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A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing

by Rebuilding Alliance
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
A Collective Song: Music to Make Hearts Sing
My birthday party fundraiser for music lessons!
My birthday party fundraiser for music lessons!

Dear Friends,

Rebuilding Alliance has worked so hard to move big projects and big advocacy efforts forward. Sadly, somehow fundraising for the music lessons in Al Aqaba was crowded out and a whole year went by without music lessons.  To get this program back on track, I decided to hold a birthday party fundraiser for a milestone birthday. I started planning my birthday party back in March when I went to visit the music teachers at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in the West Bank Palestinian town of Bir Zeit.  

"I want to teach music to Palestinian children who face the biggest challenges: the children in the refugee camps, the children in the villages, the children who live in tents who don't know if their homes or villages will be standing tomorrow," said Maestro Mohammad Fadel, co-founder of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. "This is what matters to me, this is why I founded the Conservatory."

We talked about the music program in Al Aqaba, how incredibly wonderful it was for the students, the teachers, and their parents.  Our program was part of an extensive effort to teach music to children who may have never heard music before. Our program was the embodiment of Lina's dream to open music as a way to find calm and healing.

"The concerts were especially exciting!  We brought all the children to play together in concert on the big stage in university performance centers in Nablus and Ramallah," he continued.  "They came by bus, practised together, stayed overnight, and performed before big audiences of proud parents and friends. It also gave them the opportunity to see the advanced youth class performer."

We'll do our best to get the music program up and running as school starts. At Rebuilding Alliance, we're also beginning work now to find a way to bring a small ensemble on tour in the U.S.  I hope they present the narrated symphony called, The Dragon of Bethlehem! 

To help raise funds to make our dreams, our Collective Song, real once again, this project will be part of Global Giving's 2018 Youth Week competition, August 6-12.  Please make a contribution, large or small, to help this project win a bonus prize of $2500 for most donors.  Please consider making your donation recurring because donations up to $200 per donor per project started during Youth Week will have the initial donation matched at 100% as long as it remains active for a minimum of four total payments.

So that's the story.  Thank you again for your willingness to make dreams real. Thank you for being a patron of the arts!

In San Franscisco
In San Franscisco's Golden Gate Park!
Lina now on RA
Lina now on RA's board explained how music matters
Georges Lammam and Richard Michos played for us
Georges Lammam and Richard Michos played for us
At the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music
At the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music
Dp.Director Sima Khoury-Maestro Mohammad Fadel-me
Dp.Director Sima Khoury-Maestro Mohammad Fadel-me
Children posing with Dragon of Bethlehem
Children posing with Dragon of Bethlehem
ESNCM Youth Sympony performing Dragon of Bethlehem
ESNCM Youth Sympony performing Dragon of Bethlehem

Links:

The music students of Al Aqaba perform
The music students of Al Aqaba perform

Dear Friend,

The Collective Song music education program in Al Aqaba is going strong, and the students love to play their instruments. They recently performed a recital for their parents! 

The founder of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Mohamad Fadel send photos regularly and links to press about the Conservatory students.  Our young musicians have gone on tour a number of times to join children from other schools to perform in group concerts at Palestinian universities - so exciting!

I am delighted to report that after 15 years of good work as a grantmaker and advocate, Rebuilding Alliance is in the process of open our branch office in Ramallah!  What this means is that our local team will be directly in touch with Al Aqaba as we launch the next phase of our Rebuilding to Remain program — and we'll be able to provide timely updates about our Collective Song Music Center program!  This Saturday, Rasha and Jamal, our Rebuilding Alliance branch office team will be visiting Al Aqaba.  They will ask Shady, one of the first students in the Collective Song program, if he can tell them his thoughts about what the music program means to him.  I hope Shady will offer to play for them.

May I ask your help?  This program got its start when Lina, then an intern at Rebuilding Alliance, envisioned Collective Song as an important way to bring music into the villager's lives.  Lina believed music would help overcome stress and ease trauma - and it does.

