Dunya concert to support aid for earthquake victims
Turkish tragedy stirs memories of earlier natural disaster in Pakistan
Hearing news of a devastating earthquake hitting Turkey in October of last year, Aziz Sohail’13, vice president of Project Nur, had a feeling of déjà vu.
Only a year ago, he had been actively involved with many other students in on-campus relief efforts for the floods which had struck his native Pakistan. Once again, he wanted to get involved – this time to support relief efforts being organized for Turkey.
Project Nur is a student-led initiative of the American Islamic Congress which advocates for social justice and intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Together with the president of the Brandeis arm of the project, Nusrath Yusuf’13, and other actively involved members, Sohail began organizing a concert featuring Turkish music in order to raise funds for earthquake relief efforts.
“Being able to listen to music from different places means that you are exploring that culture in a unique context,” says Sohail, explaining why Project Nur chose to organize this particular event to raise funds. “Music is a common denominator for people across culture and religion; it is something anyone can connect to and enjoy.”
The concert, which will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in Solsberg Recital Hall, is the culmination of the efforts of various on and off campus, in particular the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance and the American Islamic Congress, who donated to the event. The concert will feature Dunya, a Boston-based Turkish music ensemble led by Mehmet Sanlikol, a renowned composer and ethnomusicologist who is currently a faculty member at Emerson College and Brown University. The group will be playing a wide range of music, from traditional Turkish folk songs to more contemporary pop to devotional songs. There will be a pre-concert talk by Sanlikol, and Turkish refreshments after the event.
Dr. Ann E. Lucas, ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Music at Brandeis, says that by attending this concert, students and faculty can enjoy the interesting dichotomy of East and West that makes up Turkish culture as explored by the Dunya musicians.
“Dunya encompasses a really amazing group of musicians, who very thoughtfully use the music of Turkey as a starting point for exploring music both cross-culturally and trans-historically,” she explains “Turkey’s cultural location between East and West, and its cosmopolitan history as the center of the Ottoman Empire, provide an interesting array of cultures in contact that Dunya brilliantly uses as a basis to extrapolate new musical ideas while also honoring a variety of traditional musical styles.”
The event is co-sponsored by MusicUnitesUs, the Brandeis Music Department, and the InterCultural Center. Tickets for the event are $5 for students and $10 for regular admission, and are available through Brandeis Tickets at Shapiro Campus Center, or online at www.brandeis.edu/tickets/. All proceeds will go towards relief and rehabilitation efforts in Turkey.
Sohail urges people to take some time out of their weekend to attend.
“I really hope people will attend, it is going to be an amazing night. It’s so important for us to appreciate these musicians and the work they are doing in promoting cross-cultural dialogue through the beauty of music.”Dunya c
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