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A Celebration of Palestinian Traditional Music

Through the music program the Lajee Center is able to ensure that Palestinian culture is preserved and passed on to the new generations of Palestinians growing up in Aida Camp.

The program offers children from Aida camp the opportunity to learn to play a Palestinian regional instrument, have fun together and showcase Palestinian culture and creativity.

Last week I was lucky enough to hear three of the girls play, Waed, Shehd and Worod, and chat with them about their experiences playing music. It is clear that they all take such pride and joy in the music they are playing and love coming to the center to practice and perform together.

They are part of a band of five members who have been playing together for over two years and play the Kanoon, Tabla and the Oud; which are traditional Palestinian instruments that can be seen in the photos.

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Shehd, who plays the Kanoon, told me ‘I play everyday and two days a week with a teacher. I love to play Palestinian music and to play together with my friends’.

She describes a trip they took last year to perform traditional Palestinian music across the UK. During this trip they performed alongside an Irish band and it is clear that she really enjoyed being able to share Palestinian creative culture with the other performers and the audience.

Part of the agenda of Israeli occupation aims to creep into every aspect of daily life and therefore to define Palestinians through the conflict, in particular places such as Aida Camp which exist alongside the wall. Watching the girls perform together, having fun and playing traditional Palestinian music, you can interpret it as a type of resistance. Despite the presence of the wall just hundreds of meters away, celebration of the richness of Palestinian culture perseveres and occupation cannot take that away.

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