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August 10, 2010

WAJD Dazzles 8th International Collegiate Music Festival

WAJDIn 2009 Bethlehem University students came together to keep the memory of a missed student alive by founding the musical group Wajd. From July 16-20, 2010 Wajd impressed audiences and fellow musicians in the city of Susa in Tunisia.

Wajd was the only Palestinian collegiate music group selected to perform at 8th International Collegiate Music Festival in Susa along with seven other music groups. Mai Jaber, Assistant to the Dean of Students, attributes Wajd's participation in the festival to the groups "professionalism" and their focus on traditional Palestinian music.

The road to Susa was not without problems; Some students had problems with transporting their musical instruments and then there were problems with Visas to Tunisia that made participating in the festival highly uncertain with some group members potentially being stranded in Amman, Jordan on their way to Susa, Tunisia. Fortunately for Wajd the group caught the ear of Palestinian Ambassador to Tunisia, Suleiman Al-Hirfi, who not only worked hard to ensure that Wajd would be able to perform in Tunisia but also made sure to assist the group with any needs they might have in Tunisia. "I don't know what we would have done without the help and support of Ambassador Al-Hirfi" said Ms. Mai Jaber.

Upon Wajd's arrival in Susa the group immediately felt at home with their musical colleagues and were impressed by the skill of their festival co-participants. Participants included Syrian, Algerian, Lybian, Tunisian, Moroccan, Egyptian musical groups in addition to Wajd. One of the highlights for members of Wajd was working with other musicians during a musical workshop held on the second day of the festival.

Wajd members knew they had a good act but they had no idea what impact their music would have on the audience. Wajd's repertoire included Palestinian traditional musical pieces like "haddy ya bahr haddy," "ta teir ya tayir," and a homage to their host country; The Tunisian song "lamuni ille gharu minni." Wajd's musical skill found a receptive ear in the Tunisian audience and soon audience members were dancing to traditional Palestinian music in the aisles.

The Office of the Dean of Students is thankful for Culture Resources (Al-Mawrid Al Thaqafi), the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, and Father Jamal Deibes, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, for their support of Wajd.
    
    
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Bethlehem University and Wajd would like to thank:

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Father Jamal Deibes

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Bethlehem University Foundation
Email: brds@bufusa.org
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine