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Gaza Music School Project

Photographer: Ali Ali

 

The Gaza School of Music was founded in 2008 thanks to the funds from the Abdulmohsen Al-Qattan Foundation and the Swedish government. The center is the first of this kind in the Gaza Strip.

 

Located in the Palestinian Red Crescent building in Tel el Hawa district, the center welcomes about 120 children, boys and girls, between the age of six and eleven. The children attend classes three times a week after school. Although tuition is free, all the students must show proficiency in rhythm and musical ear in competitive entrance tests.

 

According to their desire and inclinations, the children can learn to play various instruments such as oud (lute), tabla, qanun, violin, piano and guitar. European as well as Arab classical music is taught, as several of the teachers are east European women. They have Gazan husbands who had travelled to the Soviet bloc for study.

 

The school got the approval and support from the families and the community. On 23 December 2008, the first school concert was organized with the participation of many artists and music bands of Gaza. More than 500 spectators filled the hall of the Red Crescent.

 

According to reports, the school is set to become a branch of the Edward Said National Music Conservatory, a leading Palestinian music institution, within the next two years.