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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
January 9, 2011 •• Palestine Community Music
They just want to be children!
“The day we spent with the children was wonderful. It is important that we do not pity them or see them as poor children.”
Fadi, a MwB trainee and a volunteer as the project coordinator of Basma (“Smile”) Society, talks with me about the New Year’s event that was organized by Basma Society and the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation: a day of fun for children with cancer and their families in the al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jalla.
Four MwB trainees, Fadi, Mohamad, Amira, and Seereen gave a music workshop to these children. For a moment, the children could forget the harsh reality they live in and sing and move to the music.
Fadi continues:

“For us, the people that are not sick, it is important to know how to deal with the children that have cancer. The children want to be seen as normal children. They have the same needs as any other child, they want to play, to talk….they just want to have contact with others!
We try to make the children feel ‘normal’, we try to get their minds for a moment out of the hospital and out of their disease.”
For Amira, Mohamad, and Seereen, it is the first time to give a music workshop to children with cancer. Although it is not an easy thing to sing and stay positive while they knew that these children are very sick, they did a great job and they gave the children lots of joy.
After the workshop, Amira and Seereen summarized their thoughts:
Amira: “Briefly there are no words that can describe my feelings. Honestly it was the workshop that I loved the most and I want to keep working with them inshallah (in God’s will).”
Seereen: “The workshop with the children with cancer was fun and something new for me. I loved the children and I felt great affection towards them. I’m very happy because I did something to make them feel happy and escape from the pain for a few moments although I didn’t do a big thing. But what I saw was happiness in their eyes, and that made it great….Allah protects them”
The children and Seereen listen to Amira, who is telling the children the story of the Donkey Song!
On the Palestinian news website Panet, an item was written about the event. The short text is in Arabic, but the many pictures you can see on the website don’t need any translation!
M. helped the workshop leaders, looking for nice songs that we listened to through the red speaker. He was a great DJ!