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Passion and Zest for Life Help Overcome Adversity
Passion for music, for teaching, for life. This exudes effortlessly from Sarab Shamoun, one of our skilled new violin and piano teachers. Sarab lived through some of the most devastating destruction of the Syrian civil war. But upon meeting her, she is a happy and vibrant young woman with a positive outlook and an unwavering hope for the future—qualities that no doubt helped her to overcome the profound affects of war.
A Syrian by birth, Sarab was studying music at the Al Baath University in Homs when the siege of the city began. Through the bombing, the fire and the terror of this disaster, Sarab managed to complete her bachelor’s degree before leaving Syria 10 months later in search of a new home.
Sarab says, “I was supposed to die three times, but I didn’t! War is a disaster, like cancer or a tsunami. But whenever you have hope and love life, you can overcome [anything].”
Starting Over in Lebanon
Sarab’s first home after leaving Syria was Beirut, Lebanon, a city she calls the Vancouver of the Mediterranean because of its similar climate and geographic location by the sea. She stayed in Beirut for four-and-a-half years where she taught piano and violin lessons at an arts education centre much like Place des Arts called the Rock n’ Bach Centre.
At the same time, Sarab also volunteered at Beirut’s Children’s Cancer Centre, fighting cancer through music. She says, “It’s really hard for the kids and their parents, so music helps take their mind off it. When I get a lot of money, I will give to that centre. The treatments are so expensive.”
Moving to Canada
While in Beirut, Sarab applied to come to Canada, which she did in December 2014. She chose to make Vancouver her home because she learned of the opportunities the city has for musicians. Now, she teaches piano and violin lessons from her home and at Place des Arts.
For Sarab, music is her life. She says, “My career is my hobby; when I’m happy in my job, I’m happy in life!” Her goal is to be useful in Canada. “My parents put a lot of effort into helping me become a professional musician,” she says, “so I want them to be proud of me. It is a present I can offer them in exchange for all they have done for me.”
Driven to Share Music
Sarab is determined to build her career as a professional musician and teacher here in Canada so she can share her passion for music. She says, “You can’t be a musician if you don’t have humanity in your heart. How can I be a professional musician if I can’t share my music with others?”
With a teaching philosophy of “Believing, Achieving and Serving,” and a desire to teach students how to appreciate the positivity in life through music, we’re sure Sarab will achieve her goals.
We’re delighted to welcome Sarab to Place des Arts and hope she finds her creative home here. We have no doubt she will skillfully guide her students and inspire them with her passionate belief in the power of music.
Sarab is currently taking new students in violin and piano on Friday afternoons. For more information or to book a trial lesson with Sarab, please call our registration desk at 604.664.1636 ext. 0.