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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
February 7, 2014 •• Palestine Community Music
Music & Direct-Action: Ahmad Al’Azzeh
Ahmad with three of the participants of the nonviolence training

Ahmad with three of the participants of the nonviolence training

Ahmad Al’Azzeh is the Field Coordinator and Nonviolence trainer of the Musicianswithout Borders project in Palestine . In the training programmes, he teaches the participants skills and theory from the direct-action branch of nonviolence, which he describes as a way of life: you can apply the skills and attitude in everyday life. Next to the training, he also works together with our Project Manager Fabienne van Eck in organizing all the programmes each year.  

How did you become the Field Coordinator/Nonviolence trainer for Musicians without Borders in Palestine?

“I already was a nonviolence trainer and coordinator for Holy Land Trust, when the organization was talking with Musicians without Borders about sharing a project in 2008. Back then I already saw Fabienne on the streets very often, also in the refugee camp where I live, as she was already active in sharing her music. I got involved when the brainstorm sessions started about how we would shape the project, which was done mostly between me and Fabienne.”

Why is this work important to you?

“Nonviolence activism in combination with music is my life. I cannot imagine my life being different. If I wasn’t socio-politically engaged there would be something missing in my life, and music is always an essential part of life.”

Often, the project cannot answer to the demand for the musical activities. Why do you think these kinds of activities are so popular?

“First of all, we are working with a very small team. When it comes to the popularity, people like to learn something new, and they feel that they can use the things that they learn! At the same time we offer people a safe place where they can express themselves; where there are no prejudices, where there is no right or wrong. This is what people like!”

Thank you Ahmad for sharing your experiences!

Check out more pictures of the latest nonviolence training for refugees from Beit Sahour with Ahmed AlAzzeh here.  The young men participating in this training have already followed our rap and/or samba workshops, and in this training the skills learned in the music workshop are complemented with strategic skills, social consciousness and a responsible social stance.