“Objects tell our stories” in World Arabic Language Day in SA 2021

We are very excited while getting ready to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day in South Australia for the first time on Saturday 11/12/2021, at the Migration Museum, 4:30 to 7:30pm. The event has been sold out and a waiting list is now open.  We are considering very carefully the current health situation and, finger crossed, all will be ok to hold the event as planned.

With help from the Migration Museum staff, we will be holding a One Day Pop-up exhibition to share stories about migration experiences and cultural identities through personal objects. ALCASA and the Migration Museum extended the invitation to participate in the exhibition to all  members to the South Australian Arabic speaking community groups and we received a relatively good response considering the extent and the duration of the event. A workshop took place on 10/10/2021 to explore what may be added to the exhibition. Valued members of SA Arabic speaking communities joined the ALCASA members in an interactive session where we shared stories and items from the homeland. It was a fun session that helped us to enhance social connections and to reflect on migration, belonging and identity. We look forward to set up and enjoy the exhibition during the World Arabic Language Day in SA 2021.

 

ALCASA in 2020 – 2021

South Australia is a growing multicultural community and recent world events have shown how welcoming and inclusive our community

Cross stitching art work with Arabic words to say “Life is unbearable without hope”

“Life is unbearable without hope.”, by Fayrouz Ajaka and Ahmed El Khalidi

can be of the growing tapestry of our population. These events have also shown our resilience and care for one another; especially when many of us have family and friends overseas that we cannot embrace.

 

ALCASA has been proud to play its role in keeping spirits up and the community connected in challenging times. Thanks to our dedicated members and volunteers, we have been able to continue to run events and gatherings to bring people together – either virtually or in open spaces. Community restrictions have meant that we have not had the chance to run a full program of community events and activities this year. However, we have been lucky enough to get together with some of you for coffee along the Torrens, backgammon in the park, art appreciation and walks in the gardens. It has been wonderful to stay connected in person and online throughout the year.

If we cast our minds back 18 months to March 2020, ALCASA proudly presented ‘Aghaani Zamaan’ – classic Arabic songs that have enchanted generations in the Middle East as one of the final public events at the Adelaide Fringe Festival before the beginning of lockdowns hit us. We can all recall the 100+ audience and an electric atmosphere at the Nexus Arts Centre as a huge crowd revelled to a medley of talented and passionate local artists who breathed new life into classic Arabic hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Our reach into the community despite ongoing restrictions continued when during 2020-2021 ALCASA partnered with Nexus Arts to support an Audience Research Project when we helped to reach out to Arabic speaking audience to assess how they engage with the artistic experiences in Adelaide. Our Chairperson, Fayrouz, helped in spreading the word by producing a video call seeking participation from the Arabic speaking community. This collaboration culminated in a group of local artists curating art work for an intercultural art exhibition HOME. We were also lucky enough to host the event “Home” Intercultural Art exhibition: Meet the Artist ” with no less than 40 participants coming along to meet those artists that exhibited. Among those attending was ALCASA friend and well-renowned Iraqi-Australian theatre writer Sabah Alanbari and his family; Sabah wrote an article about the event that you can read on our website.
Similarly, in partnership with the Centre of Democracy, we supported and promoted the exhibition Stitch & Resist. The exhibition took place from 2 July to 6 August 2021 at the Mill Gallery and aspects of the Arabic language and culture: My life in diaspora by DecoElian and Hope, stitched by Fayrouz Ajaka and designed by Yadura Design Studio.
Most recently, ALCASA hosted an art workshop on the classic art of Arabic calligraphy.The Arabic language and script is as beautiful as it is complex; for centuries artists have been creating beautiful artwork and mosaics with the use of Arabic lettering. Ahmed ElKhalidi led us through a fascinating journey of artistic expression and supported participants to create wonderful art with the simple use of characters from the Arabic alphabet.

Upcoming Events
And still we will not rest with an exciting event scheduled for the end of 2021!!
We are very excited to invite you to join us on the 11/12 for our end of year event, the Inaugural World Arabic Language Day in SA 2021, hosted by ALCASA in collaboration with  at the the History Trust of South Australia’s Migration Museum and supported by SA Multicultural Affairs, Department of the Premier and Cabinet. The event will offer a range of interactive activities such as a brief history of the Arabic language, music and songs performances, Palestinian Dabke performance, a collaborative exhibition “Objects Tells Our Stories” that we will put together on the day with the help of the Migration Museum and our friends in other SA Arabic speaking community groups in South Australia.

Thank you to our dedicated ALCASA committee, all our members, family and friends. We are looking forward to a bigger and better 2022!!

