Pianos for Peace.
Let music and hope displace the darkness in this world. Lisa Hunt-Wotton
The power of people is much stronger than people in power. Malek
Critically acclaimed Syrian composer and pianist, Malek Jandali has seen unspeakable horror and tragedy in his home of Syria. He has chosen to use music as an instrument for change and for justice. His powerful compositions share the values of beauty, truth and harmony. In short, music is the creative spirit that unites humanity in peace. His pieces are haunting, mesmerizing and addictive. There is a depth and beauty rarely experienced.
Growing up in Syria, Jandali studied at the Arab Institute of Music in Damascus, one of the world’s most prestigious centres of learning (Huffpost). He is now an American citizen.
“A fearless opponent of the Syrian regime, Jandali was awarded the Global Music Humanitarian Award and was selected as one of the Great Immigrants of 2015 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York” (source).
Jandali’s heart is never far from Syria. His song Watani Ana (I Am My Homeland) was in response to the killing of children in the Syrian city of Dara’a. After he performed it during a demonstration in Washington, his parents were attacked in their home in Syria.
In 2011 Malek performed at a rally in Washington in front of the White House to protest the siege in Dara’s where 244 people were killed, mostly children. Two nights later his parents in Syria were attacked by the Assad regime. His father was bound, gagged and forced to watch his mother being beaten.
“All of a sudden, she finds two men attacking her while the guy was holding my dad and ordering the other two to beat my mom in the head and eyes,” Jandali said. “My dad, he couldn’t do anything other than watch this atrocity.”
The three men broke his mother’s teeth and beat his father, then locked them both in their bathroom and ransacked the house, their son said. After the attackers had departed, the father, who had held on to his cell phone throughout the ordeal, called relatives. He had to call security forces to remove his handcuffs.
While beating Jandali’s mother, the Government security forces “we’re telling her that … ‘we’re going to teach you how to raise your son.'”
“I can’t think of a more stark example of how threatening art can be,” says Julie Winokur.
“Let me add this: Freedom is never free. The American people paid for their freedom. This is what we enjoy today. And this is the time for other nations to pay the price so they can be free (CNN).
Since then Hilary Clinton had worked to have his parents bought to the United States. He and his parents are refugees. He says: ‘do not call us refugees, call us humans’. We have had to flee horror and torture and watch our homelands destroyed and decimated. I write music which represents the children of Aleppo and the three-year old boy washed up on the beach in Turkey (ABC Radio Interview).
His music asks for dignity and freedom for Nations everywhere. He uses his music to bring peace, hope and freedom. His compositions integrate Middle Eastern modes into Western classical forms and harmony. They echo UNESCO’s call to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of Syria and the Silk Road at a time when it is being destroyed.
In 2015, under the leadership of internationally acclaimed composer and pianist Malek Jandali, Pianos For Peace was founded with a mission to reinvent cultural philanthropy to achieve peace through art, music and education.
In response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ termination of the majority of its grant programs for individual artists, Pianos For Peace was founded with a fierce commitment to education, performing arts, freedom of expression and peace.
We aim to support the latest thinking in the field and to serve and transform underserved communities and make art accessible to all.
Pianos for Peace is a practical way that you can support artists who are working for justice and for change. You can support by donation, by joining the team, by donating your time to the cause. You can find out more by using this link: Pianos for Peace