Amwaj: The water symphony

Updated 30 May 2012
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Amwaj: The water symphony

BMG Foundation, the corporate cultural responsibility division of BMG Financial Group, in collaboration with The Al-Waleed Bin Talal Foundation as part of their Foundation Classics cultural initiative, will host a classical music concert performed by the world renowned and celebrated Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) under the patronage of The Duke of York. The concert will be led by the artistic direction of Principal Conductor Maestro Charles Dutoit and will take place at Cadogan Hall, London, on June 19, 2012.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which has gained an international repute for bringing world-class musicians and a wide-range of musical influences and genres to their repertoire, will have award-winning Arab composer and pianist Malek Jandali perform at the concert. Jandali is the first Arab musician to arrange the oldest notation in the world, which is featured in his 2008 album, “Echoes from Eugarit.”
Jandali, whose musical career kick-started after having bagged first prize at the National Young Artist’s competition and “Outstanding Musical Performer Award” in 1997 in the United States, was also felicitated with the “Freedom of Expression” award in Los Angeles in 2011 for his song “Watani Ana-I am my homeland” and his untiring activism efforts during the Arab Spring, advocating for human rights and democracy.
“The message of my music is universal and my role as an artist is to spread the message of peace, harmony and love through music. I have the responsibility to ensure that the voice of the people is being heard and is not tainted with fear and oppression,” said Jandali.
The evening’s musicale will be guided under the able direction of star conductor Vartan Melkonian who rose from the slums of Lebanon as an orphan with a speech impediment to become a master conductor of classical music in London’s most notable halls, directing orchestra ensembles in the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra among many others, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Recently appointed as the Patron of Consortium for Street Children and its Ambassador to the United Nations, Melkonian has especially composed the piece “Amwaj” (meaning “waves” in Arabic) for the BMG Foundation Classics’ evening.
“With this composition, I would hope to start a Post-Atonal Renaissance Era for the listener of elegant music,” shared Melkonian.
“Melkonian contributes to the world his poetic genius with his composition, “Amwaj: The Water Symphony,” a piece that will elevate our faculties and influence our appreciation for the world’s most precious resource which is water,” said Basil Ghalayini, Chairman of BMG Foundation.
“When exposed to different types of music and words, the molecular structure of water changes, revealing various beautiful or degenerative shapes. As we ourselves are comprised of 70 percent water, our intent, words, ideas and music have a profound healing or destructive effect upon us. Ultimately, what we think and expose ourselves to, creates our reality,” he further added.
Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, vice-chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Al-Waleed Bin Talal Foundation and wife of Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, is expected to grace the evening with her esteemed presence as guest of honor.
She recently secured fourth place on “The Most Powerful Arab Women” 2012 List, representing the advancement of modern Saudi women through her promotion of cross-cultural relations, dynamic participation in philanthropic and charitable activities around the world and engaging dialogue with the Western media on various women’s rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
The foundation, which has been taking immense pride in fostering values of mutual respect, tolerance and understanding between the East and the West through their Art Alive, GCC Polo Cup and Foundation Classics initiatives, also organizes fundraising charity events supporting various NGOs and trust funds in the Middle East, Asia and Europe and social responsibility campaigns as part of their cultural and social outreach program.
Early this year, they launched a nationwide youth competition in Saudi Arabia to initiate their year-long campaign, “Our Water, Our Life,” to raise public awareness in the Kingdom, highlighting the urgent need for adopting economical and prudent water practices and influencing positive shifts in social behavior in view of the global water scarcity crisis and similar predictions in the GCC region.
Proceeds from the concert’s ticket sales will go toward supporting the foundation’s “Our Water, Our Life” environmental interest initiative.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.cadoganhall.com/event/bmg-foundation-presents-amwaj/


Woman punches bear, gets help from dog to survive attack

Updated 15 December 2018
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Woman punches bear, gets help from dog to survive attack

  • The attack occurred in a rural area outside Muncy, Pennsylvania, roughly 165 miles (265 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia
  • The attack began when she went outside with her dog around 6 p.m.

PENNSYLVANIA: A woman survived a mauling by a bear by repeatedly punching the animal and crawling into a bush as her Chihuahua-mix distracted the attacker.
Melinda LeBarron has broken bones, cuts and bruises and multiple bites after the attack outside her home in rural Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening, her son said. She remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday.
Her dog — fittingly named Bear — was also bitten several times and has a broken sternum and separated ribs.
“I’ll just put it this way — she’s very, very lucky to be alive,” said her son, Trent LeBarron, who described her as a tough person. “She was punching the bear and everything. Her right hand’s all swollen up from punching the bear.”
The attack began when she went outside with her dog around 6 p.m. When Bear the dog barked, Melinda LeBarron, a 51-year-old food prepper at a steakhouse restaurant, looked around to see what had startled the canine.
“The next thing she knew, she was on the ground getting slammed around,” said her son.
The black bear dragged Melinda about 80 yards (70 meters) through her yard, across a road, and into a thicket, while the dog tried to intervene, biting the black bear several times. Some of her clothes were ripped off in the process.
The attack left a trail of blood that relatives later followed.
“As she said in her own words, the bear wouldn’t show her no mercy at all,” Trent LeBarron said. “It wouldn’t stop.”
Eventually Melinda LeBarron went limp, and the bear took an interest in the dog, giving her a chance to climb into a small bush. She then threw a stick to distract the bear and finally made her way home to call a relative for help.
Bear the dog somehow got back into the home and was found whimpering beneath a bed.
“She’s stable now,” Trent LeBarron said. “She’s doing good, she’s actually doing very good. She has a long ways to go and a lot of lot of surgeries coming up.”
Before Melinda LeBarron was able to speak, she wrote on a pad to ask how her dog was doing.
“We asked her if Bear saved her life,” Trent LeBarron said. She nodded her head yes “so fast it was unreal.”
The attack occurred in a rural area outside Muncy, Pennsylvania, roughly 165 miles (265 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia.
Wildlife officials told WNEP-TV they are trying to track the bear. Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said his agency believes it is a sow with cubs and the attack occurred after the dog ran toward the bears.
Mike Levan, Melinda LeBarron’s neighbor and landlord, whose wife called 911, said a bear sow and four cubs were seen in the neighborhood all summer.