By Joshua Aguilar |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Students (CIMES) held an event entitled, “The Wind of Peace: Music and Poetry of the Middle East” on Tuesday, May 10.
The event was attended by close to 300 students in the Santos Manuel Student Union Theater and lasted from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The event brought a diverse amount of music and poetry from the Middle East for the audience to listen and appreciate.
“It exposes different cultures and different mindsets to people and that pretty much clears any ignorance we have,” said student Erika Banuelos.
“You’re more open to other people’s views about the world,” added Banuelos.
The event’s highlight was when Sholeh Wolpè and Hamid Saeidi collaborated on the poetry reading through speech and music, respectively.
Poems that were read during the collaboration were: “The Garden,” “Parable of the Spider,” “My Brother at the Canadian Border” and “The Prince.”
CSUSB faculty read poems from internationally acclaimed poets.
Prisoners from Guantanamo Bay also had their poems read from the faculty.
The faculty involved in the poetry readings were Ece Algan, director of CIMES and associate professor of communication studies, and Chad Sweeney, assistant professor of English.
The poetry readings were done in their original languages and also in their English translations.
The poems read in their original language clearly were not understood by many however, one can still feel the power, passion and emotion in the reader’s voice.
The event’s attendance reached the maximum capacity with many students left standing in the back of the theater and some sat on the side of each stairway.
The students however were mainly there only because it was a requirement for a class.
Some students had different reactions to the event other than just showing up because it was a class requirement.
Student Rocio Rios was not sure what to expect from the event but showed interest anyway.
“When I came, once I started seeing instruments, I was like oh this is going to be a performance this should be pretty cool,” said Rios.
Student James Lewis was pleasantly surprised to find there was going to be music involved in the event.
“Our instructor told us our class was going to be held here tonight,” said Lewis.
“It’s a nice surprise, I like music,” added Lewis,
Students went into the event not knowing what to expect, which can be a good thing for CSUSB, because it allows them to experience a new culture.
Student Lucas Norton gave his insight on how these events are good for our campus and community.
“They definitely open people’s minds,” said Norton.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions about people from Muslim backgrounds and I think things like this open people’s eyes up,” continued Norton.
The event was good for CSUSB and San Bernardino, because the poems focused on peace and freedom.
Events like this can provide inspiring stories and it allows the poet’s voice to be heard by a diverse audience.