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Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Produced by Karen Smyles

November 2010

This month Friday Arts highlights the fantastic work being done by Al-Bustan. This Philadelphia organization strives to provide everyone with a better understanding of Arabs and Arab culture through various arts-based programs. Last spring we visited with their Philadelphia Arab Music Ensemble as they rehearsed for a performance with internationally acclaimed Palestinian-American musician, Simon Shaheen. The ensemble is made up of a diverse group of young musicians who all had an interest in learning to play Arabic music. We spoke with Al -Bustan's president, Hazami Sayed, who talked about the success of their music programs with organizations and schools throughout the area.

Congratulations to Al-Bustan's Music Program Director, Hanna Khoury (pictured left) who recently received a prestigious Pew Fellowship!

Online Extra: Behind the Scenes

Over the summer, we stopped in on one of their most successful programs, their summer camp for kids. It was a non-stop day of every art form you can imagine, and the kids all seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the experience. School-age kids of every background, were learning music, dance, art, language, video and even a bit about the environment common to Arabic culture. Below you can check out a video of Al-Bustan camp and meet and hear from some of the young participants why they keep coming back year after year!