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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
November 15, 2010 •• Palestine Community Music
World Diabetes Day in al-Masara

On November 14 was the World Diabetes Day. This year, the theme was diabetic children. Every day another 200 children around the world are affected by the disease. In Palestine, 10% of the population suffer from diabetes.
Two of the new MwB trainees, Zainab and Yasmeen, are volunteering for the Diabetes Friend’s Society Bethlehem. In the morning, we traveled to al-Masara where the DFS provided free testing of blood pressure and blood sugar, followed up by a doctor in case of need.
Al-Masara is a beautiful village inhabited by about 850 Palestinians. Many villagers are farmers, cultivating their lands, growing olives, grapes and making honey. This might sound idyllic if it weren’t for the Israeli separation wall which has cut farmers from their beloved lands, and threatens to grab more land in the near future. Many of the children in al-Masara live under the poverty line and experience stress from the regular army incursions at night.
While the doctors and nurses were taking care of the mothers, their children got a music workshop in the local kindergarten. Physical action is one of the basics tools to prevent stress and diabetes, so we danced and moved a lot in the workshop.

It was the first time for Zainab and Yasmeen to give a music workshop and they did a great job.
After we finished, the village asked us to return every month to continue the singing and dancing with al-Masara’s children. We hope to return soon!

G. is a little boy of four years old. Two years ago, he stopped talking.
One night, he Israeli army raided his home at night, accompanied by big dogs. While witnessing this violent event, G. got in shock and expressed his fear of the dogs by stopping to talk. G. was in the music workshop today but did not sing with us yet.
Maybe next month he will be ready. And if not next month, we will try again the month after!