Gaza ~ Palestinian Areas
Al Kamandjâti Association: music schools, Palestine Al Kamandjâti is a non-profit organisation established in 2002 to give music lessons to Palestinian children, particularly those living in refugee camps and in marginalised villages in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. Founded by musician Ramzi Aburedwan, who grew up in the Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, Al Kamandjâti enables refugee children to discover their cultural heritage, to open themselves to the outside world and, most importantly, gives them an opportunity to explore their creative potential. The organisation provides music lessons, workshops and music programmes including concerts for children in the refugee camps. It brings musicians from around the world to run these workshops and to perform for the children. With partners in Europe, Al Kamandjâti organises solidarity concerts and fundraising campaigns, and collects musical instruments and teaching materials to take back to the camps. In 2005, the Al Kamandjâti Music School was established in a permanent building in Ramallah, which is now the administrative centre of the association that offers lessons to around 300 pupils including those in the refugee camps and in the villages. Al Kamandjâti sees music as a universal language that provides Palestinian children with an understanding of their own culture, facilitates cultural exchanges and the development of tolerance and understanding of others. Operating within the extremely difficult circumstances of refugee communities, it guides youthful energy away from destructive impulses transforming it into positive creativity and uses music to bring peace and opportunity.