Participant Comments

What participants say about the Arabic Music Retreat:

“This retreat is highly recommended for every musician in the field of Arabic music and in the research field of this unique culture. This retreat has a lot of nuances and a special soul that could not be found in any other institute” – Mohammad Moussa Khalaf, Violinist, Composer, Music Educator, Director at the Alkendi Music Center, Bar Ilan University, Retreat Participant 2015, 2017.

“We’ve all taken something very precious and very important back with us: memories, knowledge and friendships. We were a community, a village comprised of musicians and music lovers from across the globe. All with a common love of traditional and Classical Arabic music.

I left with a greater knowledge of Arabic music. I was reunited with old friends and made many new friends. To those who made the retreat happen: thank you, Kay Campbell, and your staff. AJ, Rima and Charbel and the faculty, my dear friends Michel Merhege and Bobby Davis. Najeeb, who made sure we had a banquet at every meal. And last, and most importantly, Simon, whom I have known, loved and respected from the first day we met at the store on Atlantic Avenue. You made all this happen for two decades. You never wavered from your vision of the joy of pure Arabic music and how it touches our souls. Music is part of the fabric of our society. It transcends politics, religion and race. We’re all part of the brotherhood of the AMR”. – Stanley Rashid – Retreat Participant, 2015 and 2016.

I returned to participate in the retreat after 10 years away from it and was again reminded about the extraordinary and magical environment created there by the instructors, staff and other retreaters. Love of this music infuses everybody there. And it was great to see old friends and make new ones. And it was especially great to hear all the talented young musicians there.” – Miriam Gerberg, Retreat Participant 2016.

“There’s simply no other event like the Arabic Music Retreat in the U.S. It’s a week-long immersion, a feast for listeners and performers alike, a fountain of learning and networking opportunities.” – Johnny Farraj – Retreat Participant, 2000-2005, creator of the acclaimed website

“I learned that traditional, classical Arab music is as deep and wide and rich as western music, if not more so. I have been a musician my whole life and I felt I needed something fresh, something with horizons. Arab music fills that need for me.  The retreat is like a community: You go once and you want to come back,” “ – Neal Clarke, Retreat Participant, 2001 (as quoted in A Community of Arab Music by Piney Kesting)