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Archaeology Now Presents 'Poetry and Music: Gilgamesh, An Ancient Voice'


Archaeology Now, the Houston affiliate of Archaeology Institute of America, presents Poetry and Music: Gilgamesh, An Ancient Voice, the final installment of the series of cultural events this fall titled the Senan Shaibani Marsh Arabs Project. This cultural and historical program spotlights the world’s first ever recorded story, The Tale of Gilgamesh, which was uncovered from the Marsh Arabs and dates back 5,000 years ago. 

Love, friendship, sex, family, pride, a flawed ruler, destruction of the natural world…the story of Gilgamesh has it all. Discover this ancient poem and learn about a hero who searched for the secret of immortality at a mini-marathon reading of Gilgamesh, which is free and open to the public at the Glasscock School at Rice University. 

Copies of the book will be available for sale to follow along as people from all walks of life in Houston participate in relating a story as relevant to humanity today as when it emerged from the marshes of Iraq, transmitted on clay tablets in cuneiform.  

Gilgamesh will be followed by a song of lament to bid farewell to the Mudhif and extinguishing of the lights that have illuminated this historical structure since it opened Sept. 9 to the public.   

The Mudhif is a replica of a 5,000-year-old reed structure, which served as a village’s public hall, and is constructed entirely of reeds that were shipped to Houston from the marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq and constructed using ancient methods. It has been the focal point of the Senan Shaibani Marsh Arabs Project.


  • Mr. Hawrre Al Talabani, Consul General of Iraq in Houston
  • Mohammed Husham Al Fityan, Deputy Chief of Mission for Iraq to America 
  • Nora Rashid, Assistant PM, Arcadis, Iraqi architectural designer
  • Ashwaq Alhammami, Construction Manager, Harris County Engineering Dept 
  • Necole Irvin, Director of Cultural Affairs, The City of Houston, Mayor's representative
  • Gordan Quan, Managing Partner & Founder, the Quan Group, Immigration Attorneys
  • Barry Ward, Director of Trees for Houston
  • Imam Sayed Mohammad Jawad Al-Qazwini  
  • Aqeel Alazraki, Broker, Azraki Group
  • Noor Alhakeem, Artist, AFAF ARTS 
  • Dr. Hashem El-Serag, MD, Professor & Chairman of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Dr. Aziz Shaibani, MD, Director, Nerve & Muscle Center of Texas 


  • Duke Hunter, drummer and founder of Casa Cazador
  • Zubair Alawadi, oud performer
  • Mohanned Neamah, chanter

Location: Entrance #8 at University Boulevard and Stockton Street; Paid parking at Lot #4. Find a map and parking directions here.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Glasscock School of Continuing Studies Auditorium, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005

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