January 28, 2017
Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
Home Song presented an intimate evening
of music performed by legendary Syrian vocalist, Lubana Al Quntar, accompanied by musicians from the New York Arabic Orchestra: Eylem Basaldi on violin and April Centrone on oud and percussion. All proceeds from the event were directly transferred to Solidarity Through Humanity, a grassroots charitable initiative dedicated to providing relief, fuel for heat, and other vital supplies to Al Faour, a particularly isolated Syrian refugee camp in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, a region that had received very little aid from humanitarian organizations up until this point. Beqaa Valley is known for its treacherous winters, and many people living in this camp, mostly young children, died before the New Year due to extreme weather conditions. Without fuel, families had often resorted to to burning shoes and garbage to produce heat, resulting in the production of toxic fumes, and making a seemingly impossible situation even worse.
Following the event, we received wonderful news reporting that Home Song raised enough funds to provide heat to all 221 families living in the Al Faour Refeugee Camp of Beqaa Valley for the remainder of the cold season.
Lubana Al Quntar, Eylem Basaldi, and April Centrone
Nisreen Nasser, Founder of Solidarity Through Humanity
April Centrone, Co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra, teacher, and artist
Issam Khoury, Syrian journalist
With curated DJ sets by Rahill Jamalifard and Caroline Partamian.
ABOUT SOLIDARITY THROUGH HUMANITY
Solidarity Through Humanity is a grassroots initiative founded by Nisreen Nasser, who is based in Lebanon, and Shannon Brandt, who is based in New York, with the direct purpose of providing aid to isolated refugee communities within Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. Solidarity Through Humanity believes in the power of empathy and compassion to connect with and provide aid to people all around the globe who are in need and have been displaced due to war or poverty.
“We started the new year with a heating fuel delivery to the refugee camp we’ve been supporting since 2015. This delivery was possible because of fundraisers held in New York and New Jersey by April Centrone as well as the efforts of the 210 Tents organization in Vancouver, Canada. Yet, with all sorrow, we regret to break this devastating news that some newborn babies didn’t make it through this winter because of the cold weather and complications accompanied by lack of heat and supplies. Thank you to every single person who donated, shared our events, and spread the word about our cause. Co-founder Shannon Brandt will be visiting the camp in few weeks for another delivery of supplies. Help us not let any baby die in the camp in 2017.” – Nisreen Nasser, January 5, 2017
ABOUT LUBANA AL QUNTAR
Lubana Al Quntar is an acclaimed Syrian vocalist of both opera and traditional Arabic song. She headed the Department of Opera Singing and launched the Department of Classical Arabic Singing at the Syrian National Conservatory.
ABOUT EYLEM BASALDI
Turkish-born violinist and composer Basaldi performs in a wide array of settings featuring Balkan, Middle Eastern, North African and Southeast Asian musical traditions.
ABOUT APRIL CENTRONE
April Centrone is a drummer and percussionist, teacher and music therapist. Originally from New York, she has given concerts and lectures around the world in Arabic percussion.
ABOUT ISSAM KHOURY
Issam Khoury is a journalist and political activist from Syria with more than 15 years of experience in writing and conducting research in politics, governance, Islamic groups, human rights, arts, and culture for major news media in the Middle East and North Africa.