  • I ask your help to organize a concert fundraiser for this project, there in your home town.  Lina is now entering her 2nd year at Stanford.  Some of you may remember that Lina's fundraising concert at Gunn High School was wonderfully inspiring, including both student and professional performers.  Might you organize a concert fundraiser there in your town?

Meanwhile, this Wednesday, July 12th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations to this project by 50%! Bonus prizes will also be given out. However, the matching funds will run out quickly — in the first 20 minutes — so be sure to set an alarm.  The competition begins at 9:01am Eastern (6:01am Pacific). 

Thank you again for your wonderful support.   You made it possible for the children and their families in Al Aqaba to receive the gift of music.  Let's do all we can to keep this wonderful program going!

Playing music for the audience
Playing music for the audience

Links:

Our students are performing!
Our students are performing!

Rebuilding Alliance is so very proud to be partnering with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music to bring music instruction to the children and community of Al Aqaba Village!

I recently learned that the visionary maestro who comes to Al Aqaba each week accompanied by the young cello teacher is a very famous man.  Mr. Mhammad Fadel is the founder of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music!   Let's find a way to bring the gifted teachers and children on tour -- maybe they can play for Congress on International Peace Day this year!

Today, Giving Tuesday actually starts at 9:01pm Pacific time Monday! GlobalGiving is matching 50% on each dollar donated up to $1000. If you can make a donation, large or small, please do!

The musice program is in full swing in Al Aqaba and they students have already travelled to Bethlehem to hold a concert in early November!  They spent the night there and attended workshops at the Athear Center!

Here's how the music teachers describe the outcome of the music program in Al Aqaba so far:

  • 39 children were introduced to music education enhancing their music skills;
  • Al Aqaba children participating in ESNCM music performances;
  • Al Aqaba community more open to cultural life.

Maestro Mohammad Fadel writes,

"Through the outreach programs, there was a noticeable improvement in the psychosocial wellbeing of students, their personalities, attitude and behavior. They are happy to learn music. Moreover, students show a higher commitment towards music education and have developed the ability to perform to a diverse audience including their families and friends. Parents and families of students have more commitment towards music education of their children which is evident in their commitment to bring the children to music classes during the academic year as well as the summer program which often requires commuting from surrounding villages."

Here's the goal for the project going forward:

Relying on the cooperation with RA, ESNCM considers the outreach program at Al Aqaba, Tubas, very important in terms of targeting marginalized communities and expanding music education in Palestine facilitating access to music education and appreciation and positively impacting the subject community.

Phase two builds on the work done in the first year in Al Aqaba. It aims at sustaining and strengthening the music education program established during phase one of the project. The positive impact on the children of Al Aqaba and its community as well as the willingness of those children to be involved in music education is an opportunity that supports the continuity of the music education program.

The second phase focuses on enhancing the music education of the enrolled students and involves a weekly two-hour session The sessions will include full class work, ensemble work and small group technical study. The focus will remain on string instruments particularly violin and cello. Al Aqaba students will perform to their community and they will be involved in the other ESNCM activities particularly the annual showcase to present their work through the year which enables them to interact with other students from other areas and different levels enhancing their group performance skills as well as exposure to a different audience.

Tonight is a great time to donate!  Thank you again for your support!


Attachments:
Maestro Mohammad Fadel instructs Al Aqaba students
Maestro Mohammad Fadel instructs Al Aqaba students

Hello Friend,
Our Collective Song Music Center was featured front and center at the Palestinian Cultural Day at the Santa Clara Civic Center on May 13th.  The event began with the national anthems of both the United States and Palestine and speeches highlighted the many contributions of the Palestinian community.  City, county, and state officials reaffirmed their pride in and commitment to all members of the community. 

The keynote speaker at the Palestinian Cultural Day was our own Lina Karamali, who initiated the Collective Song project with Rebuilding Alliance when she was an intern here.  Lina made it possible for 41 children in Al Aqaba Village in the West Bank to learn violin, viola, and cello this year with the guidance of two music teachers from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Ramallah!  

