September 2016

Dear Friends!

This is our second monthly newsletter of the academic year – thank you for reading! We have had a busy and exciting month full of fun and interesting activities, and our group has added several new members. It is hard to believe that Fall is just around the corner, because all month it has still been hot and humid, just like summer. With the start of October, I am looking forward to a fun holiday season with all of you.

Our weekly get-togethers this week were very interesting. On September 16, one of our newest members, Signal Knafo, did a presentation about her art. Sigal’s presentation was extremely interesting because he art is totally unique and striking. She described her philosophy toward color and art, and talked about the different stages she has gone through in her development as an artist. Sigal notices beauty in everything and articulates her love for beauty in a way that even non-artists can understand and appreciate. As you can see from the pictures below, Sigal attracted quite a crowd and captured the interest of the audience. The group was so grateful to her for sharing her talent and passion with us. For more information about Signal and her work, check out this website:

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Our next Friday meeting, on September 23, was on a related theme: an outing to the Ackland Art Museum at UNC! The twelve people who participated in this outing were treated to a special exhibit that had just opened: “Extended Remix: Contemporary Artists Meet the Japanese Print.” In this exhibit a number of American, British, and Japanese artists “completed” 18th and 19th century Japanese woodblock prints. The results were sometimes comical and provocative. Our group was treated to a tour by the museum staff but also took the opportunity to engage in some socializing. We took some photos for memory:

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At our last meeting of the month, on Friday the 30th, the topic of discussion turned from art to culture. Edla did a presentation about her home country, Brazil, which we have all been thinking about a lot recently because of the Rio Olympics! As we learned from Edla, this fascinating country of 200 million people has a rich history and many diverse cultures in its vast territory. Hearing Edla speak made some of us want to hop on a plane and go to the country’s capital and the city she calls home, Brasilia! Our members really enjoy learning about different cultures from around the world and it is really a special treat when someone is willing to stand up and share some of the wonderful unique aspects of their home country.

edla2 edla1As you all know, there is much more going on in our group than the Friday get-together. Our weekly clubs continue to run in full swing! Also, this past month Manal Faouri started the monthly book club.

Information about Weekly Meetings

  • Fridays, Weekly Get-Together, 10 AM-12 PM. Fourth Floor of the FedEx Building. Contact Lola Tasar at
  • Mondays, 10 AM – 12 PM. Coffee Club. Contact Yulu Qu ( for more information.
  • Wednesdays, 10 AM – 12 PM. English Club. Contact Manal Alfaouri (
  • Fourth Wednesday of the Month, 10 AM – 12 PM. Book Club. Contact Manal. The first meeting will be on August 31 at the FedEx Building.

As you know, our group is constantly seeking to expand. One new tradition I am looking forward to keeping up is our monthly Cooking Club, which met on Thursday, September the 29th, for the first time! I am pleased to report that we launched our first cooking club successfully. One of our members, WenLi, taught us how to make cream puffs. This dessert initially can seem intimidating to make but actually they’re not that hard to make. We had two great baby helpers who came with their moms, as you can see in the attached pictures. I hope these pictures make it clear that our group is open to babies and very kid friendly! Honestly, can you think of a better way to spend time with your friends than making cream puffs together? I hope the success of our first Cooking Club will encourage more members to join us next time! I would like to thank the Reverend Robert Dunham at University Presbyterian Church on Franklin St. for allowing our group to use the church’s kitchen. We are extremely grateful for his support and cooperation.

cooking-club-11 cooking-club-9 cooking-club-8 cooking-club-7 cooking-club-6 cooking-club-5 cooking-club-4 cooking-club-3 cooking-club-2 cooking-club-1It’s been a great month and with the arrival of Fall I’m confident our group will feature even more fun activities and outings! I want to thank our member volunteers for running groups and facilitating meetings, including Manal, Magdalena, WenLi, Cristelle, and Leyla. None of this would be possible without your hard work. Stay tuned for our next newsletter at the end of October!