Nostalgia for Cultural Heritage: Spending a Day at Al-Bustan Camp

My name is Lisa Ibrahim and I moved to the US from Palestine a year and a half ago. As I felt nostalgic for my culture, I began to look for organizations that do work in Arabic culture. Nowadays social media makes it easy for us to find the information we seek, that’s how I… Continue reading Nostalgia for Cultural Heritage: Spending a Day at Al-Bustan Camp

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Al-Bustan’s Blossomed Seed: Mokhtar Bdeir

Mokhtar with member of Al-BustanPercussion Ensemble in 2007.Born in Palestine, Mokhtar Bdeir moved to America at a young age.  As he reflects on his experience navigating his place in American society, he notes "To me, the journey to discover an identity that could coherently fuse the two halves of my being – the assimilating immigrant… Continue reading Al-Bustan’s Blossomed Seed: Mokhtar Bdeir

Science: Knowledge is Power! At Al-Bustan’s Camp

"I try to encourage and expand on the camper's natural curiosity," says Hope Willoe, science teacher here at Al-Bustan camp, "That's my science philosophy." Hope began by teaching the youngest campers about habitat. She had them compare Egypt and Philadelphia's habitats. They thought about the various climates and animals in those habitats. She then discussed adaptation of… Continue reading Science: Knowledge is Power! At Al-Bustan’s Camp

Lights, Camera, Action! At Al-Bustan’s Camp

Campers filming their mock news broadcast."Filmmaking is the act of tying images and sounds to produce meaning," says Nadia Awad, Al-Bustan's video instructor. At camp, the teen campers are working on understanding fully what goes into that process. Initially, they learned about Egyptian film production and compared film production in the Global North versus the Global South. Nadia… Continue reading Lights, Camera, Action! At Al-Bustan’s Camp

Don’t Miss a Beat at Al-Bustan’s Camp!

Music is commonly known as a universal language. Umm Kulthum's music is no exception. Although  her songs are more than 40 years old, they still speak to listeners, young and old, today. Her songs speak of love, longing, and homeland, and still evoke deep emotions in listeners just as they did when she first sang… Continue reading Don’t Miss a Beat at Al-Bustan’s Camp!

"Faa" is for Funoon (Arts) at Al-Bustan Camp

“With art you created a message anchoring the concepts of Arabism, patriotism, and the reclamation of the stolen part of the Arab homeland,” wrote Sudan’s minister of information, as part of his invitation to Umm Kulthum (Lohman, p. 39). Umm Kulthum expressed herself through her music; her songs were a way for her to show her… Continue reading "Faa" is for Funoon (Arts) at Al-Bustan Camp

"Alif" is for Umm Kulthum at Al-Bustan’s Camp

Arabic is a rich and lyrical language. Here at Al-Bustan's Camp, we integrate language and culture into every aspect of the summer camp. Teachers and counselors strive to use Arabic as frequently as possible in order to challenge the campers and to enforce their lessons. Brahim El Guabli, the Arabic language instructor,  and Alia Benammar, teaching assistant,… Continue reading "Alif" is for Umm Kulthum at Al-Bustan’s Camp

Drama at Al-Bustan Camp, Where Everyone Has a Story

Umm Kulthum and her father visit camp and share their stories.First week of camp is almost over, and what a great week it has been! The campers began the week with  a chance to "meet" the world-renown singer Umm Kulthum, played by our lovely counselor Rose Daraz. Campers asked her questions in order to learn… Continue reading Drama at Al-Bustan Camp, Where Everyone Has a Story