Monday, August 13, 2012

How To Build A Studio (and a better world)

Almost three months ago Joel went back to San Francisco. He had volunteered for four months with Holy Land Trust and we couldn't have wished for a better person to help us building a recording studio. Joel helped the young rappers to create, design, and build the studio. He trained them in recording, mixing, and making beats. Joel expressed his wish many times: volunteering in a project that will continue to grow after he leaves Bethlehem.

Dear Joel, I think your wish came true! Since you left, children and youth from al-Fawwar refugee camp, SOS Children's Village Bethlehem, Dheisheh refugee camp, Beit Ummar, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Silwan have been recording their songs in the studio. Musicians with different musical backgrounds met in the studio and explored new ways of making music together, and children with cancer recorded their wishes.

Thank you so much Joel for all your help and support, we all hope to see you very soon!

Meet the rappers and see how the studio was created in the video made by Joel:

How To Build A Studio (and a better world) from Stories From The Checkpoint on Vimeo.

The studio was created with the generous support of the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Small and Big Wishes

Today six children with cancer from Bethlehem and Hebron recorded a CD together. They sang a song about wishes, and recited many wishes written by children from all over Palestine that suffer from cancer. This day could only succeed because of the wonderful cooperation between all involved: Basma Society arranged the children, Holy Land Trust and Musicians without Borders trained the soundman, their trainees wrote the song, and they arranged volunteers together with Basma Society, Ra'afat from Jerusalem played the instruments, and the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah has supported the establishment of the studio Palestine Street. A special thanks goes to Fadi "doctor clown" and Muhanned who coached the children and Hisham who recorded the song. 

But this day could never have taken place without these amazing children, who all came to the studio even while the trip was long for some of them, the weather very hot, and the recording challenging during Ramadan (most of the children are fasting, so no drinking or eating). One of the children, eight years old, had chemotherapy only two days ago, and it was obvious that she wasn't feeling well. But she wanted to continue and sang and recited the wishes with a lot of passion. The parents that came were of great support for the children: they sang together with their children and applauded every child that finished recording his or her voice.

When the CD is finished, we will give it to the children in the hospital and anyone else that is interested in hearing the wishes of these children!


Free translation of the text of the song from Arabic to English:

a small wish, a big wish
what do you wish children
the most beautiful wishes

in Basma Society, the children are playing
and today our wishes will come true
the most beautiful Basma Society
our most beautiful wishes