Amsterdam - April 02, 2013 - At the end of April, I travelled with a team of musicians to Jordan. In cooperation with UNICEF we gave music workshops. By doing this, children were enabled to share their story with each other and the outside world. These activities culminated in a concert that will spread the voices of these children across borders, to be heard by the outside world.
With this so-called ‘Syrious Mission’, I want to break the paralyzing silence that keeps the world from acting upon the violence in Syria. Music will be used to help children to cope with the traumas of war. It will also serve as a means to establish a connection between the Dutch and the Syrian people who are not covered by the news. “ The stories of these people in particular tell us more about the current situation than the images of smoke and ruins”, according to Merlijn Twaalfhoven. The participating musicians will cover their costs by giving (small) concerts in the Netherlands and through money raised by charity donations.
I have experience in setting up projects in Jordan and Syria. I was triggered by a remark from the coordinator of UNICEF in Syria to start this ‘music mission’. “The emotional despair is just as urgent as the physical”, according to the UNICEF coordinator. “We know what to do for the physical needs, but we don’t have a solid answer for the emotional aspects. We truly believe that music can play a central role in this, but we don´t know how.”
I am certain about one thing: “Aid in the shape of music and personal attention cannot be stolen or sold in ways that damage the children of Syria. Especially not when it’s brought to Syria in person.”