outreach

Going into the communities wherever I travel is a very vital part of my life as a musician.  I truly believe that music should be accessible to all people, no matter the race, gender, religion, or status.  Whether it is an orphanage, hospital, nursing home, community center, or refugee camp, these experiences have helped bring perspective and realization that music is not just for those who have the means to attend a concert, but it can be played anywhere, in most any conditions.  I will never forget my experiences going into the Saida Dawash refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon where we walked through the dark alleyways, broken wires, and garbage filled streets to find a spot to create some moments of beauty and refuge for these young children and their families.  It was a pop up concert, arranged by the incredibly talented friend and documentary filmmaker, Alejandro Gomez-Meade, who had kindly gotten permission for us to play there; within a few minutes, our sounds had spread throughout the camp, and we turned around to see a group of children standing in silence watching us so intently.   Seeing their reactions to the music and meeting them afterwards was priceless and heartbreaking.  According to Alejandro, it was the first time he had seen Syrian, Palestinian, and Bangladeshi refugees stand next to one another, a pure moment of unity.  Seeing firsthand in what conditions these refugees live, made a tremendous mark on me, and as we ventured into the unknown, our work had only just begun.  

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Photo: Alejandro Gomez-Meade

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© 2018 by ani kalayjian