As an intern, Lina first asked the mayor of Al Aqaba Village if the Collective Song Music Center would be a good idea for Al Aqaba.   He enthusiastically encouraged the project.  Al Aqaba at that time was planning to open an new park and Mayor Haj Sami said the parents would love to hear their children perform.  Lina worked through the project details with the mayor and the librarian at the Ibn Rush’d Library, then helped me connect with the director of the ESNCN to ask for their participation.   Then Lina organized a fundraising concert at her high school, inviting students and professionals to perform.  Lina included mention of all this good work in her college applications and she will be heading to Stanford come fall!

During her speech, we showed a video of a concert with student musicians at Bir Zeit University.   Al Aqaba’s children traveled by bus to join over 100 students from music programs throughout the West Bank.  For nearly all of them, it was the first time away from home, and the first time at a University.

Thank you again for helping bring A Collective Song Music Center program this far and making the dreams of our intern come true. Most importantly, thank you for helping bring the gift of music to children in Al Aqaba.

I hope you will continue to support this project for its second year.  This Wednesday, June 15th,  Global Giving.org will be matching all donations over $1000.   Because Rebuilding Alliance has achieved Superstar Status, your donation will be matched by 50%.

Please give early – the Global Giving Bonus Day competition starts at 9am Eastern time this Wednesday and the matching grants will go fast.  

Thank you again.

Learning to count and play in Al Aqaba Village
Learning to count and play in Al Aqaba Village
All 41 students travelled to Bir Zeit University
All 41 students travelled to Bir Zeit University
American and Palestinian flags in Santa Clara
American and Palestinian flags in Santa Clara
Lina Karamali, Keynote Address in Santa Clara
Lina Karamali, Keynote Address in Santa Clara
Lina
Lina's ensemble performed at Palestine Day
Lina performing with ensemble in Santa Clara
Lina performing with ensemble in Santa Clara

Music is in the air as the third grade students in the Al Aqaba Village strum the strings to their violins! The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sends not one but two Music teachers to Al Aqaba each week. Violin and Viola teacher, Muhammad Fadel, enthusiastically counts, conducts, and cajoles the students’ emerging music and encourages their proper playing technique.

 The most accurate term describing the atmosphere within the classroom could only be “endless excitement.” 

Our very own Donna Baranski-Walker had the pleasure of visiting the classrooms in December, when this project was just getting on its feet. Donna recalls the happiness of the children as they rushed into the Mayor’s office to pick-up their instruments. As they were awaiting the arrival of the children, the cello teacher, Daniele Spada, began playing classical music and Mayor Haj Sami’s ordinary office became a portal to another world.

“It brought back memories of Lina and the concert she organized to first raise funds for this project,” recounted Donna. “With over 20 professional and student performers, Lina helped me understand what Peace sounds like… and here was that sound once again.” 

The vision of the head music teacher is similar. Muhammad Fadel has been teaching music for the past 21 years. His dream is for all of his 140 students in and out of Palestine to play in one big unifying concert. 

He believes, “Music will unite the people.”

And with that, we are proud to announce that the students of the Al Aqaba village have been invited to join fellow students to perform at two universities, Birzeit and An-Najah. The students are so excited! Mayor Haj Sami says that for many, it will be their first visit to a big city or to a university. They will embark on their journey the 23rd of April early in the morning for an intensive rehearsal following by the much anticipated Unity Concerts at each location. With your help of just $20 we will be able to fund for one student’s tour including food and lodging for the duration of their trip. What’s even more exciting, if donations are made on March 16th, GlobalGiving will match all donations up to $1000 by 50%! So mark your calendars and help send all 41 students from Al Aqaba.

Thank you again for all of your help and support. Al Aqaba is building a strong and peaceful community, and you are a part of that, spreading love and unity through music.

And 4 girls!
And 4 girls!
Just beginning
Just beginning

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Rebuilding Alliance

Location: Burlingame, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RebuildAll
Project Leader:
Donna Baranski-walker
Executive Director
Burlingame, CA United States
$13,671 raised of $26,000 goal
 
105 donations
$12,329 to go
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