Palestinian music director conducts Persian Concert for packed house

Waneez Zarour directing the Middle East Music Ensemble

By Vishakha Darbha and Hannah Gebresilassie Emotional, passionate and a musical genius are just a few words used to describe Wanees Zarour. Born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine, director and composer Zarour leads the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, which was established in 1997. His “Persian Concert” at the Reva and […]

A tale of two cities: how education trumps war in Chicago and Reyhanli

By Aryn Braun “There are lots of Syrians in Chicago like me, second-generation Syrians,” says Samia Akhras, 24, of Chicago’s growing Syrian Community. But Chicago isn’t home. Chicago isn’t Syria. Syrian-Americans, like Akhras and her family, are constantly reminded of the violence and upheaval that is everyday life in the Syrian Arab Republic. Akhras’ voice, […]