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‘Heart Strings’ at Arabesque Gallery Hop

Nov 17

Our November 17th Gallery Hop show, Hearts Strings, will combine the amazing movements of dance with the powerful and moving melodies of stringed instruments.

Our featured artist is the very talented George Wakim! An adept craftsman of ouds and violins he is also an accomplished musician and singer and will share his gifts with us in an enchanting evening of music and dance.

We also have a special guest appearance by the band Sulh! They will be playing music from the Mediterranean and Silk Road as well as new works for ethnic ensembles. They are based in the New Albany, Indiana and Greater Louisville, Kentucky region.

Joining us for the last Gallery Hop of 2017 is an amazing group of talented dancers to compliment the wonderful musicians; Safiya Nawaar, Emily Marie, Romana and Azha! Check out all the bios below.

Come join us on this amazing journey, and ‘Let our Stage be the Canvas’ as our guests weave their own artwork of music, movement and emotion!


George W. Wakim

George W. Wakim is from Miye Ou Miye, a small village overlooking the coastal City of Sidon in South Lebanon. George is an avid fan of Arabic music in which he is an entirely self-taught (left-handed) performer on violin, oud, tabla, and voice! In 1984, he came to the University of Kentucky for his engineering degrees during which period he entertained in local and regional area events. Among the different venues involved during George’s engineering career with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, he opened a show for American Folk/Appalachian icon Singer Jean Richie and shared another stage with bluegrass musician and instrument maker legend Homer C. Ledford regarding musical instrument making at the Kentucky Folk-life Festival in Frankfort. He also opened the first Berry Hill Mansion Music Series show in Frankfort, Kentucky, participated in the “Secret Commonwealth” series of dance operas by Dan Dutton of Somerset, Kentucky, performed in a concert by “Baladna” group on KET Mixed Media Show in 2004, and opened for a show for Simon Shaheen at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Bomhard Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky in 2007. George is involved in hand crafting his own ouds and violins. He built five (5) left-handed violins under master maker and friend JB Miller of Lexington. His first oud showed in the “Made To Be Played” exhibit at the state museum in Frankfort in 2009 and oud No.3 just showed at the Kentucky Craft Luminaries exhibit in Lexington in 2015 and oud No. 5 at the Lexington’s Fall Lex Art Exhibit in 2016. In addition to entertaining in private parties, he currently performs with a local Flamenco-Arabic fusion group in Lexington called Alma Gitana. He also teaches oud.


Sulh is a band that plays music from the Mediterranean and Silk Road as well as new works for ethnic ensembles based in the New Albany, Indiana and Greater Louisville, Kentucky region.

Band members include: Zoe Blackwell, Chelsea Getty, Helen Holifield, Roxell Karr, Megan McIntosh, Jon Silpayamanant

Their motto, Sharing the World through Music, is realized by presenting cultural sounds to their audience. Their repertoire includes Arabic,Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Klezmer, Iraqi, Macedonian,Malaysian Rong Ngeng, Persian, Turkish, and Turkish Rom music.

Visit them at http://www.sulhmusic.com/


Safiya Nawaar

safiya3 low res

Highly acclaimed teacher, performer and mentor Safiya Nawaar, is the owner and artistic director of Arabesque World Dance in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful dancer brings traditional Raqs Sharqi to life with a powerful yet delicate style, both on the stage and in the classroom. Safiya’s specialties include the traditional and folkloric dances from Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Persia. As well, she teaches and performs American Cabaret and ITS.
Her studio and show venue frequently host national and international talent for workshops, performances and educational presentations. Her passion for introducing culture to the community through movement and music, also brings her signature style out into the public by way of cultural festivals, stage shows, art exhibitions, and school demonstrations. She produces and directs her annual events under the label, Arabesque World Dance Productions.

Safiya is a classically trained dancer with many years of Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Theatrical dance as a solid foundation before getting involved in MENAHT dance training.

Emily Marie

317127_2456453691300_639947822_nEmily Marie is a professional belly dance artist and teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio. She started belly dancing in 2001 here in her hometown Cincinnati and never looked back. She has lived and worked as a professional belly dancer in Vancouver, Canada and in Eilat, Israel. She has now relocated back to her hometown Cincinnati, Ohio and offers ongoing belly dance classes and private instruction at the Shakti Factory. You can catch her performing all around town, at Sahara Hookah Lounge in Sharonville Ohio and other events. If you would like to know more about Emily Marie please go to her website at www.emilybellydance.com

Romana Bereneth
romamaRomana Bereneth is a professional belly dancer and founding member of Real Live Actual Belly Dancers in Louisville, Ky. She has performed at local and regional shows such as University of Louisville’s International Baquet and the Worldfest shows in Louisville and at the University of Cincinatti. She regularly hosts informal shows and haflas in Louisville with her troupe. Romana currently teaches at Freestyle Fitness and the hula and Tahtian School in Louisville.

Romana also performs once a month at Eat a Pita in Louisville, Ky. You can contact her through Real Live Actual Belly Dance on Facebook or go to realliveactualbellydancers.com


Azha is thrilled to be performing at Arabesque World Dance during the Heartstrings Show! She has been with the Habeeba’s Cincinnati studio for over 25 years and has taught at the studio for over 23 years. She LOVES the fluidity, control, strength, elegance and grace in Middle Eastern dance! And the music…well, there is nothing more moving!! Her favorite instrument is the Oud!!




Nov 17


Safiya Nawaar


Arabesque World Dance
451-B Chair Ave
Lexington,KYUnited States
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