Kay Hardy Campbell


Sites Devoted to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Women
I recommend the following sites to get a view of what's going on in every day Saudi Arabia and to read the opinions of Saudi women themselves.

Arab News - the Kingdom's largest English language daily that deals with many social change issues. They translate and reprint editorials from other Saudi papers. The paper has several women correspondents who focus on women's issues. They also seek input from readers around the world.

Effat University - The first licensed private women's college (now university) in Saudi Arabia. Curriculum is in English. The college has strategic partnerships with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Georgetown, Duke, and Wilson University.

Dar al-Hekma - Site for another popular private women's college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Curriculum in Arabic and English.

Safeya BinZagr -Saudi Arabia's most famous artist, Safeya BinZagr. Safeya's site showcases some of her well-known paintings that explore folkloric tradition. She also runs her own museum and art school in Jeddah. The entrance to the site has a long 'flash' introduction with music, but it's beautiful. Read an article about her by Ni`ma Ismail Nawwab in Saudi Aramco World.

Hend al-Mansour - Saudi Arabian artist Hend al-Mansour. Originally from the Saudi Eastern Province city of Mubarraz, set in the largest date palm oasis in the world, al-Hasa, Hend now lives and pursues her art in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She is the sister of Saudi film-maker Haifaa al-Mansour.

Dr. Saad Sowayan - An expert in the traditional culture of Saudi Arabia, particularly the Nabati poetry of the Kingdom . Visit his recent newspaper articles in English as well as PDF's of his scholarly works.

Other Middle Eastern Women-Related Sites

Mosaic Foundation - A U.S. nonprofit founded and run by the wives of Arab ambassadors to the U.S. The group raises funds for international and U.S. charities that foster women's education and welfare.

American Women for International Understanding - a California-based international group fostering global friendship among women.

Maiden Voyages - Vermont artist Valerie Hird's 'visual journaling' project, a collaboration among five women - Hird and four women from around the Middle East.

Bedouin Weaving - Palestinian-American Joy May Hilden lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and did extensive field work in the art of bedouin women's weaving.

Arabic Music Sites - There is a lot of Arabic Music activity in the U.S. College and university ensembles studying and playing Arabic Music are currently underway at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Chicago, The College of William and Mary, Tufts, and Bowdoin.

Maqam World - The best site for learning about the maqam system on which all classical Middle Eastern music is built.

The Oud Man - The web site for oud-maker Najib Shaheen.

Arabic Music Retreat - Official Web Site for the Arabic Music Retreat. Read more about the Retreat.

www.xauen-music.com - Chicago-based organization dedicated to advancing awareness of Middle Eastern music in the US

Sharq Ensemble - Sharq is a Boston-based ensemble of excellent musicians performing the classical and neoclassical Arabic Music Repertoire.

Arabesque Mondays - Kareem Nagi Mohamed's long-running Arabic music cafe performance series held in Club Passim, Harvard Square's most prestigious musical coffee house.

Kan Zaman Community Ensemble - A community-based Arabic music ensemble from Southern California. Director is Wael Kakish of the West Bank.

University of California Middle East Ensemble - Santa Barbara - Inspired by the original ensemble at UCLA, UCSB has its own student orchestra performing Middle Eastern music.

Turath - Web site based in California and run by Sami Asmar. Excellent articles on music, profiles, and events. Turath awards scholarships and fellowships to students of Middle Eastern Music.

William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble - Conducted by Dr. Anne K. Rasmussen, this is another US college orchestra that has allowed young musicians to explore Middle Eastern music.

Dance Sites -
I believe that learning a song or dance of another culture opens important doors to understanding. When you dance the folk dance of a woman from another culture you are joining her in the way she reacts to her own music. In a good Middle Eastern dance class, you will hear inspiring music, you'll learn to feel the passion of the lyrics (even if you can't understand them) and you'll come away with a new sense of yourself and your awareness of the Middle East.

Cassandra and the Jawaahir Dance Company - Web site for the acclaimed dance instructor Cassandra and her Cassandra School as well as her Jawaahir Dance Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each summer Jawaahir puts on full length dance theater productions with a live orchestra at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, MN. In January, Jawaahir sponsors a henna party for women only. The henna party is an informal get-together to paint henna designs on hand and feet, to sample Middle Eastern cuisine, while trying out the folk dances of the Arabian Gulf. Jawaahir also performs some of its repertoire. Cassandra also offers a week-long intensive dance course in Minneapolis each March.

Oasis Dance Camps - The Oasis Dance Camps offer women-only dance classes taught by Cassandra and guest instructors in three beautiful settings each year; northern Michigan, an island near Seattle, and in sunny Florida. In June, 2007, Oasis will have a special session in Marrakech, Morocco. Then in the Fall, the Camp will convene in New Zealand in November, 2007. Oasis is an inspiring women's retreat full of kindness and good humor where you can get a fantastic workout while learning about the art of music and dance in Middle Eastern culture.

Amel Tafsout - Amel is an Algerian-born performer who teaches traditional women's Algerian folk dance all over the world. Amel has moved to the United States and is a core teacher of North African women's dances in the Arab Dance Seminar.

Nourhan Sharif - This leading American dance artist teaches on the global dance seminar circuit.
A talented dancer and demanding instructor, Nourhan also designs her own line of dance-wear - Sharif Wear! Nourhan is a core member of the faculty of the Arab Dance Seminar directed by Karim Nagi Mohamed.

Conferences and Retreats

Arabic Music Retreat - Yes, another plug for the Arabic Music Retreat. A week-long music retreat where all politics and sectarian issues are left outside. All we do is study and play music and sometimes even sleep.

DFW International - DFW International is a network of 1,700 international organizations in the Dallas, Fort Worth Area. Run by Anne Marie Weiss Armush, a friend of Kay's from her days in Jeddah, DFW sponsors many cultural events throughout the year, particularly its spectacular international festival. There you can see folk arts from around the world, and you can also take dance classes.

Other Favorite Sites

My husband Gary is a brilliant craftsman and he's got his own business, Rustic Workbench, inspired by the woods of northern Maine. Rustic Workbench Site

Pure organic Jojoba extract. Our friends own this business. Jojoba really is a 'wonder' product with so many uses! Jojoba Company