Two years ago junior Meredith McCoy was working at a coffee shop when she got the idea for an event that would combine her love of both anthropology and music.
On Monday night" McCoy saw her dream realized as she looked on from the front row of the FedEx Global Education Center auditorium during the first event of the week-long Sounds of Globalism festival.
""The event focuses on ways in which community is built on arts"" McCoy said prior to Monday's festival kickoff.
McCoy said each night will highlight a different region of the world and include a scholar, a student performance and an artist from the region.
Monday's program focused on the culture of the Middle and Near East.
Ahmed Fadaam, an Iraqi sculptor and contributor to NPR radio show The Story" opened Monday's event by telling attendees why he thinks art is a reflection of identity.
Art is the face of the culture Fadaam said.
Fadaam said he values art's power to represent a country so much so that he looks first at the architecture and art before getting to know the country's people.
It will give me an idea about what kind of society I'm dealing with" he said.
After Fadaam's lecture, UNC's Dabka Dance Team performed and taught a dance to attendees.
Afterwards, sophomore Yasmeen Zamamiri showed off her silver genie pants, as she called them, and the hatta tied around her waist.
It's a type of Palestinian scarf" Zamamiri said.
She said the group was proud to be included in the festival.
Any opportunity to spread awareness about our dance and culture is great" Zamamiri said.
Lebanese musician Naji Hilal, who also performed Monday night, said he also respects art's power to reveal something about a community.
I consider myself carrying a message"" Hilal said of his music before his performance.
Before singing and playing the oud — a traditional Lebanese drum — Hilal spoke to attendees about globalization's effects on folk music.
Laura Griest, events coordinator at UNC Global, said globalization represents the direction of the shrinking world community and also threatens it.
If you lose folk songs" you lose a piece of history she said.
Griest said she hopes this translation of history through music does not die with globalism.
We can't just let it die and be forgotten just because we are getting engaged with other civilizations" Fadaam said.
McCoy said she is excited about the festival because of her belief in the power of music to bring people together.
I really believe that the arts are what people can gather around. That unity creates strength.""
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