In February 2017 Omer Meir Wellber published his first book in German language, together with Ger
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Sarab, meaning Oasis in Arabic strives to change the social reality of the Bedouins of the Negev by providing quality music education, starting with children in elementary schools. Music is the perfect antidote: Music develops creativity, attentiveness, and appreciation of beauty; it provides a feeling of identity and belonging and brings people together in the aim of achieving a common goal. Music education teaches perseverance concentration and focus; it affects students' general academic performance and endows them valuable skills that serve them later in life. Moreover, learning to play an instrument is a time consuming task, keeping children out of trouble. Music can be the start of a different, better life for the Bedouin community, and a new basis for establishing a fruitful cooperation and communication between the Bedouin and the Jewish communities.
Sarab builds on successful programs throughout the world, bringing music as a powerful tool for social change and transforming lives of those most in need. The vision of Sarab is a quality program of music education and integrated Youth Orchestra in one of the poorest and most discriminated groups within the Israeli society: the Bedouins of the Negev.
Cut into four phases Sarab will begin this January 2015 offering music lessons with specially trained professors and access to instruments for youth in the elementary schools of Rahat.
Phase two will add private lessons and by the end will see the formation of a school wide string orchestra.
The third phase will include a curriculum for students based on Western and Arabic music theory, with a strong emphasis on the Bedouin musical heritage. In order to bring the Bedouin youth closer to their unique heritage, participants will be sent on a special mission, to meet and record their tribe's musicians. These recordings will help to create an online database of local Bedouin music which is all but extinct.
Phase four will hope to see an ensemble of 30-50 students, who will play both Classical Western music as well as arrangements to Bedouin music with the accompaniment of traditional Bedouin instruments. This ensemble, together with the Be'er Sheva conservatory string orchestra, will form the basis of the Jewish-Bedouin youth symphony orchestra that the Sarab project strives to establish.
The program is led musically by Omer Meir Wellber, he is the heart of the program and provides it with its vision.
The professional know-how is provided by Jacob Reuven, a successful mandolin player, the director of the Be'er Sheva music conservatory, and the former operational manager of the Jerusalem Music Center's national program for teaching string instruments in elementary schools.
Jamal Alkirnawi and his team at A New Dawn in the Negev provide all the players with necessary support and guidance to best achieve the task at hand by liasoning with the Bedouin schools and faculty.
Funding and support
The program is funded partially by a private donor, the generosity of the Wellber family in the form of instruments, Jacob Revuen's guidance and the Alsalem Elementary school faculty. A New Dawn seeks funding and partners to carry this amazing program to the highest potential for years to come.