SHINDC was honored and thrilled to interview A-WA and have Friday night dinner with them. Co-sponsored by Israeli House Washington (הבית הישראלי בוושינגטון). We also danced the night away at A-WA's Release Party 6/25/16 in DC with Balkan Beat Box. A-WA is included among the top 10 artists Rolling Stone says you need to get to know in 2016 and included in NPR Music's Favorite Albums of 2016! Click here to get their newly released album Habib Galbi on iTunes:
The talented, cool, poised, intelligent (the list of praise goes on…) sisters of A-WA are vegetarian. Indeed, like they said in the interview, “We are many things.” For dinner we had: Israeli/Shirazi/Arabi Style Salad w/ Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Mango; Hummus Tehina w/ Pine Nuts; Fried Eggplant w/ Special Tehina Blend & Pistachios; Quinoa, Pea & Mint Tabbouleh Spiced w/ Aleppo Pepper; Mujedra Rice w/ Lentils & Caramelized Onions; Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion w/ Tehina; Bizerte-Style Pan-fried Fish w/ Harissa & Rose Petals; Persian Ice Cream w/ Fruit and; Wine/Pomegranate Juice.
In 2015, the UN proclaimed June 1 International Farhud Day. SHINDC with Edwin Black & others commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Farhud at the U.S. House of Representatives & acknowledged Sephardic refugees expelled from Arab countries.
SHINDC was honored to light a candle representing 2,700 years of Jewish life wiped out in Iraq. We draw some hope from the acts of those Iraqis who saved Jewish lives during the Farhud--a progrom where over 180 Jews were killed on June 1-2, 1941. As we learned during SHINDC's Mimouna program, the Farhud is considered part of the legacy of a short-lived Nazi-allied regime in Iraq.
For Hanukkah, we were inspired by a custom of Sephardic/Spanish refugees to Syria ~1492 & lit an extra flame in support of Syrian refugees–hoping for a more secure life for them. As we light to remember the Farhud, we hope for a better world for us all.
SHINDC's Annual Mimouna Brunch 2016 with NMAJMH attracted about 150 people like last year's event. That 2015 Mimouna, which we kicked off at Shalom House, made history as the very first public Mimouna celebration downtown in the Nation's Capital. In 2016, we renewed our connection with our neighbors according to the spirit of this North African tradition. Mimouna marks a bittersweet end to Passover because it coincides with the week of Holocaust Remembrance, which tragically highlights the consequences of failing to connect in this way. SHINDC’s Mimouna program recalls the Holocaust and its related experiences for Sephardic Jews in North Africa, Greece, the Balkans and Iraq. Our unique observance in this regard includes celebrating the righteous acts of Muslims who exemplified the spirit of Mimouna by saving the lives of their Jewish neighbors.
In addition to enjoying traditional foods and music, we celebrate those righteous acts and the comity that became a hallmark of Mimouna in Morocco—these are values that we hold dear. We also exhibited photos of American Jewish soldiers connecting with the people of North Africa during WWII. The values of freedom that they fought for adds meaning to our celebration. That service also contributed to the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany’s forces in North Africa, as part of the the overall Allied invasion there, saving North Africa’s Jews from utter annihilation.
Thanks to Amina D and Aicha B--women of valor--for their invaluable contribution, and also to The Kosher Kitchen Catering Co., JewishROC, Shalom House, Manor Photography, SHINDC volunteers, Gnawa healing, Radio Mogador, Morocco on the Move, Embassy Of The Kingdom Of Morocco and all of our friends and family who helped, inspired and celebrated Mimouna with us.