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oakley backpack The Nile Project to bring awareness of river's fragile ecosystem to Alys Stephens Center in January (gallery, video)BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Musicians from 11 African countries will converge at UAB's in January for , a three-day artistic residency that will examine environmental, political and cultural differences along the Nile River.Founded in 2011 by Egyptian ethnomusicologist and Ethiopian-American singer , the Nile Project is patterned after Yo-Yo Ma's , but with a more regional focus. Its goal is to empower citizens of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to work together to preserve their ecosystem. Gatherings, workshops, concerts, dialogues, collaborations and courses in many of these nations have been designed to unite nearly a half billion people. Through music and education, these diverse cultures have found common ground where geopolitical forces have not. The project's first album, titled , (read more ) was listed first among NPR's , and includes a unique array of instruments, including Ethiopian masenko, Egyptian ney, oud, violin, simsimiyya, Ugandan adungu and bass guitar. Six vocalists sing in 11 different languages, all with hopes of healing broken relationships and establishing a sustainable environment.During its stay in Birmingham from Jan. 20-23, the Nile Project will host educational programs, music workshops, demonstrations and meet-the-artist opportunities. A performance is planned for Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Alys Stephens Center.