5-year old Mohi came to New Zealand 7-months ago along with his mother, father and sister. His family arrived from Cairo, Egypt where they had fled from Syria’s war.
We met Mohi at a welcome dinner for newly-arrived Syrian families. His love of music was immediately apparent.
Make Foundation’s co-founders, Michel Alkhouri and Michelle Carlile-Alkhouri said it was heartwarming to see his happiness. “He was jumping for joy playing a tambourine, despite all the challenges he’d been through as well as being in a new environment,” says Michelle.
This week Mohi got introduced to some new musical instruments including the piano and trombone. He was keen to discover their sound possibilities and dived straight in to explore the piano’s potential for dramatic expression. His imagination clearly got carried away by the sound waves.
“Mohi has told me he’s ready to start learning music and also wants to try out the electric guitar” says Michel.
However, at his first lesson Mohi had other priorities. Puzzled that Michel and Michelle, Make Foundation’s co-founders, had the same sounding name, he quickly found a solution – change one of their names.
“Mohi says I’m now called Yousef!”, says Michel.