A Syrian-American hip-hop artist, an Egyptian drummer and DJ, and a Pakistani-American visual artist come together to celebrate the transformative power of art and live performance with a free event on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

Omar Offendum, Karim Nagi, and Saba Taj each bring a unique flavor to the event, which will be held at Eggleston quad, located between Owens Dining Hall and Eggleston Hall on the Virginia Tech campus. No tickets are required for this free performance.

Featuring music, creative work, and opportunities for audience participation and collaboration, this is the first major public performance in conjunction with the Moss Arts Center’s project, SALAAM: Exploring Muslim Cultures. Designed to raise awareness of Muslim identities and cultures and foster a more inclusive community among individuals from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, the multiyear project includes performances, visual arts exhibitions, workshops, and residencies.

In addition to the public performance, Offendum, Nagi, and Taj will participate in a multiday, on-campus residency, working closely with Virginia Tech students from a variety of disciplines through class visits and workshops. The artists will return to Virginia Tech several times during the spring semester to collaborate with a group of students as they create an original performance that will be presented to the public on March 17, 2018.

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This is Offendum’s second performance on the Virginia Tech campus, having headlined the Moss Arts Center’s Islamic Worlds Festival in 2015. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Washington, D.C., the Syrian-American artist started his musical career as one-half of Arab-American hip-hop group The N.O.M.A.D.S. Offendum co-produced the critically acclaimed “FREE-THE-P” compilation, participated in the Arab Summit project, and co-authored the “Brooklyn Beats 2 Beirut Streets” performance-lecture. He has helped raise thousands of dollars for humanitarian relief organizations and has toured the world to perform his groundbreaking music, including his solo album “SyrianamericanA.”

A native Egyptian drummer, DJ, composer, and folk dancer, Nagi is the creator of the innovative music performance Turbo Tabla and has released four CDs of his unique blend of Arab house and electronica music, which he creates using acoustic instruments.

Taj is a Pakistani-American artist and activist from North Carolina. Identifying herself as a queer Muslim in the Southern U.S., her work challenges racism and xenophobia through empowered representations of people of color. Using interdisciplinary practices, Taj explores hybrid identities, inherited trauma, and revolution.

This performance is part of Hokie Hi at Virginia Tech, a series of events and traditions to welcome students to campus. Please note the rain location for this event will be the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located in the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall.

The Moss Arts Center project SALAAM: Exploring Muslim Cultures is made possible by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; Building Bridges: Arts Culture and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.

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