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"Middle Eastern Musical Journey"

A performance by



  • 1 Screen
  • Two chairs
  • 2 bottles of water

Program Description

Salaam introduces Middle Eastern culture with a fun and educational musical journey. Students are taken on a "tour" of the region, beginning in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and traveling East to Istanbul, Turkey. Along the way, students learn a traditional "beledi" rhythm and greetings in Arabic and Hebrew. A slide show runs throughout, illustrating geography, people, architecture, and other cultural facets of the region. Comparing and contrasting Middle Eastern and American life, Salaam brings far away lands close to home!

Detailed Outline

  • Introduction: Perform Lamma Bada, maps of region, explain tour of the Middle East.
  • Morocco: Historical significance of this land as a crossroads between Europe, the Arab World and Africa, perform Jajouka Between the Mountains.
  • Learn Arabic Greeting.
  • Egypt: Ancient Egypt, Introduce the Nay, Cairo, the Hollywood of the Middle East, perform Aziza, by composer M. Abdel Wahab.
  • Israel: Learn Hebrew greeting, history, klezmer music, perform Fun Der Kuppe.
  • Palestine: Wedding traditions, henna, Debke dance, perform Ala Dalona.
  • Lebanon: Food and shopping, introduction of the drums, learn beledi rhythm, perform Tallu Hababna.
  • Iraq: Mesopotamia (the cradle of civilization), ancient architecture, introduce the Jozeh, perform El Hejl.
  • Turkey: Bridge between Europe and Asia, Mt. Ararat, perform Rompi Rompi.
  • Wrap up: Ma’a Salaam.


  • Beledi – popular Arabic rhythm
  • Bendir – Moroccan frame drum
  • Darbukka/ dumbek – goblet-shaped hand drum
  • Debke – a type of line dance and music
  • Hejl – an ankle bracelet
  • Jozeh – bowed string instrument from Iraq
  • Ma’a Salaam – Go in peace (good-bye)
  • Naqqarat – Iraqi kettle drums
  • Nay – End-blown cane flute
  • Riq – Egyptian tambourine
  • Salaam alaykum – Arabic for "Peace be with you"
  • Shalom alechem – Hebrew "Peace be with you"
  • Souk – outdoor market

Before We Arrive . . .

Discuss good audience etiquette, listening, and participation. Talk about dance and music and what they have in common. Talk about what students know and don’t know about Middle Eastern history, geography, people, music, etc.

After we leave, ask yourself . . .

  • How did the music make you feel?
  • What was your favorite instrument?
  • What did you learn that was surprising to you?
  • What does Salaam mean?
  • What other countries are part of the Middle East?
  • What are some similarities and differences you have noticed between yourself and people of the Middle East?

About the Artists

Salaam is the Arabic word for "peace". The music group, Salaam, was formed in 1993 to perform Middle Eastern music and promote appreciation and understanding through education. They were part of the F.A.M.E program in 1997, and have been with Young Audiences of Indiana since 1998. They also give performances regularly at universities, museums, festivals and at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Salaam includes Dena El Saffar (violin, viola, joza) and Tim Moore (darbukka, riq, bendir, naqqarat).



  • Gypsy Fire featuring Richard Hagopian and Omar Faruk Tekbilek, CD 4272
  • Folk Songs and Dances from Lebanon VDLCD 533
  • Zaghareed, Music from the Palestinian Holy Land BY El Funoun STA M109D
  • Departure, Iraqi songs of love and longing by Farida SOL CD 9152
  • The Music of Mohammed Abdel Wahab by Simon Shaheen 422-8466 754-2
  • Apocalypse Across the Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka 314-510 857-2


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