April 19, 2021

Focus on the Student Organization
Fusion: One World at MSM

Student-led organization Fusion: One World at MSM celebrates the diverse cultures and backgrounds of Manhattan School of Music students.

We spoke with Founder and President Lulwa Al Shamlan (BM ’23), a second year classical pianist from Kuwait City, about the purpose and goals of the organization.

Tell us about your organization.

Lulwa: Fusion: One World at MSM is a new student organization that just began this academic year. Our main goal is to introduce the MSM community to cultures represented among the students at MSM and bring together international and domestic students. There are people from all over the world at MSM and I think our organization is a good way for us to showcase all these different backgrounds.

What do you like best about your organization?

Lulwa: Personally, my favorite thing about Fusion is how many people I have met and the diverse background everyone has. This includes people who come from all areas of the world, but also many places in the US. It really shows the diverse background MSM has within its community and how much we can learn from one another.

Lulwa Al Shamlan (BM '23), President of Fusion: One World at MSM

What kind of projects or events have you done?

Lulwa: Last semester, we started off with a zoom meeting where students shared what they did while being away from MSM due to the pandemic. It was very interesting to see what projects people had done during this time and also seeing some of the places in their hometowns. We also had our first in-person event last semester which we called the Mexican-Arabic Diwaniya. A diwaniya is a big tradition in Arabic cultures. It is a place where friends and family can gather to eat food, catch up with each other and relax. We replicated the atmosphere of a diwaniya as well as combining it with Mexican culture by having Mexican and Arabic food and playing traditional music from both places. We have two social media accounts, one on Instagram and one on WeChat. We did a mini series on our Instagram during the winter break where students sent us pictures of where they were during the break and we would post them. Since we had a long winter break this year, I think this was a nice project to engage the community with and feel connected.

“Students really appreciate our events because they get to meet new people—which is definitely a lot harder this year due to the pandemic—while also learning about new cultures.”

President, Fusion: One World at MSM

What do people enjoy about it?

Lulwa: I think Fusion has provided a fun way for people to learn about the different cultures and backgrounds we have at MSM. After our events, I have had people tell me they really appreciated having this sort of thing available because they got to meet new people which is definitely a lot harder this year due to the pandemic, but also because they got to learn about new cultures. Some people even asked where they can buy the food we had at the event. Overall, I think people enjoy the social aspect of Fusion and being able to discover and learn about the world in a fun and casual way.

What do you have planned for this semester (and beyond)?

Lulwa: This semester, we plan to have more virtual and socially distanced in-person events as well as continue building our organization. I would also like to continue doing more mini series on our social medias because it is a simple way to keep the community active, but without being too time consuming. In the future, we would like to have more interactive events and excursions when the current situation gets better, so hopefully we will be able to do these things next year.


Follow Fusion: One World at MSM on Instagram for updates!

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