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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
January 12, 2011 •• Palestine Community Music
Kindergarten for Every Child
 
“Here to the left.”
“There is no left.”
“Oh. So take the right and then left.”
“That’s not a road.”
“Oh. So continue straight.”
“This is the last house. You want me to continue? It’s dark, it’s just desert here. There are wild dogs.”
“Oh. So make a reverse until the road is wide enough to turn and then go to the left.”
“I’m not sure my car will survive this road. This is not a road anyhow.”
“Don’t worry, it’s a road……Oh. It’s not. It’s a field of olive trees.”
“Fadi? Maybe it’s time to call H.’s father again and ask him where to go now?”
We, MwB trainees Fadi and Wafa’ and me, are invited to the house of H. in the village Abadiyeh. Wafa’ lives in Abadiyeh and knows the road. At least, she knows it by daylight. But it’s dark, and there are no lights outside.
We drive back to the entrance of the village, where we ask a man on the road for help to find the house. By chance, he H.’s uncle. He joins us in the car and shows us the way. We pass the road that was not a road, we pass the olive field, and we pass the last houses of the village. In front of us is the desert, the dead sea, and Jordan. But we see only darkness. Suddenly, behind a hill, we discover some light. This is where the family of H. lives, the six year old boy that has a severe skin disease. H. has difficulties to breath, can barely walk and his hands are misshaped. But what worries us the most is that he is not going to a kindergarten. We feel that H. needs to play with other children. His parents are afraid that the other children will be nasty to H. because of his disease. 
Fadi talks with the parents and uncles of H. and explains to them the importance of a social environment. In the end, they agree that H. will try to go every day with his mother for two hours to the kindergarten. Wafa’s mother works in the kindergarten and will explain to the other children that H. is a normal child, and that they don’t have to be afraid of him, even if he looks different from them.
After this serious conversation, I take out the guitar and we start to sing for H. and his little sister. In no time, eight other children join. H.’s cousins who live next door joined us, and together we sing songs and play small percussion instruments. For a moment, we form a group, a group of children, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. H. is included, smiling, and shakes two shakers together with the music.

We hope to play music with H. again, but not in his house at the end of the world. We hope to play with him in the kindergarten, together with many other children!