May 2022: We are delighted to share an update on our newest House of Hope program for Palestinian teens and young adults: Palestine Beats! Thanks to a generous grant from Empathy for Peace, we launched this first-of-its-kind music program in Palestine in the Fall of 2021.
We are also thrilled to announce Palestine Beats will continue, thanks to our new partnership with the prestigious Berklee College of Music, which will help fund the next program session in the winter of 2022/2023.
Palestine Beats helps young Palestinians growing up under Occupation to express themselves and the trauma they face through beat making, songwriting, and empowered communication. Watch our Palestine Beats video below to hear from the participants and see the program in action, and read on to learn about how this program has come to life over the last year!
We need your help raising the remaining $5,000 needed to fully fund the Winter 2022/2023 session. Donate now and see below for other ways to support Palestine Beats!
May 2021: We are excited to announce our newest House of Hope Vision School program: Palestine Beats. This program, the first of its kind, will help young Palestinians growing up under occupation to express themselves and the trauma they face through beat making, songwriting, and empowered communication.
Thanks to the generous grant support from Empathy for Peace, we are launching the first session of the Palestine Beats program this fall! Empathy for Peace advances empathy research and education with a specific focus on the translation of empathy research to evidence-based conflict resolution, peace, and reconciliation processes. Thank you Empathy for Peace!
Under the guidance of Teaching Artist Valerie Orth and Program Director Milad Vosgueritchian, a dozen Palestinian youth will get an introduction to beatmaking, songwriting, and empowered communication skills over a period of eight weeks.
Participants will use empowered communication techniques to critique each other’s work, privately and in whole group feedback sessions. Each class will feature a short, interactive lesson followed by paired work where participants will give each other feedback. This eight-week course will culminate in a closing celebration where participants can share their live or recorded work with family, friends, and the community.
For the inaugural fall session, Palestine Beats will welcome twelve participants from the villages of Al-Eizariya, Abu Dis, Sawahrah a-Sharqiyah, and a-Sheikh Sa’d, as well as from nearby Al-Quds University.
Nezar Akram, a graduate of House of Hope Vision School who has a great interest in beatmaking, is excited for what this program can do for his music: “As a musician, I need to know beats, drums, all the tools musicians have,” said Akram (pictured below).
Nezar Akram, a graduate of House of Hope Vision School and potential participant for the program.
Milad Vosgueritchian, chairman of Vision Association for Culture and Arts and its House of Hope Vision School
Milad Vosgueritchian, a Palestinian resident of Al Eizariya, chairman of Vision Association for Culture and Arts and its House of Hope Vision School, is an educator, community organizer, and NGO director with proven expertise in nurturing changemakers. In and out of the classroom, he inspires Palestinian youth to embrace empowered communication, built bridges between estranged Jewish and Palestinian communities, and put vocational training within reach for low-income Palestinian women. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights and Nonviolence from AUNOHR University in Lebanon. As a consultant for the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue, Milad worked extensively in empowered communication education for Palestinian youth. A public speaker seasoned in facilitating cross-cultural and interfaith encounters, he has extensive knowledge of Jerusalem's communities.
Valerie Orth, Palestine Beats Teaching Artist
Valerie Orth is an Assistant Professor in the Songwriting Department at Berklee College of Music, teaching music technology and production. She is the recipient of the Berklee Faculty Fellowship 2022-2023 for Palestine Beats. Valerie is a professional music producer, singer, and songwriter. A performer since age 5, she toured the US and released all her music independently. An educator and activist, she co-led the NYC chapter of Beats By Girlz, empowering the next generation of women & gender expansive people through music & tech. Valerie developed and ran beatmaking intensives at various high schools, and co-founded BKLYN Song Camp, a music production and songwriting virtual camp that focuses on building co-writing, collaboration and communication skills.
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