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Wednesday December 8th

1001 Nights opens the door to Persian culture

<p>UNC Persian Cultural Society hosted their annual 1001 Nights event in the Great Hall on Nov. 9.</p>
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UNC Persian Cultural Society hosted their annual 1001 Nights event in the Great Hall on Nov. 9.

Traditional music and performances filled the Great Hall during 1001 Nights, a celebration of Persian culture.

The annual event was hosted by the UNC Persian Cultural Society. 

Neusha Zadeh, one of the presidents of PCS, said the event aims to give a little taste of Middle Eastern culture through dance, performances and poetry. 

“We’ve done this event for many years and it’s basically bringing together all the Middle Eastern organizations from UNC and also the Triangle area,” she said. 

Ava Erfani, marketing chairperson for PCS, said it is one of two major cultural events the group does per year. She said the event is based on the classic Arabian story called “1001 Nights."

“This event is mainly to expose campus to Middle Eastern cultures and get people familiar with foods or dances,” she said. 

Zadeh said the event is primarily Persian performances. 

“We have a dance that is more modern type dancing. Then we have traditional music and then we have some modern versions of traditional music,” she said. “Then we have some poetry readings and singing.” 

Erfani participated in two of the night’s performances. 

“I’m playing a piano solo at first and it’s a classic Iranian song,” she said. “Then the second performance I’m doing later on the night, I’ll be playing piano with Neusha singing.”

Efrani said her solo performance song was called “Gol E Goldoon” and her second performance song was called “Soltan E Ghalba.” Both are traditional Iranian songs. 

An Iranian performer at the event, Simin Imanirad, said Neusha contacted her and asked her to perform, so she chose to sing. 

“I’m a singer and they invited me to sing a song,” she said. “It will last maybe 6 minutes and it’s an Iranian song.”

Imanirad said she hoped everyone would like her performance — and that she would enjoy her first time at the event. 

Amir Rezvani, a professor at Duke University, said he came to the event because it’s a beautiful cultural event.

“I’ve been involved in cultural activities in the Chapel Hill area since 1983,” he said. “My daughters went to school here and were involved in the Persian Student Association.”

Rezvani said he loves to promote Persian and other worldly cultures.

“I would like students to learn the cultural diversity we have,” he said. “We have to know that we are coming from a diverse world and the Persian culture is one of the oldest cultures. It goes back to 6,000 years ago and it has a lot to offer for younger generations.”

There is not an Iranian household party that doesn’t at times, involve dancing before or after dinner. Rezvani said poetry reading has a great place in Persian culture. They use poetry in discussions to help their arguments. 

First-year Gizem Cetin, an Asian studies major, said she came to the event to learn from others calligraphy artists.

“I do Arabic calligraphy myself and I’m interested in learning Persian calligraphy because it is very beautiful,” she said. 

Zadeh said she hopes all learned something new. 

“I would like people of other cultures to stumble in and would like people to get something out of it,” she said. 

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