08.07.2014 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

50 violins bring back the rhythm to lives of young Syrian refugees in Iraq

Students with UNESCO representative Khalid Khoshnaw in a group photo after receiving their violins © UNESCO Iraq 2014

“Music is the language of the heart. It is one of the most powerful bonds to the person’s history and culture”. This was the unanimous opinion of all participants of the launch of a two-month music course for students in the Syrian refugees’ camp of Darashakran in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The course was launched on Monday, 7 July 2014 in the premises of a school that was recently built by UNESCO, with the participation of the camp’s residents, representatives of UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the Public Aid Organization (PAO).

Director General of Youth in the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Jamal Hussein, Director General of Education in the Khabat District, Omer Hamad, and PAO representative Kamaran Ahmed were among the speakers along with UNESCO’s Sami Al-Khoja and Khalid Khoshnaw. All emphasized on the importance of such activities to provide moral and psychological support and bring back the much needed hope for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

At the end of the ceremony, 50 violins donated by The Ministry of Culture and Youth were distributed to the students participating in the course. A special trainer delegated by the ministry will conduct this course and work closely with the students over the period of two months.

With 220,000 Syrians entering Iraq since the beginning of the turmoil, UNESCO is among a wide group of international organizations responding to the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq. As a lead organization in education, UNESCO is prioritizing projects and activities that aim to improve access to secondary and vocational education and training, literacy and life skills in both urban areas and camp settings. At the same time, the Organization is attributing a special importance to providing moral and psychological support for Syrian children and youth.

UNESCO is currently broadening its involvement in ten camps through the establishment of additional secondary schools focusing in particular on the training of teachers, the organization of catch up classes for out-of-school children and the launch of ICT and entrepreneurship courses for youth.

In June 2014, UNESCO also launched an appeal to gather donations for Syrian refugees, hoping to overcome the major financial challenges and expand its interventions to aid victims of the Syrian crisis.

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