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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
June 13, 2016 •• Palestine Community Music
Yasmeen Alatrash: Music Workshop Leader from Palestine

Yasmeen writes in Arabic (her English text follows):

اسمي ياسمين الاطرش من بيت لحم -فلسطين – ٢٣ سنة. انا درست موسيقى و حقوق في نفس الوقت. انا بعزف كونتراباص و باص جيتار. بدئت تعلم موسيقى من ثلاث سنوات ضمن مشروع اصوات فلسطين و موسيقين بلا حدود عندما بدئت في تعليم الموسيقى في برنامج اصوات فلسطين و موسيقين بلا حدود اصبحت اتعامل مع اطفال صغار يعيشون في ظروف صعبة منهم من يعيش في مخيم قرب الجدار الفصل العنصري و نقاط التماس مع جيش الاحتلال و منهم من يعيش في مناطق بعبدة ذات خدمات قليلة. كنت اظن ان تعليم موسيقى للاطفال شيء سهل لكن اكتشفت عكس ذلك لانني اقدم شيء معظم الاطفال غير قادرين على تعلمه، لكنه شيء جميل عندما ترى اطفال صغار يغزفون بمجموعة واحدة بصوت واحد و بسمك واحدة على الالات مختلفة و وجوه مختلفة. ولاجمال انا تكون تنمي موهبة مدفونة لاطفال محرومين من ابسط الحقوق. موسيقى غيرت حياة كثير من الاطفال للافضل منهم في دراستهم المدرسية و منهم في سلوكهم اليومية مع الاخرين. عن طريق تعليم الموسيقى مع موسيقين بلا حدود و اصوات فلسطين زادت خبرتي في تعليم الموسيقى للاطفال بمختلف الاعمار و الموهبسن و الغير موهوبين منهم.

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I’m Yasmeen Alatrash -23 years old- from Bethlehem, Palestine. I studied law and music both. I started teaching double bass for Sounds of Palestine three years ago and I also became a member of Musicians without Borders. Music changed my life, especially when I started teaching with Sounds of Palestine, because I feel I give happiness for many kids who live in a bad situation. The children we work with live in refugee camps, some of them very close to the Wall build by the occupation, others living in isolated villages. It’s such an amazing feeling when you see all the kids smiling and playing music together on different instruments and they sing together, move together, and you feel how much they are talented and happy, and I made a great friendship with the kids and their families. Sounds of Palestine and Musicians without Borders gave me a great experience in my life, like how to deal with difficult kids who have many problems in life. How to teach music to young kids, how to teach a big group of kids the same thing and do it all together in a concert. Musicians without Borders made me see many interesting things during teaching different kids in different schools in different areas of my country and made me know more about teaching music to kids.

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Yasmeen Alatrash has a BA in Law and studied double bass at the Edward Said National Conservatory in Bethlehem. She started working as a music teacher with Sounds of Palestine in 2013. At the moment, she teaches eight children from refugee camps, age six to nine, to play the double bass and play in Sounds of Palestine’s orchestras. She has participated in several Musicians without Borders trainings and became part of the Musical Playground team in 2014. Since then, she has given numerous music workshops to thousands of children in Palestine.