Hassan Mekawy
ALCASA Secretary

Inaugural World Arabic Language Day in South Australia 2021

اليوم العالمي للّغة العربية في جنوب أستراليا 2021

Join us as we celebrate World Arabic Language Day in SA 2021. The event will offer a range of interactive activities such as a brief history of the Arabic language, Arabic music and songs by local community members, “dabke” performances (folkloric line dancing) and a collaborative exhibition to represent migration stories by SA Arabic speaking communities.

دعوة عامة للإحتفال باليوم العالمي للغة العربية في جنوب أستراليا. يتضمن برنامج الإحتفال تقديم نبذة عن تاريخ اللغة العربية وعروض موسيقية وغنائية ورقص الدبكة من قبل أفراد من الجالية العربية . وسيقام أيضاً معرضاً رمزياً ينقل صوراً عن هجرة متكلمي اللغة العربية من بلاد مختلفة وعن استقرارهم في جنوب أستراليا

نرجو أن تحفظوا تاريخ الإحتفال وسنقدم معلومات أكثر تفصيلاً قريبًا

Please save the date and we will be providing more detailed information shortly. (Time to be confirmed)

Event hosted by ALCASA in partnership with the History Trust of South Australia’s Migration Museum

Supported by SA Multicultural Affairs, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

 

Intercultural Art Exhibition “Home”

ALCASA members, friends and partners, at the intercultural Arts exhibition "Home"

We are delighted to have taken part in the Audience Research Project and in curating the Art exhibition “Home”. It was quite empowering to witness the launch of the exhibition on 6/06/2021, in presence of His Excellency Hieu Van Le AC, the Governor General of South Australia and the Honourable Jing Lee, MLC (South Australia). The projects were initiated and led successfully by ALCASA’s long term partner Nexus Arts. We really enjoyed working on these projects together with Nexus Arts, Campbelltown Arthouse Inc., the Hispanic Women’s Association of SA and the Chinese Welfare Services of SA.
“Home” exhibition is open to the public from 8/06 to 30/06 at the beautiful Campbeltown Arthouse, 168 Montacute Rd, Rostrevor.

Happy World Arabic Language Day in SA!

In 2020, the ALCASA team wished to celebrate for the first time the World Arabic Language Day in South Australia.

We partnered with the SA Migration Museum and planned a very exciting and engaging program to hold the event on Saturday 12/12/2020. Alas the eagerly anticipated event had to be cancelled following the development of the Covid19 cluster in Adelaide last month.

Despite the disappointing outcome, while planning for the event we consolidated relationships with a number of local Arabic speaking talented people and organisations. We are grateful for the support and contribution we received from everyone. We would love to maintain and grow these cherished relationships for future celebrations and events.

Happy World Arabic Language Day!

ALCASA introduce Arabic Songs to the Adelaide Fringe Festival

In the 60 years of Fringe in Adelaide, this might quite possibly be the first time an all-Arabic music event has been on the program – and a SOLD OUT event of 120 guests as well!!
On the 14th March 2020, the Arabic Language and Culture Association of SA (ALCASA) proudly presented ‘Aghaani Zamaan’ – classic Arabic songs that have enchanted generations in the Middle East.
There was an electric atmosphere at the Nexus Lion Art Centre as a huge crowd revelled to a medley of talented and passionate local artists who breathed new life into classic Arabic hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The show opened with a 60s classic from Taroub – Ahla w’sahla bil ahbab that really made the crowd come to life. Rania and Nouha vocals seduced the audience as they sang in harmony to Charlie on the qanun, Rabih playing the oud, Ahmed on the tabla and Ahssar on the percussions.
A diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds were overwhelmed with nostalgia and raw memories of their homeland as the melodies sent them back to their childhood and their rich cultural heritage. Classic hits from superstar Fairuz, Sabah and Nasri Shamseddeen had the audience on their feet soaking in the history. One audience member was ecstatic and thanked ALCASA for the opportunity for their mother, who is suffering from dementia, to be able to sing along to every song; “I haven’t been as connected to mum as I was tonight. Bless you all for the wonderful experience.”
The performance also exposed to a whole new audience the legacy left by the legends of Arabic music and showcased the significance of some iconic songs from long ago. The artists provided a new experience for lovers of world music by contextualising each song and even providing phonetic lyrics so the audience could sing along – karaoke, Arabic style!
The crowd participated with their singing and clapping and gave a standing ovation to the musicians. The audience celebrated the singers and received many congratulations; one audience member praised the singers for their “amazing voices and beautiful presence”. This event was certainly a night to remember and one our audience members will never forget!
ALCASA would like to thank all involved for their outstanding commitment and support to allow us to host this event and we are humbled by the amazing community endorsement to continue to host great events like this one. Special thanks to Nexus Arts for encouraging us to participate in the 2020 Fringe Festival. We felt so lucky for receiving subsidies to present this unique ALCASA performance. We look forward to the opportunity to share with you all again soon.

Hassan Mekawy
ALCASA Secretary

Check for more photos at

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ArabicInAdelaide/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3441509092544166