News Column

Palestine Youth Orchestra supports Gaza through music

August 22, 2014

Members of the Palestine Youth Orchestra and Dozan Wa Awtar Music Establishment hold a benefit concert in Amman on Wednesday (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMANGaza Music School is among several establishments damaged by the Israeli aggression on the coastal enclave, which has been going on for over a month.

The school teaches Gazans not only music, but also how to send their message to the whole world using music, according to a Palestinian artist.

To restore the school so that it remains a prominent cultural institution in Gaza, the Palestine Youth Orchestra performed two fund-raising concerts on Wednesday, according to Mohammed A'war, director of fundraising and development at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM).

"Gaza was severely affected in terms of education, health and culture due to the Israeli offensive. The school was also affected, so we wanted to rehabilitate it to reopen again and serve all Gazans," he told The Jordan Times in an interview before the concert began.

A'war said the ESNCM launched the Palestine Youth Orchestra in 2004 with the aim of bringing together young Palestinian musicians by conducting workshops annually and holding concerts in Palestine and the rest of the world.

Some 70 to 80 musicians, aged between 14 and 24 years old, are members of the orchestra.

"They participate in a 10-day workshop held annually. The members are Palestinians who live outside Palestine. Some Arab and foreign musicians take part in the concerts as well," A'war added.

He noted that some may believe that Palestinians are not well educated because they are under occupation, so music is a way to change this view and spread the culture of Palestine abroad.

During the performance, presented by ESNCM in cooperation with Friends of Jordan Festivals and with the participation of Dozan Wa Awtar Music Establishment,the orchestra performed pieces composed by Palestinian and international artists.

Mohammad Najim, a member of the orchestra, said what was special about this concert is that all the musicians support Gaza and are against the Israeli aggression on their brothers and sisters.

"The school is really important because music represents the identity and culture of Palestine," Najim added.

Hiba Omari, a 19-year-old Palestinian cello player, said the concert shows a side of Palestine that is often overlooked.

"This concert shows that Palestine has aspiring artists who have a great passion for music."

Laila Badran, who attended the concert, said she came to support Palestinians.

"I am also a big fan of classical music and music helps heal the soul."

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Source: Jordan Times, The

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