What’s So Wrong with Mohammad Abd al-Wahaab?

Is there such a thing as pure Arab music? Has Arab music been westernized in a way that surpasses the natural intercultural exchange that constantly occurs, and if so, is this a serious problem for the future of Arab culture? These questions continued to arise in discussions this past week at Al-Bustan’s Arab and Arts…

An Evening with Fathy Salama

On April 23rd, Egyptian composer/pianist Fathy Salama came to the Penn Museum to share his music and his thoughts as a lead-up to his concert this Sunday. The dimly-lit room and Ancient Egyptian artifacts were the perfect backdrops for a man and his music so enigmatic and worldly. His engagement in the Sphinx Gallery featured…

Reflections of Notes and Voices: Al-Bustan’s Arabic Choir Class

Al-Bustan has been an active contributor to the arts and education community in Philadelphia. Just three years ago, it partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to offer Arab music instruction including choir, percussion, and instrumental classes taught by renowned musicians Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain. As a recently admitted Penn student, I’ve had a lot…

Mohammad Assaf — Palestine’s Voice

ولد محمد عساف في 10 سبتمبر1989 في مصراتة، ليبيا لأبوين فلسطينيين من قطاع غزة، فلسطين، وهو واحد من سبعة أشقاء. عاد عساف ووالديه إلى مخيم للاجئين في خان يونس في قطاع غزة عندما كان في الرابعة من عمره فاز عساف في الموسم الثاني من ‘عرب أيدول’، التي تبثها الشبكة MBC  وقال انه لقب “بالصاروخ” من قبل المطرب…

"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,…