Members of the international diplomatic corps in Lebanon attended a special dedication ceremony on Wednesday, March 15 for the newly unveiled “Kuwait Music Room” at the American Community School Beirut (ACS). A contribution from the Embassy of Kuwait provided the financial support needed for the school to build a brand new, state-of-the-art music classroom. The Embassy’s donation is one of the most recent gifts to the school-wide $12.5 million ACS Capital Campaign that aims to modernize and improve the school’s facilities.
His Excellency Mr. Abdulal Al Qenaei of Kuwait addressed the crowd and thanked Head of School Greg MacGilpin for honoring the State of Kuwait. “It is our most sincere pleasure to be with you and participate in this endeavor,” said Ambassador Abdulal Al Qenaei. He spoke of the unifying quality of music, exclaiming, “music is something that is not confined to one area or another but is an international language.”
His Excellency Mr. Ali Bin Hamad Al Marri Ambassador of Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Bouziane Ambassador of Algeria, and His Excellency Karim Boudali Ambassador of Tunisia attended the event in support of Kuwait. His Excellency Dr. Waleed Bukhari, Charge d’Affaires of Saudi Arabia and diplomatic representatives from the United Arab Emirates, India, Oman and Palestine also were in attendance, as was Farah Al Khatib, the head of the Cultural Desk of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ceremony featured three musical performances in the new classroom by students in grades 6 and 7, as well as a student vocalist from grade 12. When grade 6 student Evanour Hamadeh was asked about the significance of the new classroom, she replied, “All the equipment is in top form, and we work hard to take care of it and keep it that way. I didn’t know how to play base guitar at the beginning of the year, but once I stepped inside the classroom, in just six weeks, I learned how to play a full song and I was really proud of that.”
The feeling is mutual for music teacher Nicholas Thornton. “The facility we had before actually had noise-bleed through a ventilator system into an IB math class. So pretty much every time I had a class, we’d be playing away and the poor, beleaguered math teacher would come tell me they were having an assessment—and I’d reply, so are we!” he exclaimed. “Now that we are down there in an acoustically treated, soundproof environment, it’s a totally different ballgame. The kids can really exercise their passion. Kids are always there now banging away and singing. They are so engaged that I often have to interrupt them to get their attention,” said Mr. Thornton.
ACS extends its gratitude once again to the Embassy of Kuwait for its investment and gift of support to the Music Program. The school is firmly committed to arts education as an integral part of its curriculum and believes explorative experiences such as music will nurture the skills necessary for students to develop into creative leaders who are able to meet the challenges of the future.