Musical Healing for Iraqi Yazidi women
Musical Ambassadors of Peace sent 40 drums with our Musical Ambassador to Iraqi Kurdistan to provide healing energy for Yazidi women recently liberated from 2 years of enforced sexual slavery under ISIL.
A Yazidi woman who was kidnapped and sold as a slave after her family was massacred said: “Death has lost its terrors. Death is harmless compared to the hell we all had to go through.”
Arriving north of Mosul in Diyala province of Iraq, our Musical Ambassador, Dilkhwaz Ahmed, got to work with these strong survivors!
“I had the privilege to work with amazing Yazidi women on the second anniversary of their genocide and help heal the wounds of war.” – Dilkhwaz Ahmad, Musical Ambassador of Peace
This child is four years old. He was taken from his mother and father by ISIS. They tortured him, and put him through training to brainwash him. He escaped and is now living in a refugee camp with almost no resources to survive.
The genocide of Yazidis by ISIL refers to the genocide of the Yazidi people of Iraq, leading to their expulsion, flight and effective exile from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq. The genocide led to the abduction of Yazidi women and massacres that killed at least 5,000 Yazidi civilians during what has been called a “forced conversion campaign” being carried out in Northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), starting in 2014. ISIL’s actions against the Yazidi population resulted in approximately 500,000 refugees and several thousand killed and kidnapped.
Musical Ambassador Projects
Musical Ambassadors of Peace supports Symbiosis Festival on Greek Island of Lesbos
July and August, 2016
Lesbos, a Greek island with a native population of about 60,000, has been the main landing point for refugees coming from the East. Five hundred thousand arrived during 2015 and the stream has been continuing through 2016.
The Moria refugee camp is brimming with Syrians, Afghans, Eritreans, Pakistanis, Kurds and others and has grown increasingly overcrowded amid a backlog of asylum claims. Plans made to send refugees back to Turkey have also fallen apart. Relations between the Greek islanders and the refugees have become increasingly tense. Promises to send translators to help facilitate communications between the multiple languages spoken have also not been fulfilled.
The idea of a music festival which would be attractive to everybody currently on the island was envisioned and ultimately financially supported by Musical Ambassadors of Peace.
The festival is happening now.
When asked what the world most needs to solve its problems, the Dalai Lama replied: “More music festivals!”
We are doing our best! Please help us! The political solutions are all loaded with nationalistic agendas!
Music is the solution!
Announcement: Musical Ambassadors of Peace is now offering funding for qualifying musical ambassadors.
If you have a love for World Indigenous music and have been working toward improving your performance skills so that you can play it…
If you have a desire to travel and spend time learning the music of a foreign culture…
If you can imagine presenting that music in your own culture as a bridge toward increased friendship and understanding…
Then download and fill out this application form! You just might be qualified to receive financial support..
Fill out application form using Word or other Text Editor.
Attach completed form to Email and send to us at: email@example.com
Or Mail completed form to:
Musical Missions of Peace
1930 Central Ave – Unit E
Boulder, CO 80301
Performing in Venezuela
Bedouin musicians in the desert
Musical Ambassador Dr. Craig Woodson working with children in Iraqi Kurdistan
Musical Ambassador Christine Stevens in Iraqi Kurdistan
Here is what the Lonely Planet
Has to Say about Our Work:
May, 2009 Lonely Planet Guide to the Middle East:
Musicians for Peace
Article by Anthony Ham describes work of Musical Missions of Peace in Arab World
Musicians for Peace
It’s not every American musician who can claim to have learned to play the oud (Middle Eastern lute) like an Iraqi, mastered the complexity of the maqam scale system and played love songs on a Baghdad street in the dangerous aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. But then Cameron Powers is not your ordinary musician.
Together with his partner, singer Kristina Sophia, Powers was seriously disillusioned with his country’s response to the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001. When we caught up with them in Lattakia, Syria, in May 2008 on their fifth visit to the region, Powers and Sophia spoke of how they performed with a Palestinian musician in Boulder, Colorado two weeks after the attacks, a concert that only went ahead when the word “Palestinian” was removed from the promotional material. Experiences such as these prompted the couple to make their first trip to the Middle East in November 2002, hoping to build bridges between Western and Arab cultures through what they call “the warmth, beauty and sensuality of Arab music.”
The welcome they received from ordinary Arabs convinced them to return. In Spring 2003, impromptu performances for the Iraqi visa-issuing authorities and border officials saw Powers and Sophia granted permission to enter Iraq – “music is an instant passport” is his explanation. Unable to find any functioning concert venues in post-invasion Baghdad, they simply began performing on the streets. “The fact that we were on the streets of Baghdad singing Iraqi love songs, showed the Iraqi people that Americans could also invade with music,” Powers told us. He later wrote a book Singing in Baghdad (available from www.gldesignpub.com) about the experience. A performance before 60,000 people in Cairo followed the same year.
Struck by the warmth of the welcome they received in the Middle East, the couple realized that American audiences needed to hear an alternative vision of the Middle East as much as ordinary Arabs needed to feel their solidarity. Since then, the couple has covered more than 60,000km and performed at over 200 presentations in universities, schools and churches across the US. Nonetheless, they still find themselves confronted with the suspicions of post-9/11 America: “We encounter fear first and then openness to the music. It used to be the other way around.” To learn more about their work and travels, visit their website, www.musicalmissions.com.
Not content with the power of performance, Powers and Sophia have set up a secular NGO, Musical Missions of Peace (www.musicalmissionsofpeace.org) which is based around the premise that “People who have learned and sung each others’ popular love songs together are less likely to war with one another than those who have not. The NGO provides support to Iraqi musicians and refugees in exile in Jordan and Syria and promotes education and performance of international music in the US.
Musical Ambassador histories in South America
Hundreds of shows across the USA
Work in the Middle East
History of work in Iraq
Work in Iraqi Refugee community in El Cajon, CA, USA
Concert in Syria
Supported Iraqi refugee musician Fadi Aziz