OPERATION DAGSVÆRK: Iraqi Youth Network Unites Christians and Muslims through Music

The Iraqi Youth Network (IYN) and their "daughter" associations the Cross Muslim-Christian Association (CMCA) and the Iraqi Folklore Association (IFA), have in cooperation created the Dar Al-Salam Orchestra consisting of Muslim and Christian musicians, whom will be used to teach the art of music to children from refugee camps and orphanages.
After the war in 2003 the Christian population of Baghdad, mainly Dora and Karrada fled after the start of the aerial bombings from the coalition forces, they were once the heart of Baghdadi music, performing behind some of the greatest artists in Iraqi history; from the ethnically Assyrian Zakiya George to the Iraqi-Armenian Seta Hagopian.
As the Christian population is growing back in Dora and Karrada after the recent incidents in the Nineveh Plain, the musicians are returning the soul of Iraqi folklore to Baghdad. Noticing this return, the Iraqi Youth Network decided to create the Dar Al-Salam Orchestra, to continue the legacy of native instruments such as the qanun, dumbeg and jawza for the next generations.
The orchestra consists of Muslim and Christian musicians, whom were colleagues before the war. They are now once again re-united through the Folklore Association, which will serve children at after-school projects in refugee camps and orphanages; where they will teach and perform native genres such as the mawal and maqam.
The first seminar was held in Dora, Baghdad where the musicians formed their own association. As they were done, plans were made. Where do we go from now? A schedule was formed with the president of the IYN, Karim ‘Al-Iraqi’, the orchestra will teach and perform at two orphanages in Palestine Street and Revolution City (Al-Thawra), before going on a tour from one refugee camp to another in the Baghdad Governance where most Iraqi Turkmens are.
At each visit, they will "leave behind" a teacher, whom will continue his/her classes at the given place, until he/she has formed a group of mature musicians. The children will be taught to use traditional instruments and perform native genres for either their parents in the refugee camps or mentors in the orphanages. In the end, a junior orchestra will be made of kids from the music projects; they will perform in the HUB festivals (in early 2016), where all the associations created will showcase their activities.

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