Leen Machaal and Layan Machaal

I am Leen Mesh’al and I live in Amman, Jordan, with my family. Eleven though my sister and I were born and raised here, we are still considered as Palestinian refugees like the rest of the family and, because of that, every day we face many challenges and limitations inside the country.

I am now 18 years old and in 2018 I joined Action for Hope Music School. When I started studying music, I began to notice that my father was actually very interested in this field, and he encouraged my sister Layan to join the school the following year. Layan and I were finally studying music together and she decided to specialize in clarinet, while I learned how to play violin.

At Action for Hope’s Music School, I have met people from different age groups, cultural backgrounds and nationalities. This definitely helped me develop my social skills and change my preconceived notions and prejudices of others.

Since I joined the school, my musical taste has evolved significantly and I have been following all kinds and forms of music. I even begun working on my own research on the Palestinian musical heritage with the aim of documenting and preserving an important cultural aspect of my identity.
After finishing High School, I joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Jordan to start my major in violin. I now aim to graduate and become a professional violinist. I am very grateful to Action for Hope for initiating me to music and encouraging me to make a profession out of it.

My name is Layan, I am Leen’s younger sister and I am 16 years old.
Since we started at Action for Hope’s Music School, music has become a part of my and Leen’s daily lives, with time devoted to music training on a daily basis. I am very happy with this opportunity and experience that has brought me closer to my sister and increased the time we spend together.

When the Syria Music Map was released by Action for Hope, I liked the idea very much and wanted to do something similar about Palestinian heritage songs in collaboration with my sister, who had begun her research on Palestinian music heritage a while ago.
Like Leen, I also aspire to complete my musical studies after finishing High School, and to produce my own music. I want music to be a part of my personal and professional life forever and I have to thank Action for Hope for this.

Leen Mesh’al, 18 years
Layan Mesh’al, 16 years
From: Palestine
Current residency: Amman – Jordan