New Beginnings Spring Aramaic Concert

Monday, March 30 2020, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM [EST]

149 Old N Way, , Washington, DC, 20007, United States

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General Online (Early $12) ($20 After March 24th & At The Door) PARTIAL APPROVAL - $12.00

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Students / Refugees / Georgetown Uni Faculty & Staff / SHIN Members - Valid ID Required at Check In as Applicable (Online Only) PARTIAL APPROVAL - Free

Donate to Syrian and other refugee support - Even if you got a free ticket - Every bit helps

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Monday, March 30 2020, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM [EST]

Georgetown University - Gonda Theatre, 149 Old N Way, , Washington, DC, 20007, United States.

Coloratura soprano LUBANA AL QUNTAR -- Syria's First Opera Singer -- will sing in Aramaic/Syriac at Georgetown University, accompanied by EDVINAS MINKSTIMAS (piano), CHAKIB HILALI (oud) and a choir, to raise awareness of refugee crises worldwide. Aramaic was used as a lingua franca in the Near East from the 6th century BCE. Concert to include pieces from the Syriac and Jewish traditions.

Enjoy Lubana’s ethereal voice, receive updates about Syria and connect to the various ways you can help refugees locally and worldwide. Meet and greet local refugees at reception (7:00-7:40PM) with light kosher, Syrian-style refreshments, preceding the concert.

Since mid-December 2019, about 586,000 Syrians have been displaced and 375 killed. Overall, the conflict in Syria has resulted in the displacement of more than half of Syria's population of 20 million, existing prior to its onset.

$12 early; $20 otherwise and at the door; Free for students and refugees. Early special expires March 24th.

-Additional option to donate at registration. All donations, as well as any tickets proceeds (after defraying the cost of the music and refreshments), go to help refugees.

-Free for Students; Georgetown University faculty and staff; and SHIN members who register online early.

Full Musician Bios at

LUBANA AL QUNTAR is a coloratura soprano whose rare and dramatic voice breathes life into the wide repertoire she sings in folk, traditional Syriac and Aramaic languages, Arabic, pop, and classical opera. She was born in Damascus, Syria to an iconic family of renowned musicians, including Asmahan and Farid Al Atrash whose music lives on, including in the Syrian Jewish liturgy.

In 1995, Lubana won the prestigious title of Syria’s First Opera Singer, receiving international fame and recognition. From 2006 to 2012, she served at the Syrian National Conservatory as the Voice Chair for the Department of Opera Singing allowing students to study both Western and Arabic forms together for the very first time.

EDVINAS MINKSTIMAS is widely regarded as one of Europe’s top emerging young pianists, one whose extensive repertory, solid technique and musical expression have led him to perform throughout Europe and North America. He is the winner of eight international piano competitions and became a Steinway Artist in August, 2013.

CHAKIB HILALI is a multi-instrumentalist noted for his exquisite feeling as a musician and playing Arabic music on a dizzying number of different instruments, including oud (Arabic Lute), ney (end-blown flute), violin, riq (Arabic Tambourine), and oriental keyboards. He grew up in Casablanca, Morocco where he studied oud (Arabic lute) at the Conservatory of Music in Casablanca. He plays North African Rai music and has taught Moroccan percussion on a variety of instruments, as well as a style of Moroccan singing known as "Shaabi".


This is SHIN’s fifth annual event to raise consciousness of the Syrian and other refugee crises worldwide. This program is based on the long-running custom of many Syrian Jews to light an extra flame each night of Hanukkah to remember their being accepted as refugees in Aleppo after being forced out of Spain in the 15th century.

Cosponsors with SHIN DC: Sephardic Heritage INternational DC:

* Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the School of Foreign Service


* Adas Israel Congregation - Washington, DC

* Temple Rodef Shalom

* Tifereth Israel Congregation

* Temple Micah

* Syrian American Council


Event on Facebook:

Contact: | T: 202-643-4441 |



Sephardic Heritage International (SHIN) DC

Sephardic Heritage International (SHIN) DC builds intercultural bridges while raising awareness of Sephardic and other underrepresented Jewish heritages and the arts, cultures and history of the Middle East, and North Africa ( | The Georgetown Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) is the only academic center in the United States focusing exclusively on the Arab world, and it has been doing so with distinction since 1975 (

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