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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
January 22, 2011 •• Palestine Community Music
"They still knew my name!"
It is the third time that we give a music workshop in the kindergarten in al-Ma’sara. Al-Ma’sara is a small beautiful village south of Bethlehem and probably no one would have ever heard of it, if it was not for the brave people of al-Ma’sara. Women and men, young and old, made their village a well known positive example of nonviolent popular resistance. Al-Ma’sara is surrounded by settlements that are build on land that belongs to the farmers of al-Ma’sara, traditionally growing olives and grapes and making honey. 
The agricultural village with less than 900 inhabitants has been holding weekly nonviolent demonstrations since November 2006, when construction of the wall began in the area.
But thanks to the active people of al-Ma’sara, successes have also been seen. For example, some of the land has been saved and returned to the farmers of al-Ma’sara.

Although the young children might not understand yet what is going on around their village, they do see the settlements, the wall, and experience the night raids of the Israeli army in their village. We don’t know how the children perceive all this and how this will effect their future.

What we do know, is that the children are very creative and enjoy singing and dancing.
Today, we taught them a Palestinian children song about going to the market and frying an omelet, with lots of olive oil and olives. It’s a rainy day, there is no electricity in the kindergarten so the room is pretty dark and cold.

With our jackets, hoods and scarfs, we imagine ourselves on the market, buying tomatoes, cucumbers and even water melons. We sing the song and show the movements: going to the market, baking bread, breaking eggs and stirring the omelet, sharing the omelet with friends and last but not least, thanking grandmother for making us the omelet. As always in the al-Ma’sara kindergarten, the lovely teachers join us in the music workshop.

Buying big water melons in the market

I can not agree more with Amira, one of the MwB trainees that gave this workshop together with Seereen:
“It was really great and also better than the one before, they are really lovely kids!”

And Seereen added:
 “I was shocked that after one month they still remembered my name! I am so happy for that. I liked the kids because of their enthusiasm for the workshop and their interaction.There was a special girl I liked a lot: when I asked her to do some movements with sticks she chose new movements without copying movements I had done before.”