Anyone who came to the opening reception for Al-Bustan’s Art Exhibit at City Hall on February 25th probably saw me cry while speaking about the Moffet Arab Arts After-School Program.
My duty was to briefly introduce the Moffet Ensemble (choir and drummers) as well as our music teachers Hanna Khoury, Hafez Kotain, and Serge El Helou. As straightforward as that should have been, when I started speaking about the program—how hard everyone has worked, how inspiring the children’s effort is—I choked up and couldn’t speak without crying. People may have thought it a bit strange that I would be so emotional when speaking about the kids; then when the Moffet Ensemble actually performed, I think everyone could understood why I would be so emotional: this is such a special group of kids!
The next half of the performance — the percussion — really leveled the audience. The two Moffet drumming groups (advanced and beginner) performed individually, together, and finally with Hafez in a call-and-response style. During the performance, every action was done with amazement: people shook their heads with amazement; they audibly sighed with amazement; they expressed their amazement with exclamations like “wonderful” and ” At this point, you would think I am used to this; however, this wonder and awe always feels unique.
– Max Dugan, Program Coordinator