Centro Primo Levi and the Herbert Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at University of Pensylvania invite you to an evening dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean lands featuring Charles Manekin (Bar Ilan University), Miriam Goldstein (Hebrew University), Jessica Goldberg (University of Pennsylvania), moderator: Ross Brann (Cornell University), and performer Miriam Meghnagi.
The evening begins with a conversation among fellows of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is conceived to share with the general public their exploration of the historical crossover of imagery and ideas in Mediterranean lands, its relevance within academia, and its impact on the society at large.
The fellows have been involved for the past year with the prestigious CAJS program that this year brought together experts from different disciplines who deal with aspects of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim life within pre-modern Islamic spheres of influence, seeking to broaden the perception of Islamic societies and foster new views of their religious, ethnic, and linguistic diversity.
After the roundtable and a Mediterranean buffet, a gala concert with the renowned Libyan Italian singer Miriam Meghnagi will draw the audience into the chants, melodies, and poetry of the Mediterranean shores. Meghnagi uses her virtuoso and contemporary take on languages and styles from Tripoli to Turkey, Yemen, Italy, Spain and back to North Africa, Safed, and Jerusalem, to explore the similarities among these cultures as well as their differences within a long historical conversation.
Miriam Meghnagi Miriam was born in the ancient Jewish community of Tripoli (Libya). She received degrees in Dynamic Psychology and Ethnomusicology from the University of Rome and is a scientific consultant for the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
A composer, poetess, and performer known for her inclusive revisitations of the musical cultures of the Mediterranean countries, with her distinctive voice she has made Hebrew and Arabic music from North Africa known to diverse audiences in Europe. Miriam Meghnagi has recently authored the sound-track of the controversial film Josuè L’Ebreo and Rosso Malpelo, a newly released film on child labor, both by the Sicilian director Pasquale Scimeca.
Her new CD, Dialoghi Mediterranei (Mediterranean Dialogues), is a collection of songs composed and recorded live over the course of several years. The CD follows the wanderings of the Jewish people, passing over the musical cultures and languages of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, cradle of many civilizations and religions. Using many languages and styles from Tripoli to Turkey, Yemen, Italy, Spain and back to North Africa, Safed, and Jerusalem, the recording points to the similarities among these cultures as well as to their differences within a long historical conversation.
Meghnagi’s work is inspired by different Hebraic traditions. Some of her songs combine verses from the Psalms, the Kaddish, and the Exodus with her own lyrics, thus following centuries of the oral tradition that, generation after generation, created the Mediterranean canon. The pieces Ya Lali and Fi Halami, were inspired by the colors and languages of Tripoli, her hometown, while Ya Babur is the ship that has for centuries carried the Jews – far from the shores of Tripoli into exile and freedom in distant lands.