While many of our staff members have hidden talents, our Associate Executive Director Sahar Ben Edalati is sharing one of his in an upcoming course, Inside the World of American Sign Language and Music, through our award-winning Watermark University. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Edalati has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Aging and a master’s in Long-Term Care Administration.
Responsible for the financial and operational performance of The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, he previously served as Executive Director at Sunrise Senior Living in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California. In 2018, he was nationally recognized by The American Health Care Association at Administrator of the Year.
What many may not know is that Edalati is also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and volunteered at the Helen Keller National Institute for the Deaf and Blind in New York, assisting as an ASL discussion group leader and translator.
Wanting to share the basics of ASL with others, he is teaching a beginner course that offers residents a new way to experience music—through signing. He will teach students how to convey rhythm and emotions for a variety of musical genres. For example, they’ll learn to express bass drops, soaring pop rock ballads, and even some hip hop. Edalati will teach students ASL classifiers to show what sound looks like when it goes from paper to picture, using their hands, bodies, facial expressions, and personal style.