May 7, 2017 – American musician and song writer, Jerry Joseph, organizes week long charity drive for the benefit of refugees and displaced persons at the Arbat refugee camp near Sulaimani (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) in partnership with the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS).
Prior to his trip to Sulaimani, Joseph had successfully raised funds in the United States to buy musical instruments and supplies for refugee camps, and to cover the costs of his travel and weeklong activities. The donations included 14 guitars and accessories, a few Kurdish instruments (Saz), as well as games and sports equipment for the children not interested in music.
“My main purpose was to bring instruments, specifically guitars, to the Arbat refugee camp, and then teach the kids how to play guitar,” said Joseph in an interview with Kurdish TV channel NRT. During his time here, Joseph visited the Arbat refugee camp several times to give music and guitar classes, and held two fundraising concerts at AUIS and Chalak’sPlace, a local restaurant. The concert at AUIS was also attended by Joseph’s music students at the Arbat refugee camp. The concerts raised $1,000 collectively, which was also donated to the camp. Joseph’s team also donated several musical instruments to the music department at the University of Sulaimani, and is hoping to keep contributing to the institution.
The trip was organized mainly with the support of Professor Jeffrey Koncsol, AUIS faculty member and Joseph’s friend; Oliver Keels at the Student Services Office, and the Communications office. Kashkul, a project housed at AUIS, filmed the entire trip for a short documentary.
About the Artist
Jerry Joseph has been writing, recording and playing music for well over three decades, and has released over 25 records as a solo artist and frontman for bands such as The Jackmormons, Stockholm Syndrome, Little Women and The Denmark Vesseys. In 2014, Jerry traveled to Afghanistan to work as a teacher at Rock School Kabul and bring needed music equipment to the school. He performs more than 150 shows a year across the globe, including recent tours in Lebanon, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well as Europe and the United States.
AUIS Oriental Music Club and Jerry Joseph hold concert at AUIS: