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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
March 15, 2011 •• Palestine Community Music
Generation of Hope
Jeel al-Amal (Generation of Hope) is the name of an orphanage in al-Azariyeh (Bethany) for around 100 boys.Together with 250 girls and boys from poor families they receive education in the school building next to the orphanage.

Najwa Sayegh-Sahhar, daughter of the founders, invited us to give two music workshops to 65 boys, age 4-14. 
When the younger children enter the room, the older ones help them to feel comfortable and to find a chair. It is touching to see how the teenagers care for the little ones.
When everyone has a place, the older boys leave us alone with the kids and we start our activities. We dance, sing, play rhythms with sticks, but most of all….we laugh! After a full hour we finish the workshop and prepare for the second workshop with the older boys.
We do a different program, adjusted to the age difference. The boys are very creative, making up movements with a song, singing with loud voices and again, laughing a lot. 


Zeinab, the other workshop leader, and I drive back through Wadi Nar, the terrible road between Ramallah and Bethlehem. But we don’t care. The sun shines, we still hear the laughter of the boys and softly we hum the songs we sang with them.


Jeel al-Amal is a wonderful place for these children. To be able to continue their beautiful work, they are dependent on donations. Please have a look at their website to learn more about the project and to find ways to support them!
www.jeelalamal.org





All pictures are taken by Palestine’s Next Top Photographer: Yousef Younis Shaour (one of the boys from the orphanage)