KHF Outreach
Self Discovery through the Performing Arts
31st July 2011

Rapper Ostazsamm poses with students from Summer Camp

32 young people between the ages of 7 and 16 sang, danced and rapped their way across the stage of the King Hussein Foundation's National Centre for Culture and Arts (NCCA) on Thursday during the closing performance of the first-ever Summer Performing Arts Camp.

For three weeks in July aspiring young performers and artists escaped the brutal summer heat by attending daily acting classes. NCCA Director Lina Attel says they decided to be adventurous by also adding courses in hip hop and break dancing and rap music, drawing on the expertise of renowned Jordanian rapper/instructor Ostazsamm.

When asked if there were any future super star rappers in attendance, the 27-year old artist replied, "absolutely yes." He said the most important thing is that the young students learn to write their own lyrics about good subjects. As an example he cited how one girl wrote about freedom, while another student wrote about family relationships, and others expressed concern for the next generation.

Dance instructor Alaa Al Qaise said he had to start with the very basic hip hop moves, but the girls exhibited talent.

13-year old Meera Maaytah said the dance classes inspired her to continue studying dance after the camp ends.

"I really had fun learning to dance," she said, "I had two left feet before I came to this camp but now I can dance really well and I like it."
Final performance at Summer Performing Arts Camp

14-year old Basel Nader from Zarqa said he enjoyed the break dancing classes, and the detail with which they learned new steps.

But not everyone arrived at this camp inspired.

10-year old Dani Sakkal from Boca Raton, Florida said attending the camp was his dad's idea:

"The first days I was dreading it, you know I can't sleep in, but it turned out to be a nice camp, and the teachers are nice, the people are nice, and you just come here and have a good time."
Sakkal now says he wants to continue dancing, and his Arabic has improved after making new Jordanian friends.
10 year old Dani Sakkal from Florida performs with new Jordanian friends

Attel says the camp, which also included the visual arts, focused on providing intensive instruction rather than staging a production in order to equip the students with important life skills.

"We thought this is a good opportunity to give young people a platform where they can express themselves creatively," noted Attel, "and learn about what it means to respect each others views, what it means to solve problems effectively and peacefully."

She also pointed out that the arts teach young people discipline and help boost self-confidence.

Another bonus?

"I got to make new friends," said Maaytah, a very important factor in the life of a 13-year old.

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