Syrian American rapper and poet Omar Offendum and Palestinian American multi-instrumentalist maestro Ronnie Malley weave stories of the past, present, and future as they trace the influence of Al-Andalus and Arabic-speaking peoples on music and culture, from New York City's Little Syria to the birth of California Surf Rock.
Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American rapper/spoken word artist. Known for his unique blend of hip-hop and Arabic poetry, he’s been featured on prominent world news outlets (Aljazeera, BBC, PBS, LA Times), lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Northwestern, UT-Austin, UCLA, SOAS, American University of Beirut), collaborated with major museums and cultural organizations (LACMA / Penn Museum / Ithra / Shangri-La / Arab-American National Museum), and helped raise millions of dollars for various humanitarian relief groups (Islamic Relief, Karam Foundation, Syrian-American Medical Society). Offendum was recently named a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, an Arab America Foundation "40 Under 40" award recipient, and a member of both the Pillars Fund cohort for Muslim Narrative Change and the RaceForward Butterfly Lab cohort for Immigrant Narrative Strategy. He currently resides in the great state of New York with his wife and two little children, while daydreaming about the jasmine tree-lined streets of Damascus.
Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist musician, theatrical performer, producer, and educator. He is executive director of Intercultural Music Production in Chicago and a teaching artist with Chicago Public Schools. Ronnie's theater credits include the Broadway musical tour of the Tony Award Winning The Band's Visit and Disney's The Jungle Book. He also performs with the music groups Allos Musica, Apollo’s Fire, Surabhi Ensemble, and more.
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