Sing for Hope HandaHarmony in Beirut, Lebanon

“The idea that music has healing power goes back to ancient times,” said Dr. Ali Taher to the crowd gathered in the lobby of American University of Beirut Medical Center. The healing power of the arts, increasingly prioritized by the arts and science worlds alike, is encapsulated in the unique partnership of American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) and the Sing for Hope HandaHarmony program, which activates the arts as a driver of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

A custom grand Sing for Hope Piano, created by SFH Artist Partner Billy the Artist, traveled thousands of miles from the Sing for Hope Piano studio at lower Manhattan’s 28 Liberty to its new permanent home in Beirut, Lebanon, at AUBMC. In addition to its ongoing role bringing arts-based healing to the medical center, this special instrument recently served as the centerpiece of a special collaboration between AUBMC, the Cancer Support Fund, and Lebanon’s Al Bustan International Festival of Music & Performing Arts

The concert, entitled Beethoven: Where Hope Grows, drew over one hundred doctors, patients, families, and visitors. Courtesy of the Al Bustan Festival, acclaimed Italian pianist Gloria Campaner played two of Beethoven’s best-known works, Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise, in addition to other beloved classics. Leaders from AUBMC, the Cancer Support Fund, and the Al Bustan Festival shared poignant remarks about the intersection of music and healing. 

“I strongly believe that active music engagement allows all of the patients to reconnect with the healthy parts of themselves, even in the face of their debilitating condition,” said Dr. Taher. 

“We are fighting disease with music,” said Hala Dahdah Abou Jaber, President of the Cancer Support Fund. 

This special global program is made possible by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron). In the words of Midori Miyazaki, International Executive Director of IFAC, “There has never been a more important time for us collectively, as global citizens, to bring hope and healing to those individuals and communities who are too often left behind.” Read more about Sing for Hope’s international partnership with IFAC and the launch of new global initiative Sing for Hope HandaHarmony.

About Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Through dynamic education, healthcare, and global initiatives, Sing for Hope activates creativity in schools, hospitals, refugee camps, and transit hubs for millions of people worldwide. Founded in New York City in 2006, Sing for Hope partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, mobilizes thousands of artists in creative service, and produces and programs hundreds of artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos that activate public space. We champion art for all because we believe the arts have an unmatched capacity to uplift, unite, and heal. Through the vision and support of The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron), at the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum, SFH launched its new global program “HandaHarmony,” which activates the arts as drivers of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

About the International Foundation for Arts and Culture

The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) is a non-profit organization which was formed to engender social welfare through music and arts-related activity. Established in 1996, IFAC was officially recognized by the Government of Tokyo as a non-profit organization in 1999. The foundation has since enjoyed the backing of a great number of art enthusiasts who have pledged support for our objectives and kindly contributed to our activities in various ways. IFAC has grown from its base in Japan to establish IFAC-USA, IFAC-UK and IFAC-Australia. IFAC prizes its collaborative relationships with a broad network of organizations around the world, working together to deliver art and welfare related activities.

About the American University of Beirut Medical Center

AUBMC is an academic medical center dedicated to the passionate pursuit of improving the health of the community in Lebanon and the region through the delivery of exceptional and comprehensive quality care to our patients, excellence in education and training, and leadership in innovative research.

About the Cancer Support Fund

The Cancer Support Fund at AUBMC is a charitable initiative that aims on supporting cancer patients in all aspects of their life during treatment.

About the Al Bustan International Festival of Music and Performing Arts

Since the Al Bustan Festival was founded in 1994, it has established in Lebanon a unique and unprecedented tradition of a music season in winter. The founders wished to revive the cultural life of a country reemerging after seventeen years of war. Each year, the festival presents more than thirty performances over a five-week period. 

About Fosun International

The Sing for Hope Pianos, including the HandaHarmony SFH Piano by Billy the Artist, are created at the Sing for Hope studio provided by Fosun International at 28 Liberty. Fosun International Limited is a family-focused multinational company that has been listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (00656:HK) since 2007. Founded in 1992, Fosun’s total assets was worth RMB638.8 billion (c.US$ 93.1 billion) as of 31 December 2018. With its roots in China, and through technology and innovation, Fosun’s mission is to create customer-to-maker (C2M) ecosystems in health, happiness and wealth, providing high-quality products and services for families around the world.

 

Group pictured includes Hala Dahdah Abou Jaber, Cancer Support Fund President & Co-Founder; Dr. Ali Taher, Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute Director & Cancer Support Fund Co-Founder; Gloria Campaner, pianist; Laura Lahoud, Al Bustan Festival Executive Vice President

 

Sing for Hope’s global work is funded by the Sing for Hope Founders’ Circle: The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman, Sing for Hope Global Patron), The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy and Henry Arnhold, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Ann Ziff.

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