On the Road from Damascus to Victoria, BC.

13 11 2016

dsc02494Sari Alesh

– Syrian Refugee gives back by using his musical talent.
Hear his first Canadian music recording
– Learn about plans to support Benefit Event
– Discover news about another Syrian Family commencing that same long road from Damascus.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world to-day. Over 33,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada since November 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau opened the doors to approved applicants. That “door” is now closed for government sponsorships but private sponsors still have until the end of 2016 or early 2017 to apply and receive approval.

One fortunate refugee who took that long road from Damascus to Victoria is a talented musician, 31 year old, Sari Alesh. Sari played with the Syrian national orchestra for six years, touring and playing in Germany, Italy and the Middle East. He also performed with leading Arabic pop stars and recorded a number of successful records. Sadly his musical career was abruptly halted for five years as the conditions within Syria deteriorated due to war. He spent the early years of the Syrian civil war in Damascus but then, like so many in Syrians, he fled his home to find safety in Turkey during 2014.

Since arriving in Victoria nine months ago, life has been busy for Sari. The accomplished violinist has been able to take some lessons at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He is also improving his English studies at UVic and wishes to study for a Master in Music. He hopes to be successful to secure a scholarship to fulfill this dream. His ambitious plans are now to continue to play violin (in some capacity), teach French/Music and also to teach violin to children with downs syndrome.

Despite being focused on his new studies he still finds time to connect with his new Canadian community and try and give back to help others. He is so appreciative towards the people who sponsored him to move to Canada. He feels it is only correct that he return the kindness, as best as he can.

finalbenefit-dinner-posterbwOn 26 November, Sari will be performing in his third Benefit event. This time at the Friendship Community Church, an event that is being arranged to raise funds for another Syrian Family whose cousin, Liza Glynn, lives in Victoria. This family hopes to be following Sari and move to Victoria. The family of five (parents with two young children and a disabled brother) fled Syria after their home was destroyed by ISIS. Having lost everything, they, along with millions of others, decided to leave their homeland in the hope of finding a safe place for their family to re-start their lives again. Their children have never lived without war. They have not had the chance to play safely outside. They have been faced with many other challenges in Syria including daily power cuts, food shortages and other issues due to living in a civil war. They are currently in Beirut with thousands of other displaced refugees hoping for the chance to live in peace.

On the Road From Damascus Benefit event will feature Victoria’s local world music group, Saffron. They will lead the Middle Eastern themed musical entertainment, evening together with the dazzling Asmira and her Belly Dancing group, also from Victoria. Sari will join them for a “jam session” and then and he hopes to delight the audience with his chosen music for the night, that will include performances of Turkish, Arabic pop as well as classical pieces. It promises to be a fabulous evening with a three-course Middle Eastern-themed dinner prepared by owners of Café Zanzibar Restaurant in Brentwood Bay followed by the live entertainment.

Sari has made his first recording in Canada of his favourite music and you can listen to some of the songs now at this link.

Listen to Sari playing Violin on “Yalnız Sen”, a Turkish folk song.

 

Music Recorded in Victoria, by Richard E Arthur Studios.

If you enjoy listening to his music, please consider to make a donation to help the Benefit Event and raise funds to aid sponsorship of another Syrian family:
Please make cheques payable to St Mary’s Church, Saanichton Memo: “For the Peninsula Refugee Fund.”

To learn more about this special Benefit gig, please link here

Also, watch an overview about the event via this YouTube video:





Local Musicians and Dancers support Benefit Event for Syrian Refugees.

26 10 2016

ON THE ROAD FROM DAMASCUS.
SPECIAL BENEFIT DINNER AND SHOW – RAISING FUNDS TO SUPPORT SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY

– RAISING FUNDS TO SUPPORT SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY

Victoria, BC, Canada.

Victoria’s local musicians and entertainers have opened their hearts and pocket books, to offer their services to support and perform at a very special Benefit event on 26 November 2016.

Well known Brentwood Bay resident, Liza Glynn who has advanced MS, has been working hard to raise funds to sponsor her Christian, Syrian family to move to Canada.

Time is running out to meet the deadline to apply and raise funds so now a group of her friends, members of the St Mary’s Church and friends around the Peninsula and Victoria have gathered to host this special event to boost her fundraising efforts.

saffron-imageWell known World Music group, Saffron an entertaining mix of world influences, folk and jazz, will open the show with their wide-ranging explorations of three talented multi-instrumentalists – Ken Hall, Niel Golden, and Enrique Rivas. Using songs drawn from a deep repertoire of original and traditional pieces, these consummate tour guides will take you on a one-of-a-kind journey through the evocative sounds of India, the Arabian peninsula and Africa (with a touch of blues thrown in for good measure.) Saffron has also produced a critically acclaimed CD titled Road. If you are a fan of exotic instruments and mood-inducing musical textures, sit back, relax and enjoy the trip. Join Saffron for an unforgettable celebration of improvisation, featuring a musical conversation you won’t soon forget!

If the music of Saffron is not enough to entice you, live belly dancing will occur during the Saffron performance, presented by the awesome Asmira and her dance group. Asmira is a world class dancer, master teacher, and award winning choreographer who has taught and performed Arabic Dance in Canada, the U.S.A., Egypt, the Canary Islands, The Bahamas, Morocco, and Turkey since 1979.

sari-aleshFollowing these two electric performances will be Sari Alesh, a recent refugee from Damascus. Sari formerly trained and played violin with the National Damascus Symphony. He arrived in Canada six months ago, and is doing his part, to give back and help others, in the same way as others helped him.  He will also share his story from Damascus to Canada.

ximena-londonoWith all that sitting, the crowd may want to move beyond toe tapping, so the evening will be rounded off with a dynamic Zumba routine lead by Ximena Londono. It will be fabulous fun and we hope many will rush to buy tickets $50 and u18 $20.

Ahead of all this great live entertainment will be a delicious 3 course Middle Eastern Themed dinner prepared by local restaurant owners, Mo and Toni at Cafe Zanzibar, Brentwood Bay. Plenty of other folks will be volunteering to support and ensure the night will be filled with good food, music, fun and prizes.

It truly promises to be a fantastic evening at the Friendship Community Church, Saanichton. Tickets may be purchased from the following locations or tel 250 652 4123

Buy tickets at: Brentwood Bay Village Empourim, Cafe Zanzibar, Friendship Community Church.