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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
February 3, 2017 •• Palestine Community Music
Palestine Community Music in 2016

2016 was a year full of music activities in our Palestine Community Music program. While we already started a new project in a school for children with special needs in al-Khader, we would like to look back and share with you who we reached in 2016.

We organized music events in which a total of 3477 children (1441 boys and 2036 girls) actively participated:

  • 85 children from refugee camps, villages and an orphanage, as well as children with chronic diseases received a series of rap workshops, recorded their songs and performed. The performances were attend by approximately 900 people.
  • 3 series of Music as Therapy sessions were given to 9 children with special needs in al-Azzeh refugee camp, House of Hope and Beit Jalla school for special needs (March-May). We gave three extra sessions to 12 children with special needs in September, observed by the director and music therapist of Music as Therapy International.
  • 3130 children participated in music workshops or Musical Playground workshops and performances, including 262 children with special needs, in 15 schools and more than 20 kindergartens.
  • Special music workshops were given to 156 children with special needs. 75 of these workshops were for deaf children and given by our deaf workshop leader.
  • Three interactive music performances were given for 85 people (age 1-90) by international and Palestinian musicians participating in the Palestine Choir Festival, in Dheisheh refugee camp, Caritas Baby Hospital, and the Nursery Home for Old People in Beit Sahur.

We trained 55 people in Music and Nonviolent Leadership:

  • 15 social workers and music teachers from Sounds of Palestine received several training sessions in nonviolent communication, community music and leadership
  • 10 musicians and youth leaders received coaching to develop the Musical Playground program
  • 30 kindergarten teachers from villages and refugee camps in the Bethlehem area received Music & Nonviolence Leadership Training
  • 2 workshop leaders and the music coach continued the one year distance learning course of Music as Therapy. Everyone graduated with positive marks for both the practical and theoretical work.

A total of 1264 parents, teachers and siblings witnessed the music events described above.

7 Palestinian music workshop leaders participated in special international events

  • 4 music workshop leaders, one of them deaf, traveled to Poland to participate in the BRAVE Festival for minorities, where they gave workshops, were featured on a radio show and gave several performances in which they combined rap, signing (Palestinian sign language), qanun and Arabic percussion.
  • 2 music workshop leaders, our music coach and nonviolence coach attended a four-day training from Gerald Wirth (Vienna Boys Choir) in Jordan in working with community choir techniques .
  • 1 music workshop leader participated in Musicians without Borders’ Training of Trainers in The Netherlands in October.

Through our partners Sounds of Palestine, 284 children received music lessons 1-3 times/week:

  • 180 kindergarten children received weekly music lessons from our partner Sounds of Palestine (in Dheisheh refugee camp, al-Azzeh refugee camp, Al-Khas and Dar Salah villages).
  • 104 children (age 6-10) received group music lessons two to three times a week, including instrument lessons, orchestra, choir, theory and dabke (Palestinian traditional dance) from our partner Sounds of Palestine. Seventy of these children participated in the Music Summer School.

The children of Sounds of Palestine performed live for around 3775 people during the following events:

  • 3 family concerts, each one attended by 150-200 parents and siblings.
  • Mother’s Day concert, attended by 50 mothers.
  • 3 concerts during the Palestine Choir Festival, including the Ni’lin Singing Day, attended by more than 1000 people.
  • Wedding Ceremony of one of the music teachers, attended by 200 people.
  • Performance during a program of a famous local theater group, attended by 2000 people (children and their parents).

Videos from their performances were shared with thousands of people, and a live-connection was made with the British Bible Society during the Christmas Tree Lighting Event in Bethlehem, where the children sang a Christmas song in English and Arabic.

We would like to thank all our donors who made our work possible in 2016!