2017 Camp Teachers
Hafez Kotain: Drumming & Singing
Hafez is a master percussionist fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. He is a recipient of the prestigious 2013 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, which is awarded each year to 12 Philadelphia artists who are of exemplary talent. Born in Venezuela of Syrian heritage, he grew up in Syria until the age of 16 years. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven years, made his first stage performance at nine years, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan, winning the national percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught a variety of percussion styles blending Arab and Latino music to youth. Hafez works with Al-Bustan throughout the year teaching weekly percussion at several Philadelphia schools, and returns to camp for the seventh summer of music and fun.
Lisa Volta: Art & Science
Lisa is a visual artist and graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She has taught art/science at Al-Bustan Camp the past two summers. During the school year she’s a teaching artist in Al-Bustan’s After-School Arab Arts Program at Moffet Elementary School. Lisa has extensive experience working in Philadelphia area classrooms as a lead artist with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia Arts and Education Partnership, and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. With a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education, Lisa has worked with school principals and teachers to develop integrative curriculum designed to enhance core curriculum learning through the arts. She has spent some time traveling in the Middle East region where she had the privilege of experiencing the generosity and beauty of Arab culture firsthand.
Yassine Benzinane: Arabic
Yassine comes to Al-Bustan from The Hill School, an independent college preparatory boarding school outside Philadelphia, where he currently teaches Arabic and French. Mr. Benzinane received his bachelor’s degree from Hassan II University in Casablanca in English & linguistics, and went on to study in the United States at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science at Villanova University. Yassine, has taught in language schools throughout the United States in Florida, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and additionally he has held various corporate positions with US companies, managing clients in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Eurasia.
Nashid Ali: Storytelling