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Gaza: If music could muffle the sound of war

"An orchestra today, a state tomorrow," said literary historian and musician Edward Said as he founded the Music Conservatory in Jerusalem. Could there be truth in the slogan?

This day I went through Tel al-Hawa, a small residential area in the southern part of Gaza City that is very marked and destroyed by the war. Then I discovered a group of young people standing together under a window. They listened to beautiful music – both oriental and classical – that flowed out of the tall window.

The window belonged to a small apartment running a music school of the more modest kind – they have no proper lighting, for example, due to the many and long periods without electricity in Gaza – and the music was Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate, played by 11 year-old Natalie Tarazi on a Yamaha piano.

Gaza by. PHOTO: General Synod / Flickr Creative Commons

"She keeps playing better, despite some minor mistakes," says Natasha, her music teacher and originally from Ukraine.

Natalie's desire to learn more about Oriental and Western classical music was not really well received by her mother. She thought her daughter should learn "something more useful" than music, such as management, like her father, who works in the fashion industry.

"It was my father who finally bought the piano. My dream is to become a conductor and swing the baton in front. . .

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