29 August 2017 Bassam Maaliki   | News | Community  
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During the July school holidays I hosted a flash mob choir. So what's a flash mob choir you ask?

It is a number of people from all walks of life who come together in a hall and with the help of music conductor/composer to get a chance to sing like no one is watching or listening. You're given a song sheet have a few practice runs and then just sing your heart out. The only requirement to attend is to be equipped with enthusiasm, have any type of voice and have a passion for the cause it's supporting.

Well in this case it was my cause UBelong, a project to help foster a culture of welcoming and inclusiveness in our community and around Australia.

Earlier in the year I heard of a place called City Recital Hall with Richard Gill and how they have started a trend called a 'flash mob choir'. I was very interested. I sent Richard and Elaine an email not expecting a response let alone an invitation to have my own flash mob choir. I was humbly blown away!

Richard Gill (World renowned composer), Elaine Chia (City Recital Hall CEO), the team and I had a meeting and we discussed what it involved and how honored they were to be a part of my cause uBelong.

So the mission began....

How was I supposed to fill a hall that can accommodate 100's of people? I started with social media and couldn't believe the ripple effect.  First, I was supported by all my family, friends and uBelong supporters, but then I was being supported by complete strangers who loved the idea of UBelong.

What seemed like a lifetime the day finally arrived? A clear crisp winter's day in Sydney. I was worried about the turn out but to my surprise people were trickling in. One became two, two became four and then four became 800!

When we were seated Jay Laga'aia greeted us. We did a few practice runs with a familiar song then learned a small chorus from the UBelong song that was written by the talented Ian Chia - which is due for release soon.

As we shared this experience it was evident to me that everybody truly cared and felt a sense of belonging. As the founder of UBelong it is my duty to be a voice to the voiceless, a helping hand to the less fortunate and an advocate for youth. At a time where we can all be disconnected it's crucial that we focus on building bridges of love and acceptance to encourage harmony. Where I am UBelong.

A big thank you to Ibrahim Taha for spending the day with me and helping me on the stall and thank you to Mr Kennedy and Mr Burke for coming to the event to support my cause.

Thank you for the support

Bassam Maaliki