A few weeks after the Israeli war in Gaza subsided, taking the impoverished Strip back to a status quo of a hermetic siege and economic blockade, artists from across the area gathered to play music.
The music beat radiating from the Orthodox Cultural Center in Gaza City oscillated between old and new, Arabic Maqamat and Rock, Oud, and guitar.
Though East and West rarely meet politically, in Gaza, thanks to many local talents, they found a common ground through music.
Palestinian artists in Gaza have taken part in the French-initiated ‘Fête de la Musique’ since 1998. The Israeli occupation made it difficult for the new tradition to take hold.
Now, Music Day, or ‘Make Music Day’, is back.
“The idea is to allow musicians, whether professional or amateur, to take music to ordinary people, in every street and every neighborhood,” Ihab Abu Mu’amar, from the cultural center told the Palestine Chronicle.
“We just want to bring joy to people. We don’t impose any kind of music on our audiences. Today, we introduced Rock music to Gaza, but of course, Arabic music was strongly present throughout the day,” Abu Mu’amar added.
It was then-France’s minister of Culture, Jack Lang who is credited for originating the idea. Over time, 120 countries – some estimate the number to be as high as 172 – have participated in the global initiative, which aims at making music accessible to everyone.
The Palestine Chronicle attended the Music Day event in Gaza and brought you these photos.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)