In West Africa, the Dogon people of Mali believe that the African concept of Nommo, the power of the spoken word, carries an energy that produces all life and influences everything from destiny to the naming of children. By human utterance or through the spoken word, human beings can invoke a kind of spiritual power. Nommo, the generative power of the spoken word, is the force that gives life to everything.
Faridah Haniyyah brings the story of the Emerald Slippers to life as the Nommo. Through spoken word, the rhythm of the Dunun, and the melodic sensuality of dance and movement, she guides readers through the story of three powerful women, a quest for sovereignty, and the sole of an ancient pair of slippers.
Born and raised in New York City, Faridah Haniyyah is a retired Assistant Principal from the New York City Department of Education. In 2005, she moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and joined a community of artists that specialize in the disciplines of music and dance. She has studied traditional Middle Eastern, Classical Oriental, American Tribal Style & Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, and West African Dance.
Performing at Belly Dance Haflas and festivals with groups and as a solo artist, her professional affiliations are with "Art In Motion" Belly Dance Group, "The Flowering Shimmies,” and "Troupe Alis Habibi". She also performs a variety of West African Dances with the “Dwennimmen African Dance Community”. As a lifelong learner, she takes Kiswahili classes to strengthen her knowledge and plays the Djembe & Dununs which are African drums, performing for Multicultural & Special Events with Unity Drummers.