IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE
Syrian refugee children and underprivileged
Jordanian children write and perform a song
for the World Food Programme
A group of mixed Syrian refugee and vulnerable Jordanian children have written and recorded their own rap song, If Music Be The Food Of Love. The group have been led by TWP’s Jordan team, Bassam and Edwina Issa. Edwina is one of the most distinguished figures for educational music and drama in Jordan.
It’s the culmination of a year-long project, running music and drama bilingual (Arab and English) therapy workshops with the WFP as a part of their visibility campaign.
If Music Be the Food of Love is a collaboration in Jordan between the Trojan Women Project local team and the World Food Programme in Jordan with the combined aim of promoting awareness of WFP’s goals for food security with a music based community building project between Syrian refugee and underprivileged Jordanian children aged between 4- 17 years old.
The project consists of a series of bi-lingual therapeutic drama and music workshops aimed at freeing the inhibitions and concerns of the participants who are aged from 4-17 years of age that they might freely document their fears, dreams, memories and goals through practical drama in education strategies, creative writing and art work. Simultaneously they undertook vocal training, percussion and music workshops. All of the practical sessions were led by arts specialists in their specific fields whilst WFP officials took part in additional sessions on issues covered by their goal brief.
31 Syrian and Jordanian children (18 boys and 13 girls), comprising 19 Syrian refugee children and 12 underprivileged Jordanian children, took part in workshops over 5 weekends, followed by multiple recording sessions at The Studio, in individual, small groups, and larger groups. During the programme, 4 Syrian children left to go to Europe (3 girls and 1 boy). “The children documented through art and in verse their fears, their losses, their scars, their dreams, and hopes,” said Edwina. “For us what shone through in their unfiltered thoughts were the determination and the optimism of youth against all odds.” The children have made several performances around Amman in conjunction with the WFP’s visibility programme.
The finished product
The culmination of the initial practical workshop sessions was a merging of verse, rap and musical forms, evaluated by the artistic professionals on the team and then honed with the participants in terms of dramatic and musical quality as well as an elemental song structure. We focused on amalgamating these differing styles into a finished musical product.The song was then recorded in one of Jordan’ s leading recording studios and is ready for release later this year. TWP is currently raising funds to make a video to go with the song. We have pressed a CD, which will be available for sale for a minimum 5JD to help fund a video to market the song.
What’s in the future?
Second Phase: Once we have made a video we will market the song to raise funds to continue these music and drama workshops in Amman and other parts of Jordan. We have had interest from regional musical personalities to add their voices to those of the participants as ambassadors for the project. Third Phase: The release of the song and video in various media outlets to generate perpetuation of the project and its sustainable goals.
Who’s making it happen?
Edwina Issa, Team Leader (one of Jordan’s leading experts in Drama, Education, Music and Film).
Bassam Al Khanafseh, Project Administrator
Zeina Barhoum, an established Jordanian Opera Singer and Vocal Coach.
Tamara Ziadat, Drama Coach Assistant.
Nisreen Burhan Dabdoub, Syrian Liaison coordinator
Hayfa Matahen, Jordanian Liaison Coordinator
Ziad Mazzawi, Recording Studio Manager
Charlotte Eagar, Director Trojan Women Project Limited
William Stirling, Director Trojan Women Project Limited