Songs of the Soul 2016 Presenters

Featuring: Poetry Presentations

Dr. Nahid Angha, co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, founder of the International Sufi Women Organization, the main representative of the IAS to the United Nations (NGO/DPI), and the author of Ecstasy: the World of Sufi Poetry and Prayers.

Dr Angha 2016






Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs, A lover of the Mystery, an Episcopal priest, visionary, peace builder and poet, Charles Gibbs has dedicated his life to serving the sacred in the world, especially through inter religious and intercultural engagement for peace, justice and healing. Senior Advisor and Poet-in-Residence for Catalyst for Peace ( and Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the United Religions Initiative (, he is an internationally respected spiritual leader, interfaith activist, speaker and writer. His recently published volume of poetry – Light Reading: Poems from a Pilgrim Journey is available on Currently, he is working on a book of reflections – I’d Like to Help. Excerpts from both books are posted on As son, brother, husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, Charles cherishes and is inspired by his family. He is blessed with dear friends and colleagues of diverse faiths around the world with whom he shares a commitment to serve the world through spiritual transformation and cooperative engagement for the good of all life on this sacred Earth. Mindful of the abundant blessings that come even through life’s biggest challenges, he seeks to live each moment in gratitude.

Charles Gibbs






Dr. Ali Kianfar, co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, and the executive editor of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry and the author of Seasons of the Soul.

Dr Kianfar 2016







Hamaseh Kianfar, Ed. D., a founding member of the Voices for Justice, an Ambassador of UNICEF, a member of the International Association of Sufism and SWO, has a doctoral degree in education and currently works as a Clinical Supervisor in collaboration with the Adult Probation Department.

Hamaseh Kianfar 2016






Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph. D., is a member of the International Association of Sufism and the Sufi Women Organization. She is one of several psychotherapists who organize retreats and seminars with the Forty Days Alchemy of Tranquility program. She holds a second degree black belt in the martial art Aikido.

Sarah Hastings Mullins 2016






Elizabeth Miller, Ph. D. (cand.), is currently completing a doctorate in Philosophy and Religion, with focus on education, evaluation and research methodology. She has worked with schools, medical foundations, businesses, and nonprofits for over ten years, emphasizing the integration of cosmology, spirituality, developmental biology, and neurocardiology.

Elizabeth Miller 2016






Matthew Davis, Ph. D., is a student and member of the International Association of Sufism. He has a doctoral degree in Philosophy and Religion.

Matt Davis







Achi Ben Shalom  studied music and education in Tel Aviv University, and at the College of the Holy Name in Oakland. Currently he works independently as a freelance musician, choir conductor, band leader, solo performer and an event planner. He specializes in love songs in Hebrew from the Middle East and the Jewish diaspora at large.

Achi Ben Shalom






Ya Elah aspires to inspire compassion among diverse cultures and hopes to help bring healing and a sense of wonder at the ways all have connected to the Divine. Their music combines the sacred texts and liturgies of many traditions to reveal the deep knowing that all life is one. Equal parts musical fireworks/healing ritual/rollicking good time, Ya Elah sparkles with the influence of Bulgarian village songs, Middle Eastern melodies, and more from the world’s various musical traditions.

Ya Elah





Kismet-Mahal Ensemble  offers chants and devotional songs from global chant and sound healing traditions. Intertwining their souls, they blend their voices in many mother tongues including Arabic, English, French, German, and Gurmukhi, to name just a few. Instrumentation may include cello, doumbec, flute, harmonium, guitar, oud, tabla, viola, violin. KSME is led by Evelie Delfino Sales Posch and is comprised of 13 or more musicians and singers.

Kismat-Mahal Ensemble




Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble, with an authentic fusion of Middle Eastern and Western influences, Taneen creates new, original melodies; yet their music is deeply rooted in the Sufi tradition in its intention and inspiration. Taneen primarily sings the love poetry of the great masters (such as Jalaleddin Rumi, Hafiz, Omar Khayam and Shah Maghsoud) in English translation, making the profound message of unity and love accessible to all audiences.







Avay-i-Janaan is a poetry slam collective originating through the Echoes of the Unseen. The members present poetry and music representing the universal human journey towards the heart.






Informational materials, book displays and audio materials, as well as works of art by the participating groups and Sufi Orders.

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