Music for all in Palestine
By Al Kamandjâti Association
January 16, 2006

Description of the association and objectives

Al Kamandjâti is a French non-profit organization (set up under the French 1901 Association Act) created in October 2002 and recognized as a Palestinian organization since September 2004. Al Kamandjâti was founded by Ramzi Aburedwan, originate from Al Amari camp (Ramallah), he is a renowned musician and a former student of the Conservatory of Angers (France).

The aim of the Al Kamandjâti Association is to set up music schools for Palestinian children – in particular the most vulnerable: those living in the refugee camps (Al Amari, Al Jalazoun, Qalandiah, Ayda, Balata, Askar, Shu’fat…).

Children are the first victims of the occupation. The main purpose of Al Kamandjâti is to create an environment where education and games are children’s principal concerns.

Ramzi’s trajectory should not remain an exception.

Learning music could be an escape valve to those children, who live under very harsh conditions, and make them believe in a better future.

The music schools will offer them the chance to both discover their cultural heritage and open themselves to the outside world. In addition, they will have a chance to explore their creative potential.

In the current situation, working with the children is the best investment: the future of the region (and the possibility of peace and justice in Palestine) depends on them. Because today’s children are tomorrow’s adults.

The musical activities we hope to provide will allow these children to have a better understanding of others as well as of their culture. Those activities contribute to creating bonds between peoples of different cultures, bonds that are a powerful vector for tolerance and openness to the world. Through cultural exchanges, peoples get to know each other. Undoubtedly, culture can be the foundation to a lasting peace.

Music is a universal language. Through it, Palestinians can transmit their culture and promote their identity.

Al Kamandjâti is now working at several refugee camps of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. The Association has developed numerous partnerships with already-established cultural institutions. This project cannot be carried out without them; all the energies should be pooled to be more efficient.

In order to be able to carry out its projects, Al Kamandjâti organizes solidarity concerts and fundraising campaigns (to obtain cash donations and subsidies from individuals and organisations) and collects musical instruments.

Due to the support of many partners (Foundations A.M. Qattan Foundation, France Libertés, Palestine Avenir, delegation of the European Commission in Jerusalem, Riwaq Centre, Sida, Tamer institute, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Khalaf, Ghanem and Aburedwan families…), thanks to its members and donors, thanks to the children and their families, the association is currently handling several projects.

“When you grab the hand of a child and introduce him to a musical instrument, you recognize the right of every child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to their age and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts,” says an Al Kamandjâti musician.

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