MENAA Fest 2024



Menaa Calendar 2024


Andean and Egyptian burial practices


Presented By Dr. Heidi Saleh & Dr. Nikki Slovak

Date/Time: Monday, April, 22- 1:00- 3:00 pm 

Place: Newman Auditorium

Attendees will learn about the natural and cultural factors involved in the mummification process in both regions and explore the complex cultural significances of mummification across space and time. This COP will consider how life and death intersected in these past societies in ways that may be both familiar and foreign to COP participants.



Date/Time: Tuesday, April 23, 12:00-1:30 pm

Place: Bertolini Students Activity Center

Join us for a conversation with Mokhtar Alkhanshali, as he shares the riveting tale behind Dave Egger's best-selling book The Monk of Mokha. Explore the enthralling fusion of coffee's history, Yemen's strife, and Mokhtar's relentless pursuit of the American dream. Don't miss this chance to engage directly with the protagonist of this extraordinary narrative.




Date/Time: Wednesday, April 24, 9:00-10:30 am

Zoom: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/249832217?pwd=aVpxckxmSndjVnlxeUtBaXBlL0FoQT09 

Password: 537373

Join Dr. Ramzi Salti in an exploration of the vibrant world of indie Arabic music, where artists seamlessly blend indie sensibilities with Arabic musical traditions, languages, and cultural influences, while also infusing elements of Western music. This genre encompasses a wide range of styles, including indie rock, pop, electronic, folk, and experimental sounds, drawing inspiration from Arabic folk, classical, and contemporary music. From the politically charged lyrics of Mashrou' Leila to the eclectic sounds of 47Soul and the poetic compositions of Tania Saleh, explore the diverse range of expressions and themes found within this relatively genre that is taking the Arab world by storm. Dr. Ramzi Salti is an Advanced Lecturer at Stanford University and the host of "Arabology," a popular radio show/podcast that spotlights music and other cultural productions from the Arab world.  


Menaa Fest


Date/Time: Thursday, April 25, 12:00-2:00 pm

Place: Bertolini Quad

Join us to mingle, taste delicious regional snacks, and enjoy some Middle Eastern and North African music! Hosted by MENAA Steering Committee in collaboration with Santa Rosa Intercultural Center, SRJC Student Life, and SRJC MENAA Student Club.




Past Events


The beauty of Iran



Presented By Nasrin Naraghi

Tuesday April 4, 12:00-1:30pm

Exhibit dates: April 2, 2024 – May 2, 2024

Learn about the fascinating history and culture of Iran -  Check out the new Persian artifacts at the museum: 

Astrolabe: the original GPS before the GPS! 19th Century Wedding Marriage Coin/Treasure Box

19th Century metalwork Weaponry Mask 

A leaflet from the Shahnameh, the Iranian National Epic, which was instrumental in saving and reviving the Persian language 



Women's  Voices in Indie Arabic  music and culture



Dr. Ramzi Salti (Stanford University) Women's Voices in Arabic Indie Music Thurs 3/7 (3 - 4:30 pm)Bertolini 4608, Girvin Student Activities Center (SAC)

Stanford Lecturer and radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti will highlight the wide array of musical productions by female singers who have emerged from the Arab world since the advent of the Arab Spring. By utilizing a wide variety of audio-visual tools, this presentation will showcase several groundbreaking female vocalists - from Yasmine Hamdan (Lebanon) to Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia) and Dina El Wedidi (Egypt) -whose oeuvre has managed to redefine modern Arabic music while simultaneously paying homage to such legendary singers as Fairuz and Umm Kulthum.


Petaluma Film Series featuring Bay Area Pakistani American Director Imran Khan in Mustache - Wed 2/21 (6 pm - 10 pm)

Petaluma Film Series featuring Egyptian American Actor Ramy Youssef in Poor Things Wed 2/28 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)

Petaluma Film Series featuring Director Meg Smaker in The UnRedacted: Jihad Rehab  Wed 2/28 (6 - 10 pm)



Russian-Arab Worlds: Intimate Foreign Relations

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
4:30pm PT


The roots of today’s Arab-Russian entanglements reach deep into the tsarist and Soviet periods. For more than 200 years, governments on both sides sought to nurture political and cultural ties and expand their influence, often with unplanned results. This talk will introduce a new primary-source anthology that brings some of this context to life, focusing on Arab students who studied in the USSR during the Cold War period. Glimpsed through memoirs and novels as well as Soviet and Egyptian archives, these students’ lives and writings reveal the spaces – the squalid shared bedrooms, kitchens, corridors, and inevitable bathrooms – where the daily grind of Soviet internationalism was lived out.

Margaret Litvin is associate professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Boston University and the author of Hamlet's Arab Journey: Shakespeare's Prince and Nasser's Ghost (Princeton, 2011). A historian of transregional literary flows, she is wrapping up a book called Another East: Arab Writers, Moscow Dreams, about Arab intellectuals’ ties to Russia and the Soviet Union. This research has been supported by Mellon, ACLS Burkhardt, Humboldt, and Radcliffe fellowships and a 2023 PEN/Heim Translation Award. With historians Eileen Kane and Masha Kirasirova, she recently co-edited the 400-page anthology Russian-Arab Worlds: A Documentary History (Oxford 2023).

Samer Al-Saber is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University, and faculty member at the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.

Sponsored by 



Identity and Diversity of MENA Region

presented by Azamat Sakiev and Solen Sanli Vasquez

Thursday, April 6, 1:00 pm – 2:30pm

In Person: Room 145, Doyle Library, first floor)


An overview and discussion of MENA region which is highly diverse and is home to many different ethnic and identity groups. 


MENA Trivia Game

hosted by Mai Nazif and Johnny Sarraf

Thursday, April 13, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Transfer Center, Bertolini Student Center, second floor

Have fun while learning about Middle East and North Africa. There will be snacks and prizes! 


Persian Language:  History, Influences, and Its Gender Neutrality

presented by Nasrin Naraghi  

Tuesday, April 18, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

ZOOM ONLYhttps://santarosa-edu.zoom.us/j/87641893695

Learn more about the Persian language; its history, the epic of Shahnameh, and the influences of Persian language and culture on surrounding countries.



hosted by the MENAA Steering Committee

Tuesday, April 25, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Bertolini Quad

Join us to mingle, taste delicious regional food, and enjoy a mixture of Arabic, Turkish and Persian music. 


Film Screening: Cairo Conspiracy

Wednesday, April 26, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Q&A starts at 6:00 pm

Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, SRJC Petaluma Campus 

Cairo Conspiracy is a suspenseful and unsparing look at corruption and hypocrisy at the highest levels of Egyptian society. (Part of Cinema Series  https://petalumafilmalliance.org/2023-spring-schedule/)