After a busy and productive week, I want to take advantage of a rare morning off to let you know how things are going here at MiC Israel. We spent 4 nights in Jerusalem holding one program with an East and a West Jerusalem High School. Now we are in the Negev pairing Jewish and Bedouin students that live near one another but have little or no opportunity to meet.
I am working with Justin Hillman, who is facilitating the song writing portion of the program, as well as other local musicians, teachers, and principals in each school. Lauren Ornstein and Tracey Shipley are Israel based MiC staff who, along with Todd Mack help to arrange and coordinate each of these programs. Without this incredible team, none of this could happen. Nimrod Hay Krispil has been a tremendous asset to several of these programs. I am honored to work among such talented team!
Each program pairs a Jewish and an Arab School with 7 students from each. Students in these 2 programs have written one song each over 2 days, "Forget the Fight" and "Together, Beyachad, Ma'an".
While tensions are palpable, especially in Jerusalem but even somewhat here in the Negev, the resounding theme among the students is that the world see the beauty, hope, and intention that exists here across cultures and religions. They are very vocal about feeling that they have a choice to take a different direction than their parents, grandparents, and ancestors. I commend the schools here for empowering them to think beyond the status quo. They seem to be heeding the call and are very open to meeting one another despite their fears and judgements. Once they do they begin to talk and their curiosity fuels an incredible creative process. These songs are truly their collective voice. They work incredibly hard through it all right to the very last moment. It's quite magical every single time. These schools and these students are not deterred from connecting with one another and hope to be a model for their elders and leaders.
All of this validates the evolution of MiC from that backyard jam into this direct work with youth in such a conflicted area. They are grateful for the opportunity and accept it as a responsibility.
The students often turn the camera on me and the other facilitators with questions of their own. They really are thirsty for understanding and information to develop their own perspective and perceptions. They want the world to know their stories beyond the headlines. We are hoping to share their voices in these images and videos to a worldwide audience.
We have 3 more programs ahead, as well as a reunion with our international delegates from the 2014 Youth Summit. Staying connected and fostering continued interaction and collaboration between our students is an important part of MiC's work.
I have so much more inside, but for now I'll say thank you for your interest and support of Music in Common and I hope you enjoy these little bits of what we are up to.
You can see more video and photos on our Facebook page with or without an account at: https://www.facebook.com/MusicinCommon
Peace, Salaam, Shalom ~ L
In addition to sharing random musings, Beansprouts Blog will offer ideas, tips, strategies, and reflections on multimedia production, social media, and other insights.