“Extraordinary talent”, Alice Burla, plays piano benefit concert at World Economic Forum

Seventeen year-old pianist, Alice Burla, performed for a full house at the World Economic Forum last week in a concert to highlight the needs of Syrian refugees, more than half of whom are her age or younger.
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May 19, 2014 - PRLog -- The event was organised by Medair, a Swiss-based humanitarian relief agency that helps people who are suffering in remote and devastated communities around the world. Medair began responding to the Syrian Crisis in 2012 and is currently providing aid to many thousands of Syrian refugee families in Jordan and Lebanon.

Ms. Burla has been called an “extraordinary talent” by the New York Times.  She made her orchestral debut at the age of five and was one of the youngest ever students to be accepted at the Juilliard School in New York. Last year, she was selected to participate in the Verbier Festival Academy.

The Academy’s Director, Christian Thompson, was at the concert and told the audience that the Academy is not just about playing music and learning during the Festival, but also about sharing passion for music and “giving back” using music.  He thanked Alice for doing just that with a beautiful program of Brahms, Scriabin, Chopin and Liszt’s Widmung (Dedication).

Medair’s Lebanese relief worker Reine Hanna, who works on a project in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley that locates and identifies informal, unofficial settlements of refugee groups, shared her experience and stories from the field. Living conditions in the settlements are dire- no electricity, water or toilets,  she said. Working in close collaboration with the UN refugee agency and other humanitarian organisations, Reine leads the Medair team that uses geographic information system (GIS) technology to record where these settlements are so that people can receive aid.

“Everybody knew there were settlements with needs, but no one knew exactly where they were, how many people were in need and to what extent. This meant that thousands of families were arriving over the border and becoming invisible,” Reine said. “Our work means that Medair and other organisations can go and help meet the most urgent needs in those sites. It means that the children and their families who are escaping out of Syria are no longer being forgotten.”

Medair extends its sincere thanks to the World Economic Forum for hosting this unique event, and Alice Burla for donating her extraordinary talents to raise support for, and awareness of, the needs of Syrian children.

For media

Please contact Abigail Woodcock, Press Relations Officer (English), Abigail.Woodcock@medair.org  +41 (0)21 694 84 72 or +41 (0)78 635 30 95.

Medair started responding to the Syrian Crisis in 2012.

For more information about Medair's work in Jordan and Lebanon, click here. Medair’s Syrian Crisis programme is supported by Swiss Solidarity, EC Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, UNHCR, Isle of Man Government, ACF International, EO Metterdaad, Tearfund UK, Läkarmissionen, and private donors.

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Tags:Syrian crisis, Word Economic Forum, Humanitarian Aid, Refugee, Lebanon
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