Karim Nagi: ARABIQA! Drums and Dances from the Arab World

Join Egyptian-American musician and dancer Karim Nagi for an engaging, witty performance spotlighting Arabic music, dance, and culture. Karim shares the unique sounds and histories of percussion and string instruments, demonstrates dynamic folk dances, teaches vocabulary and geography, and gives an uplifting impression of Arab culture. A former faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music, Karim now performs throughout the U.S. with the SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble, and promotes and fosters the study of Arab dance in the U.S. as the director of the Arab Dance Seminar.  As a dance and drum instructor, Karim has taught at many schools, universities, and festivals throughout the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Egypt, sharing knowledge and uniting traditional and modern styles.

Our school really enjoyed Karim Nagi’s energetic, entertaining, and educational assemblies.  It was wonderful to see the kids so engaged with the performance.”

– PTA Cultural Arts, Atholton Elementary School (HCPSS)

We loved Karim Nagi! He was fabulous.

– Payne ES

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian who specializes in traditional Arabic music. He uses his traditional foundation to re-imagine the culture, discovering progressive deliveries and new concepts. Karim performs primarily Arabic, Turkish and Andalusian hand percussion, including the Egyptian Tabla (goblet drum), Riqq (tambourine), Duff (frame drum), and Segat (brass castanets). Karim has authored instructional CDs and DVDs.

Karim is a former faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music and leads the SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble performing the classical Arabic instrumental and vocal repertoire. Karim dances and teaches Dabka (Arabic Line Dance), leads the Zaitoun Dabka Troupe, and is the director of the Arabic Dance Seminar, a travelling weekend of workshops for professional training in pan-Arab dance.

Artist’s website: Karim Nagi 

Virtual program options available – contact us for more information.


Arabiqa: Arabic Music, Dance and Culture

Join Egyptian-American master musician and dancer Karim Nagi on a journey to the Arab and Muslim world. Karim uses authentic instruments, costumes, maps, Arabic words, humor, and lots of audience participation to enlighten audiences about a captivating world. Karim introduces and demonstrates a variety of string and percussion instruments, telling the history of each instrument and explaining how each produces different sounds. Karim alters his costume throughout the show, robing in both modern and authentic clothing, and invites audience interaction with rhythmic clapping, dancing, Arabic word pronunciation, and spontaneous surveys & questions.

Single $675/Back-to-Back $925

Fees are for daytime school programs in Maryland, Washington, DC and Northern Virginia only.

Evening, weekend, workshop and non-school fees differ – please contact us.

Additional travel fees apply.


Arabic Rhythm and Percussion Workshop

No musical background required. These group classes offer a hand-on approach to the music, with explanation about the cultural context. Students will alternate between listening, clapping and playing the Arabic drums in small groups. Because of the universality of drumming and the inclusively of rhythm, this is a great way for students to become acquainted with Arabic culture. Karim is a well-versed percussionist and teacher who has made great advancements developing a palpable teaching method for the drums. He uses expressive body motion and clear verbalization to communicate the rhythms and ideas. (Duration flexible from 40minutes – 2 hours.)

Arabic Line-Dancing (Dabka) Workshop

This session does not require any dance-background, yet seasoned dancers will be adequately challenged as well. Dabka is a traditional form of unisex line dancing found in the Eastern Arab World. The dance is primarily based on rhythmic stepping, jumping and stomping. This folk dance is used for both amateur social settings as well as stage performance.

This workshop will focus on the social and stage Dabka found in Palestine and Lebanon. Students will learn the steps by name, the corresponding rhythms, the leadership roles and the attitudes. Dabka is very aerobic and energetic. Participants usually experience a great level of excitement and catharsis. It can easily be performed by multiple age groups and abilities combined. Karim learned Palestinian Dabka from Lena Harami (the lead dancer and trainer of Serreyyet Ramallah Dabka troupe) and Lebanese Dabka from Hassan Harfouchi (America’s essential modern Dabka authority from LA). Karim uses live drumming during the lesson. (Duration flexible from 40minutes – 2 hours.)

Please contact us for workshop fees.

Additional travel fees apply.


Audience, Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Art Forms, Dance, Music

Program Type, Performance, Workshop, Residency

Curriculum/Theme, Language Arts, Social Studies, STEM, World Languages, Character/SEL

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