MSSU Egypt Semester

Egypt Concerts and Theatrical Events




Southern Theatre presents: Antony and Cleopatra Southern Theatre presents: Antony and Cleopatra

7:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, Oct. 11-15, 2011
Bud Walton Theatre
Admission: free to students, faculty, staff; $3 for adults; $1 for senior citizens and high school students

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Dr. James Lile, Jr.

A popular public figure enmeshed in an extramarital relationship…

A calculating politician seeking to control the government…

A region in turmoil as leaders jockey for positions of influence…

Are these current headlines from CNN? No. These are top stories from the late first century BCE!

For the Egypt Semester, Southern Theatre presents Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare’s great tragedy of power and passion.


HARAM! Unveiling the Mystery of the Forbidden Dance HARAM! Unveiling the Mystery of the Forbidden Dance

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Admission: free

Magical, sensual and thought-provoking, Egyptian dance comes alive in HARAM!, a re-imagination of the evolution of one of the oldest dance forms to ever exist. Combining elements of history, beliefs, drama, and dance, HARAM! is an enlightening and entertaining production that will surely transport the viewer through a time capsule about how Egyptian dance evolved throughout thousands of years. HARAM! unveils the relationship between modern Egyptians and a tradition that has survived many adversities throughout its long history. Produced by the Sahar Dance Company, Academy of Egyptian Dance.

Sahar Sami is the director of The Academy of Egyptian Dance, the largest school in Southern California dedicated strictly to Egyptian dance. Sahar is an inspiring, inventive, original choreographer whose work has been appreciated by tens of thousands of people. Her training and expertise in classical, modern and folkloric Egyptian dance make Sahar a highly sought-after instructor.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Sahar Sami and her dance company “evoke a Cairo cabaret.” They perform in some the largest dance productions in San Diego, including Nations International Dance Festival, December Nights, and Celebrate Dance Festival. Sahar’s sold-out productions incorporate video-based education supplemented with dance interpretation and story-telling where performers enact key historical moments.

Sahar’s professional dance career started in the early 1990s when she was the headline dancer in some of the most prestigious nightclubs in New York, Los Angeles, Cairo and other cities throughout the world. Her interpretation of Egyptian rhythms has touched dignitaries, royalties, Hollywood stars and other sophisticated audiences from around the globe. She has appeared in numerous television shows in the U.S. and abroad.



A Musical Pyramid Dr. Kexi Liu,

A Concert of Egyptian Music by the Southern Symphony Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Admission: free

The Southern Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Kexi Liu, will perform an all-Egyptian concert. The music of Egypt is an important part of Egyptian culture. Modern Egypt has several generations of composers who have infused Egyptian elements with western tradition. Egypt has also been an inspiration for western composers. The program of “A Musical Pyramid” will represent music by both modern Egyptian composers and western composers who were inspired by Egypt.


Melodies of the Nile

7:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Taylor Performing Arts Center Melodies of the Nile
Admission: free

Celebrating vibrant expressions of the Middle East through music and dance.

Throughout the Middle East, music and dance are vastly diverse. Modern melodies are rooted in ancient poetry, often expressing sacred prayer, ecstasy, lost but eternal love, and unabating connections to homeland. Dance manifests as a powerful medium for community connection, healing practice, social provocation, or celebration of boundless creativity and universal feminine expression. From the artistic mecca of Egypt, to traditions of the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Morocco, music and dance unite in an unparalleled, modern, invigorating, and entertaining production by the MB Orchestra and dancers Nalini and Suzanna.

Founded in Alexandria, Egypt during the late 1970s by Maurice Rouman and his sons Bahaa and George Sadak, the MB Orchestra is a five-piece family group that performs music from Ancient Egypt all the way to today’s Middle Eastern pop and dance.

Band members:

Maurice Sadak Rouman: Maurice was born and raised in Southern Egypt. He has spent over 40 years performing and composing Middle Eastern music, with an emphasis on ancient Egyptian or “Pharaoh” music. Maurice graduated from the Conservatory of Milan in the early 1950s, and spent the next 30 years performing throughout the Middle East and Europe. In the early 1980s he relocated to the U.S., where he has been teaching and performing ever since. Maurice is currently recording a documentary CD, which will trace Egyptian music from 4000 BC to the music of today, and will also describe the influence of the West on modern-day Egyptian musical styles.

Bahaa Sadak: Bahaa is the musical director of the band, the keyboard player, a vocalist, and a recording artist. Bahaa’s musical career started in Alexandria, Egypt, where he co-founded the MB Orchestra and recorded the group’s first album in 1977. Bahaa’s classical roots have enabled him to create a unique blend of modern and classic Arabic music that has earned him widespread recognition across ethnic communities and the Western world.

George Sadak: As the drummer and Egyptian tabla player (dumbek), George’s musical journey took him through Middle Eastern music, jazz, the Arabian Gulf, the Balkans, and his niche and first love − Egyptian music of his native land. Growing up as a drum kit player, George had a chance to learn several styles of music that did not necessarily use the Egyptian table, which helped broaden his approach to composing tabla grooves. As a teenager in the 1980s, George performed in international clubs around the Pacific Northwest. In the 1990s he relocated to Los Angeles, where he performed in international shows and was a studio session artist. Today, George performs around the Northwest with several bands and runs his Barking Dog Studio in Edmonds, Wash.

Shiham Sbait: Shiham began his musical training in junior high, studying violin for several years with Simon Shaheen, a celebrated musician of the Middle East. In high school, Shiham began singing while learning the table. He also became a lead dabke dancer with a folk dance team in his hometown of Haifa in northern Israel. In 1979, he moved to the U.S. and began singing and playing at premiere Seattle clubs and events such as Bumbershoot and Folklife Festival. He has recorded two albums and has been performing with the MB Orchestra since 1983.

Waseem Sbait: A new addition to the group and although he comes from a jazz trombonist background, Waseem has found his new passion in Egyptian drumming. He plays the doholla and duff.

Suzanna: Featured twice last year in the Seattle Times, she has been bringing the art of belly dance to hundreds of students and audiences since 2004 through workshops, shows, coaching, and weekly classes. Her 14-plus years with Middle Eastern dance has included intensive study in Egypt with founder and pioneer of Egyptian dance theatre Mahmoud Reda and his many protégés. She has a B.A. in Theatre Arts and extensive prior training in jazz, ballet, contemporary, and West African, and is a member of Fleurs d’Égypte, an international cabaret dance company performing Egyptian belly dance, Brazilian samba, French can can, and other world dances. More info on Suzanna can be found at

Nalini: An internationally-known, award-winning belly dance and Bollywood performer, choreographer and instructor, Nalini has been performing for more than 20 years, including tours in Russia and Eastern Europe. The Pacific Northwest is now her home, where she teaches belly dance, Bollywood and Russian gypsy styles in Bellevue, Wash. She is also the founder and artistic director of the award-winning group The Blue Lotus Dance Company. For more information about Nalini and her classes, please visit