Lebanese American University

New York Academic Center

Performance: “Masters of Lebanese Zajal: Poetic Dueling in Song”

May 25, 2017 6:30 PM
LAU New York

In partnership with the Consul General of Lebanon Majdi Ramadan, City Lore, and New Pen League

Zajal, originating in 12th century Andalusia, is a type of sung colloquial poetry where poets exchange mellifluous verbal jabs on a variety of themes in rhythm and rhyme. Esteemed zajadis Adel Khaddaj and Dany Sfeir square off in song with musical accompaniment (keyboard, daff, tabla, katem) and a chorus. Dr. Edgar Choueiri and Sheikh Youssef Abdul Samad make opening remarks. 

The performance will be documented for the documentary film, River of Rhyme: Poetry Duels from Around the World, drawing attention to this venerable form of improvised poetry which still flourishes in Lebanon.

ADEL KHADDAJ is the Vice President of the Union of Zajal Poets in Lebanon and the President of Zajal Nights Choir. He has accompanied acclaimed poets Zaghlool El-Damour and Mousa Zgaib, among others. Khaddaj has several publications on Zajal, and actively works on documenting and preserving this art form. 

DANY SFEIR is a member of both the Union of Zajal Poets in Lebanon and the Zajal Nights Choir. He has declaimed verses and challenged countless poets across Lebanon, as well as on tour internationally. 

This program is made possible through the generous support of:
Lloyd Baroody & Zeina Mehio
Ray & Carmen Debbane
Wadih Jordan
Anis Obeid
Nicolas Choueiri
Anonymous Donors

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