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MicroGrant Success: Ruba Zouzou (Sounds from Damascus), Fall 2023

Project: DNA Cultural Music Performance

“By highlighting the similarities and connections between these diverse cultures through the arts and music, our mission is to foster greater understanding and unity among communities”

Ruba Zouzou

Performer Ruba Zouzou and Sounds from Damascus used her MAC MatchMaker MicroGrant to present the DNA Cultural Music Performance “DNA, Mosaic of Harmony”. This event featured 3 other performers, singers Nour Kheder and Tami Khatib, and storyteller Nadine Atwi Ammache as part of the performance.

“DNA, Mosaic of Harmony” took place in May 2024, and focused on an Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Greek immersive journey where music, song, dance, and storytelling intertwined in a symphony of cultural wonder.

It delved into the regions of the Levant, Greece, Anatolia, and Persia telling the rich history and stories of these diverse cultures, intricately woven through their historical legacies and interpretations of song, dance, and oral storytelling. Appropriately titled, the mosaic of cultures and experiences was witnessed throughout the evening.

This project provided a transformative platform for local artists to gain exposure and recognition alongside a cultural exchange among artists and the public. It also helped support the growing Middle Eastern and Syrian communities in which they could see themselves and their culture represented in a broader scope.

Ruba Zouzou, Nour Kheder and Tami Khatib are the founders of Sounds from Damascus. The Mississauga-based ensemble tours around the GTA and performs the traditional and old tunes of their home country, Syria. Ruba is also the operations manager of the Canadian Arabic Orchestra where the music of the Arab world and western history are meshed and shared across the country.