This post was contributed by Cole Kawugule, a CAMERA Liaison for Emet for Israel at George Mason University.
On February 26, the George Mason Israel Student Association, a CAMERA Emet for Israel group, CAMERA,and George Mason Hillel brought celebrity musician Rita Yahan-Farouz to campus! She came to campus for a night of music and culture for the students of GMU and the surrounding community.
Rita brought her beautiful music for everyone to hear, and performed a number of songs for the audience. She performed songs in Hebrew, Farsi, and English, so she covered every angle! In between songs, she told stories about her upbringing in Iran, the transition to life in Israel, and how her life has changed after becoming successful and traveling around the world. Throughout, she interacted with the crowd, starting at the front of the room and moving towards the back, encouraging the audience to sing along with the songs they knew and dance with her.
One of our main goals with the event was to host an event that could be seen as cross-cultural. As
opposed to an event that was only focused on Israel, this also included Iran and some members of the Baha’i faith. We wanted to appeal to a wider audience than those who only were interested in Israel. We managed to draw in a large amount of community members by advertising other places besides just on campus. By reaching outside of our regular audience, we managed to bring in new faces and start to build partnerships, as we did with the Secular Students Alliance and the Baha’i Campus Ministry. In the future, we are going to try and host events that are as wide-reaching as this one, so we can have as big of an impact as possible on campus!