Do you believe in dreams and the power we have to make dreams come true? The dream I've had all my life is within my grasp. I've been accepted to study for a Masters in viola performance on a prestigious course at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the best institutions in the world. All my adult life I've been working full time to try to achieve this dream and now that it's so close I need your help to actually realise it.
One of the main reasons I want to further my own studies is to ultimately create opportunities for other young musicians to deepen their educations. By combining several years living and working in the Arab world with my own European background and my coming studies in the USA, I want to create a shared understanding through music – one that bridges significant historical and cultural differences, particularly between the Arab world and West.
I've already been awarded a coveted scholarship to go towards the tuition fees, and am actively planning concerts and talks to supplement my funding. Beyond this, I need to cover the rest of my tuition fees as well as living expenses.
I’ve spent many years teaching violin and viola and learnt so much from my students about playing these wonderful instruments. After a lot of thinking, further training, learning from failures and successes, my best students were accepted to places like the Junior Royal College of Music and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
While based in the United Arab Emirates and working in the Middle East, I set up and directed a youth string orchestra so that my students could have enriching musical experiences. It was central to the orchestra’s ethos to bring live music into the community and as such we played at unconventional venues such as cafes, beaches and golf courses. The orchestra involved young people from more than a dozen different nationalities and I saw first-hand the incredible power music can wield to bring together young people of all creeds and cultures. We had the amazing fortune of playing with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma who said "I want to come and play with your ‘United Nations Orchestra’!"
Another one of the reasons I chose to study at UCLA was because of their world-class Arabic music department. I have already begun to work with and around Arabic music and culture. From the experiences in the Middle East that I’ve described, I am planning a chamber music project that will offer young people from the Arab world, Europe and the USA a unique opportunity to study classical western chamber music alongside Arabic music, setting up amazing chances for artistic interaction and collaboration to flourish.
Music and music education are ideal ways to connect young people, especially where their backgrounds differ from one another. My studies at UCLA will update my skills and connect me with the right people in order to give this important vision the impetus and reality it deserves. By initially supporting my education, you’ll be pioneers in this hugely exciting and promising initiative.
I'm a very enthusiastic and dedicated person and I go full force into everything I do. Playing the viola and teaching music are my passions in life and I know this course will help me to be the best I can be. If you would like to discuss any ways in which you would like to help, I’d be delighted to talk with you.
I thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart.