Maestro Mohammad Fadel instructs Al Aqaba students
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
All 41 students travelled to Bir Zeit University
American and Palestinian flags in Santa Clara
Lina Karamali, Keynote Address in Santa Clara
Lina's ensemble performed at Palestine Day
Lina performing with ensemble in Santa Clara