Our 9th summer of camp is underway and there is much fun and art-making going on the first week. From singing, drumming, and writing poetry to making art and learning Arabic, campers are exploring the arts, culture and environment of the United Arab Emirates.
Thanks to the support of the Emirates Foundation, Mohammed Kazem, a visual artist from the UAE was our featured guest the first two days, leading a “Walking on Water” project with the youngest campers and “Shadows of the City” with the middle school campers. He shared with us examples of his work and a documentary about his colleagues of contemporary artists based at The Flying House in Dubai. Al-Bustan teaching artist Tremain Smith continued the week exploring geometry and foundations of Islamic design in relation to navigation and the sea, inspired by the 15th century navigator Ahmed Ibn Majid.
Poetry, as taught by JoEllen Hutchinson, had campers interpreting classical Emirati poetry in a contemporary form and writing their own poems using the theme of navigation to explore identity; while younger campers wrote “recipe poems”, imagining what a diver or shipmate might want to eat while on a pearling boat (dhow).
Music teachers Hanna Khoury and Hafez El Ali Kotain led campers in singing two traditional Emirati songs, “Dar Zayed” and “Marhaba Ya Na’ema A-Sawti Wel Oud”, while teaching a variety of Arab rhythms and percussion arrangements.
Arabic teacher Brahim El Gabli covered an array of Arabic vocabulary, phrases and themes related to the UAE, and will continue his language instruction throughout the three weeks.
Digital design teacher Ayman Alalao introduced the teenagers to the medium of stop-motion claymation and co-led with Sally Bonet discussions about stereotypes as the campers begin to create short animated Public Service Announcements.
Have a look at video and photo highlights of our busy and engaging first week of camp which ended on Friday with a lively Music and Poetry Recital. . . made all the more fun with the support of our amazing team of counselors and camp manager Sally Bonet.
See video highlights of Arab Music Recital presented by campers at end of the first week of camp (5:50)