"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,…

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

    The 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 more about her life. Mokhtar Bdeir played…

Umm Kulthum in the West Bank

Some time ago, Al-Bustan chose the incredible Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum to be the focal point of an online curriculum. She was chosen because her life can serve as a window into the larger issues of Arab art, culture, and history during her turbulent time period in the mid-twentieth century. She serves as such a…

Interview with Youssef Kassab

The whole world is jealous of us. The breeze was confused. The waves of the ocean are telling a story to the beach without an end. When will time allow you, my beauty, and I to stay together all night near the Nile? Do you think I will ever stay the night with my beauty…

Defining the "golden age" of Arab music

The first concert of the Arab Music Concert Series will feature Syrian singer Youssef Kassab performing selections of music from Egyptian icons, Umm Kulthum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and Farid al-Atrash of Syria—artists who shaped the music of the “golden age” and continue to be among the most famous musicians and composers in the Arab…