He Sang a very beautiful Mawwal

I am a Palestinian refugee. I was born in Lebanon and then moved to Yarmouk camp in Syria when I was a child. I was 11 when I left the camp in 2012 to relocate to Bar Elias town in Beqaa. We are 4 children and my father is an UNRWA employee, he studied Biology and works in a Lab.

I first heard about Action for Hope, when I received a message on my phone saying that they are doing some tests to choose people for the music school.  I applied and happily I was accepted.

I used to sing before joining the school because I am part of the Folklore group in Bar Elias but I never knew how to play Oud (lute). I chose to study Oud and now it’s been a year and a half since I started learning to play this instrument.   I took part in many concerts as a singer and as an Oud player in the Sunflower Theatre in Beirut, in Ghazzeh cultural center and in Bar Elias.  I now know a lot of information about Oud and can  play well on it.  I know the Arabic music scales:“maqamat” and the history of the instrument. Everyone in Bar Elias knows me and they keep on saying “this is the one who plays Oud…This is the one who sang in Beirut…he sang a very beautiful mawwal.”

In my school at Bar Elias, they want to give music lessons and they are considering me to give Oud lessons.

Learning to play on the Oud was the most significant positive change for me, because it is not easy to play on this instrument. My dream is to become a doctor and a famous musician at the same time.

The only negative drawback was the fact that I am spending more time playing on the Oud than studying but I am managing it.   

Author: Majd-el-Dine Rabei, 16 years old from Al-Yarmouk Camp, Syria

Activity: Music, Oud (Lute)

Story collected and compiled by: Mona Merhi

Date and place: Sunday may 7th , 2017| Bar Elias Cultural Center – Action for Hope