founders of the New York Arabic OrchestraBassam Saba and April Centrone. Lebanese poet and New Pen League Managing Editor Youssef Abdul Samad will also perform a few Arabic poems during the evening. The audience will get an opportunity to engage in a lively discussion with Ghada after the readings. 

Ghada Alatrash is a published translator who lives in Calgary, Alberta. One of her goals is to amplify the voices of the marginalized through her writings. She recently published a collection of stories, Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women, featuring seven fictional portraits of Syrian women. Set between war-torn Syria and the West, this collection shows the passions and predicaments of modern Syrian women. Ghada has also translated a collection of Arabic poems by Youssef Abdul Samad published as So that the Poem Remains. She and other Syrian artists were recently profiled on the PBS NewsHour. Ghada has an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma. She is currently a doctoral student at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 

Bassam Saba is the Artistic Director of the NYAO. A virtuoso, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, educator and world renowned authority on Arabic music, Saba studied at the Lebanon National Conservatory. He also holds degrees from the Conservatoire Municipal des Gobelins in Paris and the Gnessin Musical Pedagogical Institute in Moscow. Saba has performed in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has worked with renowned artists such as Fairouz, Wadi’ El-Safi, Majida El-Roumi, Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Alicia Keys, Santana, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones.

April Centrone is the Executive Director of the NYAO. She is a percussionist, teacher and music therapist originally from New York. She has worked with artists such as Ziad Rahbani, Marcel Khalife, Najib Shaheen and Charbel Rouhana. Centrone began her studies in classical Arabic music with ‘ud, violin and riqq, under the tutelage of master percussionist Michel Merhej Baklouk. 

The Syria Resilient Series is made possible by the generous support of The Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, Lloyd Baroody & Zeina Mehio, New York Council for the Humanities, and Aida Sharabati-Shawwaf.

6.30 PM: Readings; 8.30 PM Reception

Registration details are coming soon.