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!
We need your help to raise the additional $8,000 needed to fund the program for the spring 2022 and summer 2022 sessions. Help us reach our goal!
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.
House of Hope Vision School has received broad support from Palestinian and Arab musicians and artists. Mohammed Elsusi, a Palestinian musician and producer who grew up in the village that House of Hope serves, believes the Palestine Beats program has the power to change lives: “When I started making the music, I found myself...these kids, they’ll have an opportunity I was crying for when I started to learn skills and learn beats,” said Elsusi (pictured below).
Mohammed Elsusi, a Palestinian musician and producer from Al Aizariya, Palestine
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 a professional music producer, songwriter, educator, and justice activist. She is the NYC chapter co-leader for Beats By Girlz, where she teaches girls, trans, gender-expansive and non-binary youth who are often economically disadvantaged. Valerie has developed and run several beatmaking intensives at high schools in the US and was a songwriting mentor for SAY, the Stuttering Association for Youth. During quarantine, Valerie successfully co-founded Song Camp, a virtual music production and songwriting camp that focuses on building co-writing, collaboration, and communication skills.
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