Monday, November 2, 2015

'Life in Syria' ep.2: Music continues to function in time of war
05-27-2015 05:20 BJT
It has been more than four years since the civil war in Syria began. So far, over 220,000 people have been killed. Today we present you the second of a five part series looking at the suffering of the Syrian people during this period.
CCTV correspondent Alaa Ebrahim reports on an all-woman band that has not been overshadowed by the gloomy war atmosphere. They just got back together after years of inactivity, and their first concert in three years is sold out.

An age old piece, this musical piece was written in the ancient Phoenician kingdom of Ugarit. Three thousand years on, it is played in the Syrian opera house by an all women band named after another ancient civilization kingdom, celebrating the band second launching.

An all women band that started in 2006. But when war hit Syria, it spelled the end for the 60 musicians orchestra.

Today, the band tries to start again, almost from scratch, in a Syria unlike that of before. Many of the musicians have left the country immigrating for a better life or for safety. Others simply can’t make the trip from their houses to the concerts and rehearsal in the increasingly dangerous streets.

"When we wanted to start the band again as security conditions improved gradually, I found out that 30 of my players had left the country. Today we struggle with the stress and anxiety from the war as we started the band again when we met again for the first time we all wanted to work and live again to signal hope that life could go back to normal," said Ra'ad Khalaf, Conductor & Founder of Mari Orchestra.
Ra'ad Khalaf, Conductor & Founder of Mari Orchestra
The rehearsal starts and on the charts today ; Music from the Godfather movie : the epic story of violence , crime and power. And the similarities between overseas fiction and domestic fact seems haunting.

A simple thing like coming to rehearsal could be troublesome especially for women like Nora a 23 year old student at the Syrian prestigious higher Musical institute .
all women band
The all women band in rehearsal
During the intermission, CCTV reporter finds out more about one of the lead violists in one of Syria’s most prominent bands.

"In days when there are mortar attacks or car bombs my parents refuse to let me leave the house, in other days i negotiate with them to come practice, i want ti finish my studies so i might have to travel abroad like many friends and colleagues," said Nora Salibi, Musician.

The Music starts again this time playing a waltz from the Swan Lake , maybe this piece reflects the girls' dreams of a better and calmer future

The theater that the band is rehearsing in has been hit by mortar attacks for several times in the past two years, but the music continues a reminder that even a country at war like Syria, the show must go on.
CCTV reporter Alaa Ebrahim in the interview

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