December always seems to involve a bit of a frenzied rush to prepare for holiday and year-end festivities. Often we forget to relax and enjoy the spirit of the season, which is why we at CAAP wish to highlight some of the exciting programs that our grantee partners have been developing this year. Each year, CAAP grants funds out to several dynamic Arab American arts and culture, human services, and advocacy organizations. Whether or not you are local to the happenings highlighted below, there is something for lovers of culture at all ages!

1) To ring in the season, this Thursday (December 17) the Arab Cultural and Community Center (ACCC) in San Francisco will feature Georges Lamman at their Holiday Reception and Open House. Lamman is the director of the Georges Lamman Ensemble: the highly-regarded Arab American musical group, featuring a diverse array of Middle Eastern melodies. The ACCC is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Arab art and culture, and enriching the lives of the Arab American community through culturally focused social services, and by promoting cross-cultural events to all residents of the Bay Area and beyond.

2) Why not brush up on your Arabic classes from ALIF Insitute in Atlanta, GA? The Alif Institute fosters the understanding and appreciation of Arab culture through education, and cultural and arts programming.

3) DVDs of the films featured in the Arab Film Festival (AFF) in CA, or the Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) in MA. The AFF enhances public understanding of Arab culture and provides alternative representations of Arabs by screening films from and about the Arab World that provide realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics. The BPFF is now in its fifth year of showcasing the diverse and creative work of all filmmakers that explore both historic and contemporary themes related to Palestinian culture, experience, and narrative.


4) How about lessons learning the oud or tabla (Arabic lute and drum)? They’re available at the Center for Arabic Culture (CAC) in Boston! CAC promotes Arabic culture in all of its regional and historic varieties and links to other cultures in an open, democratic, and humanistic way.

5) Alwan For the Arts in NYC is featuring “Rhythms and Dances of North Africa and the Middle East” starting January 14th! Alwan organizes film festivals and screenings, book/poetry readings and signings, lectures and conferences, art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, and language and literature classes – all to promote the diverse cultures of Arab countries.

Thank you to all our grantee organizations for another great year celebrating and spreading Arab American culture!

P.S. As a bonus, please remember to check out the store at our sister program, the Arab American National Museum, for great Middle Eastern holiday gifts!

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