Three more days for the Chicago World Music Festival

The Chicago Music Festival runs from September 19-25 this year with free or very reasonably price concerts at various locations around the city.

Arabic artists this year are Dhafer Youssef of Tunisia, Ensemble Al-Kindi of Syria, and Gaida Hinawwi–listen to her |here|, a female vocalist from Iraq in the traditional maqam style.  The Iraqi already performed Sunday, and the Syrian group preformed Friday–drat, they bill themselves as “Whirling Dervishes of Damascus”.

Yet to come–


The Dhafer Youssef concert (Sufi Mystic Fusion) is Wednesday 9/24 7:30 P.M at the Museum of Contemporary Art–Admission $15. Listen to a sample of the music–“Farha” from Electric Sufi–at the festival website |here|. (Click on Wednesday) Also  Wednesday night is Mor Karbasi with the flamenco-esque Shephardic Ladino music from Jerusalem–see Thursday for the link.


You can also hear Dhafer Youssef  Thursday from 11:00-2:00 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Theater free.  (And bask in the glow of the Tiffany stained glass dome at the same time.) To be broadcast line on WNUR 89.3 FM on the “Continental Drift” international program.  Also appearing in this venue is Mor Karbasi–listen here, oh, yes! from Israel with Sephardic Ladino Music–the music and language of the exiled Jews of Spain–sounds interesting, but they are separted by two acts–could that be a coididink?

The festival ends Thurday with an open house/Mexican market at the Cultural Center. For addresses see the City of Chicago’s official festival website.

The links for audio tracks again are:

Chicago Music Festival

Gaida Hinawwi–listen to her |here|

Mor Karbasi–listen here, oh, yes!

or look for links yourself on this list of featured artists

Lo Cor de la Plana from Spain, a capella male voices

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Chicago Arabesque festival starts today: look for “Amal” vendor to support women survivors of war

Oh, goody, Arabs again. Last year’s Arabesque festival in Chicago’s Daly Plaza was perfect. The weather was gorgeous, there was plenty of Arab music, calligraphy, henna hand painting, flavored tobacco for your hooka pipe and a line of graceful guys with those gorgeous Arab eyes getting up on the empty stage to dance a little impromptu Dubka arm in arm.

This year one of the vendors is Amal which is promoted as a supplier of unique jewelry which gives ten percent of its proceeds to Women for Women, a highly rated not-for-profit organization for women survivors of war. Highly appropriate, as this week the U.N. finally declared rape as a weapon of warfare. Says the Amal “about” page:

We believe in honor, respect and love.
We are a company designed to help women by combining the modern techniques of jewelry with the historical evil eye protection to provide everyone an item to wear with pride.

Ah, the evil eye protection. There’s something to that, you know. A friend of mine in the middle east had an evil eye on her kitchen wall that faced anyone entering her apartment. A week before she was assaulted, the eye, and nothing else, disappeared from her apartment.

If you go into the right shops, away from the tourist section, you can even find blue plastic eyes about the right size for sheep and cows.

I just happen to have two eyes that guard me as I sleep. Are they just nice to look at, or are they something else?

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