“a family-owned production company in the arts”
With a mother who is a visual artist, and an oud player and vocalist as a father, we grew up in a vibrant and creative environment where our artistic abilities were constantly being nurtured and honed. Like many young children, our artistic collaborations began through the simple words “just pretend”. As we grew and evolved, these creative sessions only became more elaborate and sophisticated. As we were confronted with the racism and militarism arising out of the post-9/11 climate and the lead up to the invasion in Iraq, we began to use our music as a form of political expression.
Growing up as Arab-Americans in Washington DC, we had immense pride in our Egyptian-Palestinian-African heritage, and expressed that outspoken political and cultural identity in our schools and communities. Attending DC public schools exposed us to a multicultural richness. We were nourished on this diversity, in social, political and musical contexts, as we were exposed to various musical genres including hip-hop, jazz, opera, reggaeton, go-go, salsa, gospel and classical music, among others. We became known in the community for our musical band Foty Fusion, which uniquely blended the colorful musical palette that DC had to offer with our traditional Arabic musical heritage, a major influence in the development of our own musical identity.
Meet the Family
Fuad Foty is an oud instrumentalist and a vibrant vocalist with over thirty years of performance and musical instruction experience. Born in Ramallah, Palestine, an integral part of Fuad’s childhood involved learning the classical Arabic songs of the musicians and composers of the time. His passion for the oud quickly evolved and he joined various Arab bands, and started playing music to inform the American public about Palestine and the Palestinian cause.
Ziad Foty is an emerging independent filmmaker. He holds his Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College in English Literature with a concentration in Film, and a Masters of Philosophy in Film Studies from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. His films explore a range of counter hegemonic orientations associated with the process of representation. In his work he has addressed topics related to identity, feminism, and racism.
Photo Credit: Marvin Jones