Some 30 female refugees from Syria and Iraq performed the first concert in their lives on Friday. The concert was held in Iraq and their performance was organised as part of efforts to heal their past trauma through music. Lifestyles went to find out more.
Karim Wasfi is an Iraqi cellist and creator of the Peace through Arts Foundation. And he used to be the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. During the past weeks, he taught music to some 30 women for several hours a day. The women he taught were affected by the Islamic State, and now live in Erbil. And they had never played music before.
Through music, the women have been able to recover from their past trauma, express themselves and get together to overcome cultural and social differences.
Lina Joseph is a Syrian refugee who fled her country four years ago for Iraq : "It's excellent for us. When we came here, we came as refugees. It was the first time we left our country, it was the first time we were called refugees. It's a harsh word, but with this kind of project we feel that we are not refugees at all. We belong to all countries; I am a human after all."
To them, playing music for their families is how they gain back their confidence and give something powerful and emotional to the public.
It's an experience which represents a fundamental mission for Karim Wasfi : "My priority is to prioritize refinement and to prioritize civility, and to prioritize arts and culture as a basic need. They have the right to be exposed to knowledge, to science, to music, to intellectual, to the intellectual life. And through engagement and through connectivity we can create a whole new universe. This is not about teaching refugees for a few months how to play an instrument. This is about even if one person plays one note, they are as important as a conductor, as a leader, as an army officer, maybe more important than everyone else, to maintain civility and refinement."
- An article from CNC NEWS.