Instruments for my little Palestinian students!

29 05 2009


Segnalo questa associazione, creata da Alice Howick, per procurare strumenti o aiutare i bambini di Al Kamandjati tramite donazioni. Potete prendere contatti sul suo Profilo in Facebook o farlo direttamente tramite il sito di Al Kamandjati.



Dear friends,

You may have noticed that last September I disappeared from England, heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah. I’ve now been here for eight months, teaching the violin to children here in Ramallah and all over the West Bank. The organisation I work for is a music school called Al-Kamandjati (Arabic for “the violinist”). Six full-time teachers work here in Ramallah as well as travelling to the refugee camps, villages and cities of Palestine each week, taking music education (and with it a sense of discipline and ambition) to the places where it is most lacking. 

My oldest student, Shehadeh, has just won a scholarship to come to England and study violin-making. He works in the Al Kamandjati’s instrument workshop, fixing the donated instruments our students learn on, and he already plays on a violin that he made himself last year. It’s such an exciting opportunity for him and I know he’ll have a great time as a student in England!

Shehadeh’s workshop is full of instruments ready to repair; he wants to fix as many of them as possible before he leaves in September. However, he lacks many of the basic materials to achieve this aim: bow-hair, chin rests, tail pieces, bows, even such basic things as strings. This – I’m sure you saw this coming – is where you come in! 

We have been presented with a fantastic opportunity to bring materials from the UK – in June, 55 members of the Choir of London will visit Ramallah, some of whom might have a little space in their suitcase for some donated materials. We particularly need the following things:

1.Shoulder rests – particularly for half- and three-quarter-sized violins. A shoulder rest can make a big difference, particularly to a beginner who is not comfortable with the instrument.
2.Bows – we have many violins, violas and cellos in the store in Al Kamandjati which are not being played, because they have no bow. In addition Shehadeh needs some hair in order to be able to repair broken bows.
3.Strings for all instruments, all pitches, all sizes! In particular, we’re missing strings for smaller violins (half-sizes particularly) and full-size A and D strings
4.Music for all instruments, particularly easy music for beginners.
5.Different equipment for repairing instruments such as chin rests, tail-pieces, pads and reeds for wind instruments
6.If you happen to have an old instrument looking for a home you could consider donating or lending it to Al Kamandjati.

If you don’t have any of these, we will also welcome donations of money to buy these things…

If you think you can help, let me know by messaging me – I’ve fixed up people to collect donations in Cambridge, London and Malvern. This is all happening a bit late – the choir flies out on 9th June so I would like to be able to distribute materials to them in their last rehearsal on the 8th – but I hope we can manage something!

I’ve been in Al Kamandjati when donated materials have arrived (I remember one particularly terrifying arrival of 200 recorders from America) and the difference it makes is extraordinary – not just in terms of the benefits that the students will get from this most basic of musical equipment, but also in that it really sends a message to everyone around that they are not alone; there are people all over the world that want to give them the opportunity to live a normal, free life. 





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