ASWAT Arabic Music Ensemble
The musical voice of Arab America in the Bay Area is ASWAT, the Arabic Music Ensemble sponsored by Zawaya. True to Zawaya’s commitment to pluralism and inclusion, Aswat is a multi-ethnic and multi-racial music ensemble that reaches out to the diverse Bay Area community with folkloric, classical, and contemporary Middle Eastern music. Now on its 11th year anniversary, Aswat has grown from an informal community choir to a professional performing group with sold-out concerts. Aswat’s doors remain open to all who want to participate in the exciting, enriching exchange between Arab Americans and other communities through the universal language of music. The very act of singing itself preserves musical legacies dating back thousands of years, and celebrates songs that express the essential soul of Arab culture. ASWAT’s growth is itself an accomplishment, taking place in the shadow of hate crimes and mounting hostilities aimed at Arabs and Muslims following the 911 tragedy.