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Palestinian Youth Orchestra Shouldn’t Be Disbanded March 29, 2009

youth_orchestraLast week a group of children musicians from the Jenin refugee camp, the Strings of Freedom, performed for a group of Holocaust survivors.  It was all part of Good Deeds Day, an annual event run by Ruach Tova or the Good Spirit charity in Israel.  The children from the camp did not know that they would be playing for Holocaust survivors.  However, their conductor, Wafa Younis, did.  As a result, officials in the Jenin refugee camp have decided to disband the orchestra.

I recall reading about this last week and having mixed feelings. I think it’s great that such an orchestra exists for the Palestinian youth in the Jenin refugee camp.  However, I also think it’s wrong that the director, Younis, arranged to have the orchestra perform for this event without informing the youths and their parents what the event was.  Adnan Hindi, an official from the camp, said that Younis “exploited the children” and I happen to agree with him.  I think Younis should have discussed the nature of the event to the children and their parents prior to making any commitments. If the children were interested and agreed to perform, then great, she should’ve gone ahead with the plans.  However, planning, organizing and committing the orchestra to perform for an event of which they knew nothing about was wrong.

The apartment where the children practiced has been boarded up and Younis has been barred from the camp.  I can understand if camp officials want to take disciplinary action against Younis but I don’t think the orchestra should be disbanded.  After all, the orchestra’s purpose is to help Palestinian children overcome trauma from war. Camp officials should look for another conductor to replace Younis and allow the orchestra to continue its work. It’s the Palestinian children who will suffer if the orchestra remains disbanded and that’s just wrong.  The Strings of Freedom orchestra should continue its work to help the children of the Jenin refugee camp.

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2 Responses to “Palestinian Youth Orchestra Shouldn’t Be Disbanded”

  1. Hm Says:

    However, I also think it’s wrong that the director, Younis, arranged to have the orchestra perform for this event without informing the youths and their parents what the event was. Adnan Hindi, an official from the camp, said that Younis “exploited the children” and I happen to agree with him.

    So the parents knew that the orchestra was going to perform in Israel. But it was a terrible thing to perform for old people who happened to be Holocaust survivors!?!?!

    By the way, is it true that the Israelis and the international community want to replace the refugee camp with permanent housing but the Palestinians refuse because they insist on living in Israel?

  2. Luis Says:

    By the way, is it true that the Israelis and the international community want to replace the refugee camp with permanent housing but the Palestinians refuse because they insist on living in Israel?

    It’s false obviously: just another lie of the Zionist popaganda machinery. Israel doesn’t spend a cent on “Arab Israelis” (Palestinians with Israeli ID cards who are revolting right now demanding a fraction of the services Jewish colonists from around the wold get) , much less they would spend in Palestinian refugees in the Bantustan. The nly thing they spend in the West Bank is for Jews-only highways, military checkpoints and pipelines to steal Palestinian water. Anyhow Israel is a broke state that lives on the subsidies from the USA government and the Zionist Lobby, they don’t really have their own resources to spend in anything that is not building the apartheid wall, apartments for settlers from Russia in the West Bank and white phosphorus for their gencidal campaigns.

    As for the main issue. I agree that is wrong destroying the orchestra, even if they want to punish the conductor. It’d be arguable wether the conductor would deserve such treatment but in the context of an international Boycott to Israel campaign, doesn’t seem to make much sense to go to perform for the opressors.


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