Mohammed Fairouz

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985 is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation.” Mohammed’s cosmopolitan outlook reflects his transatlantic upbringing and extensive travels. By his early teens, the Arab American composer had journeyed across five continents, immersing himself in the musical life of his surroundings. His catalog encompasses virtually every genre, including opera, symphonies, vocal and choral settings, chamber and solo works.

A deep thinker, with genuine compassion for humanity, CAAP recently spoke with Mohammed to learn more about his charitable giving, and his personal philosophy of philanthropy.

CAAP: Tell us a little bit about your charitable giving.

Mohammed Fairouz: I support Syrian refugees through UNHCR – I trust them, they are transparent and you know where the money is going. The Syrian people still do need relief, even if there isn’t an immediate solution. An unprecedented number of civilians need assistance right now.

CAAP: What advice would you give to others about charitable giving?

MF: I would encourage monthly donations – they are very effective. Donors can make a difference in whether a child lives or dies, eats or starves: for example, $50 feeds a family. When people hear that you make monthly contributions, it encourages others to give what they can as well. I firmly believe that small donations can make a big difference. I think people feel powerless in the face of these global crises, but if we all give what we can, however small, we will be able to chip away at the issues that face our society.

CAAP: What are your thoughts about philanthropy?

MF: I think of philanthropy as helping others. Philanthropy is not a grandiose concept, it’s just reaching out to help fellow humans. You can even do community service if you can’t give money.

CAAP: Do you do any community service?

MF: I volunteer weekly at an LGBT center in New York City. When you put aside time and energy conspicuously on a recurring basis, it’s very good for the psyche – and I think it creates a ripple effect by encouraging others to volunteer.

CAAP: Any final thoughts?

MF: Don’t focus on minutiae – as a strategy, focus on long-term results. Don’t get bogged down by naysayers, do as little harm as you can, and do good work.

CAAP wants to thank Mohammed for taking the time to talk with us, and for being an incredible #ArabAmericanWhoCares! Read more in our series.

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