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L.A. Beat

An evening of Persian culture will help resettle refugees

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A piece of popular Persian culture is on the agenda for the third fundraising  concert to support Syrian refugees resettle in Lethbridge.Mohsen Seyed-Mahmoud playing a Persian drum, the zarb. Photo by Richard Amery
The Rohub Ensemble featuring soprano Janet Youngdahl plus several local performers will be performing at St. Augustine’s  Church, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Dale Ketcheson will also be playing guitar with Mohsen Seyed-Mahmoud playing a Persian drum called the zarb and Joe Porter will add additional percussion.

A group from Calgary will be performing Rumi’s story “ The Parrot, directed by Vafa Adib.
“ Rumi is one of  the  greatest, medieval Persian poets,” Youngdahl said.
“And this is one of his  best known stories. It involves the whole ensemble,” she said, adding the 45 minute production of the Parrot will include Persian dancing and ballet as well as the music.
“I sing the story in Persian and give the English translation,” she said.

 She said the ensemble includes members of the Calgary Philharmonic.
“ And four of them are engineers,” she said.
 They group has been working on the Parrot for a year and have already performed it at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary.
Zarb player Mohsen Seyed-Mahmoud said the Parrot is about freedom.

“ It’s a very important folk tale. And  like most of Rumi’s poetry, it has a moral,” he said.
“ My role is to play percussion. When they asked me I was happy to oblige.
“ When I arrived here 33 years ago, I was a refugee and the B’Hai community  supported me, so it’s my duty to help refugees now,” he said.


“It is about a traveling merchant who has a parrot in a cage. As is custom, he asks his friends and family if he can bring them anything back. He asks the parrot what he can bring  him. And the parrot says ‘ how is it fair that you are free and I am in a cage.  So when you see flocks of other parrots give them my regards,” he said.

“ So when he sees the other parrots and tells them, they fall over as if dead. When he gets home he tells the parrot what happen and the parrot falls over as if dead. So he takes him out of the cage and the parrot wakes up and flies away. When the merchant asks what happened, the parrot says he communicated with the others,” he summarized, observing people to tay tend to forsake the spiritual world for the physical world.
 The show begins at 7:30 p.m. , April 15 at St. Augustine’s Church (411- 11 street South) Tickets are available at the door for $20 or $10 for children under 10.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 April 2016 10:13 )  
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