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Why You Should Go To DIWAN… //

byleyya tawil

Tawil map_ Ghneim ZarurDIWAN is a place to talk about your work, your perspective, your ideas.

DIWAN is a place to share your art, your identity, your philosophy. DIWAN is also a place to see, hear, and cultivate new thinking.  DIWAN is a place to meet other people involved in THE DIALOGUE — the one concerning Arabs, Americans, and Arts.

The first time I participated in DIWAN was 2007. Imagine attending Brooklyn Beats to Beirut Streets with urban artists Omar Offendum and Joe Namy on the same day as Dr. Jack Shaheen introduces his film Reel Bad Arabs – the list goes on and on. I was a panelist alongside visual artists Emna Zghal and Kathreen Toukhy, we discussed our perspectives and representations of the Arab female in our work. A conversation about archetypes and glamour ensued. The panel experience was just the kick-off. The real fruit of DIWAN occurs between and behind the scenes, when you thread panel-to-coffee-to-performance-to-coffee again, meeting a myriad of artists, organizers, patrons, humans. This is how I met anthropologist Maysoun Freij, who has since become both a great friend and an important colleague in dialogue concerning contemporary Arab arts.

In this dialogue I find both inspiration and solidarity.  This is why talking is important, and why DIWAN is important.

Be about it — DIWAN 2011 in NYC!


This Editor’s Blog was hijacked by Leyya Mona Tawil. She is a contemporary dance choreographer and the Artistic Director of DANCE ELIXIR.

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