ISAC Final Performance

By Ahmad Karakira

The Department of Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University concluded the IMAGINE SUMMER ARTS CAMP (ISAC) by a performance led by the young participants.

The Gulbenkian Theatre hosted the performance of the (ISAC) participants that danced, sang, acted, and played instruments with the camp’s instructors and assistants while showing confidence.

The performance was a result of two weeks of preparation in the first edition of the (ISAC), where 30 students were given lectures about acting, singing, dancing, and playing instruments, in addition to workshops in song-writing, clowning, journalism, and architecture.

LAU faculty member, and the camp’s director, Amr Selim, Ph.D., revealed that the camp was the first of its kind in the Arab region. He also explained the reason behind choosing “Imagine” as a name for the camp.

“Imagine is an umbrella for people to feel, to imagine and to know that they are accepted, appreciated, and needed,” Selim said. “We’re trying to create an environment for these kids with artistic brains and minds.”

He also revealed that everything in the performance from acting, dancing, and singing was a creation of every single person in the camp, where campers cooperated with the instructors to decide what to perform.

Selim thinks that introducing campers to more than one art and attending different workshops helps in increasing the campers’ knowledge and developing their way of thinking, regardless of how limited resources are.

“We’re trying to let them learn the value of creativity, the value of thinking outside the box, and the value of combining and connecting ideas from each other and from different classes to create an even better idea.”

According to Selim, the biggest obstacle and challenge was to prove that the camp’s idea is valid and trying to switch campers’ mentality from school mentality to creative mentality that the culture and the educational system needs it in the process of educating kids.

The camp’s director assured that all campers showed their will in attending the second edition of the camp next summer which proves its success this year.

“I surveyed all the students and 100 percent of them said that they will come back, while 95 percent of them said that they would like the camp to be longer, which is a huge sign of success.”

Faculty member and instructor Seba Ali, Ph.D, believes that students have acquired and learned important values in short time.

“Campers have learned how to be responsible and they’ve learned and understood that their abilities and talents are limitless,” Ali said. “They were able to do great professional things in no time.”

Acting instructor, technical director, and faculty member Omar Moujaes admits that the campers showed enthusiasm and interest in learning about acting, unlike in some schools where acting is an obligatory class.

“I teach kids from the same ages in a school, and the reactions here are more genuine,” Moujaes said. “I’ve never seen these kinds of reactions whenever I did exercises, they were very interactive.”

In addition to instructors, several LAU students from different majors were monitoring the work of the camp.

TV/Film student and camp monitor, Lynn Jbeily, said that she was glad that she got the chance to help campers improve themselves and that she was surprised by their talents.

“What’s interesting is that we’re not just teaching the little campers but we’re also learning from them,” Jbeily said. “I truly wish I was in such a camp as a child.”