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Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
August 1, 2012
August 1, 2012

Today six children with cancer from Bethlehem and Hebron recorded a CD together. They sang a song about wishes, and recited many wishes written by children from all over Palestine that suffer from cancer. This day could only succeed because of the wonderful cooperation between all involved: Basma Society arranged the children, Holy Land Trust and Musicians without Borders trained the soundman, their trainees wrote the song, and they arranged volunteers together with Basma Society, Ra'afat from Jerusalem played the instruments, and the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah has supported the establishment of the studio Palestine Street. A special thanks goes to Fadi "doctor clown" and Muhanned who coached the children and Hisham who recorded the song. But this day could never have taken place without these amazing children, who all came to the studio even while the trip was long for some of them, the weather very hot, and the recording challenging during Ramadan (most of the children are fasting, so no drinking or eating). One of the children, eight years old, had chemotherapy only two days ago, and it was obvious that she wasn't feeling well. But she wanted to continue and sang and recited the wishes with a lot of passion. The parents that came were of great support for the children: they sang together with their children and applauded every child that finished recording his or her voice. When the CD is finished, we will give it to the children in the hospital and anyone else that is interested in hearing the wishes of these children!

Yesterday night I tried to arrange a bus to bring 16 deaf children and their supervisors from Hebron to Bethlehem. I called my friend from a village nearby Hebron, and he asked me why I wanted to spend money on bringing the kids all the way to Bethlehem in this heatwave. Why didn't we, the music workshop leaders, travel to Hebron to give the workshop there? Although our initial plan was to arrange a trip for the kids I started to doubt if it was a good idea to let the children come during one of the hottest days of the summer. But as soon as I arrived, I knew we had made the right choice! Somehow the hall in the new building of HLT was filled with a very positive energy, and for two hours every single person in the hall seemed to radiate with happiness and love. Except for the bus driver maybe, since he spent most of the time sleeping in a corner. Thank you Prelude Foundation for the transportation and Kareema for the pictures!

"I want to go home..." When Fadi from Aida refugee camp entered the hospital room of a 12-year old girl with cancer, he found her crying because she wanted to go home. As a volunteer for Basma Society, Fadi often visits children with cancer in a simple hospital. Equipped with a red plastic nose and a funny doctors outfit, Fadi sings, makes jokes, and gives the children and their mothers a break from their harsh reality. Fadi brought a guitar and let the girl play on the guitar. Together they created music and a friendship. When they finished playing, the girl asked Fadi if he could come the next day again. Fadi told her he wasn't free, but he could come the day after. "Mama, I hope I will still be in the hospital after tomorrow so we can make music again!" The following pictures were taken today, when we visited the hospital together with volunteers from the Basma society to play music with other children. We were happy to hear that the girl from the story went home again! Doctor Clown Fadi thank you for all your beautiful and important work with these children!