At a presidential invitation, the Palestinian Youth Orchestra meets art lovers in Turkey (report)

Ankara / Safa Sahin / Anatolia

The activities begin with the “Palestinian-Turkish Peace Concert” at the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra and continue for a week in Ankara and Istanbul
Amina Erdogan hosts young musicians and meets artist Maryam Afifi, who became a “symbol of resistance” during her defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque
– Director of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra Suhail Khoury: This is the highest invitation the Palestinian Orchestra has received in its history

The Palestinian Youth Orchestra, which includes Maryam Afifi, the symbol of the Palestinian resistance, on Tuesday completed its preparations for the “Palestinian-Turkish Peace Ceremony”, which will be held at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The wife of Turkish President Emine Erdogan houses the young Palestinian musicians in the presidential complex, led by artist Afifi, who was beaten by Israeli police last year during her defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque and turned into a ” symbol of resistance “for her steadfastness against the occupation.

In a telephone conversation with the Palestinian artist, who was arrested in May 2021 and stripped of her veil while defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque, First Lady Erdogan expressed her joy at seeing the Palestinian Youth Orchestra in Turkey.

At the invitation of the Turkish side, it was decided to arrange concerts in Istanbul and Ankara, in collaboration between the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of the Presidency of the Republic, and the Palestinian Youth Orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

The musicians of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra conducted an intensive period of preparation for the concerts after their arrival in Turkey under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The Palestinian orchestra will present its first concerts at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara today, Tuesday, through two works asking for peace.

Also during the concert, for the first time, a symphony will be played that includes folkloric melodies from the two countries and bears the name “Anatolian Rhapsody”, composed by Youssef Yalcin with “Altus Dance” designed by Palestinian artist Bechara Keel for this concert .

** Palestinian and Turkish musicians

Fajr Alp Tekin, senior adviser to the Turkish president, said the Palestinian Youth Orchestra was established as a platform for all Palestinian musicians around the world, including those forced to leave the country after the 1948 Nakba.

Alp Tekin reported to Anadolu Agency that concerts in Turkey are being arranged in collaboration with the President of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Jean Deli Orman.

She pointed out that the musicians from the countries that present the activities of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra participate in the concerts arranged by the orchestra.

She added: “As is the case in other host countries, the orchestra consists of 80 percent Palestinian musicians and 20 percent Turkish musicians, and it will present its pieces to art lovers through 21 Turkish and 59 Palestinian musicians.”

She declared that the orchestra would play classical melodies, at the forefront of which would be the music of “Kordili Hijazkar Longa” by the Ottoman composer (Turkish of Armenian origin) “Kamani Soboh Effendi” (1828 – 1894), and the music of the song “I’m Walking a Long and Narrow Road” by the famous Turkish poet, singer and composer Ashiq Wiesel (1894 – 1973).

** Emine Erdogan meets Afifi

Alp Tekin indicated that on July 18, Amina Erdogan hosted a dinner banquet for members of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra at the State Guest House of the Turkish Presidency.

She also mentioned that Palestinian youths from 10 countries came to Turkey as part of the activities organized by the Palestinian Youth Orchestra.

And she continued, “The invitation made by First Lady Erdogan is of great value, in addition to the presence of Palestinian youth in Turkey, because it contributes to the spread of awareness and the launch of efforts to preserve Palestinian traditional culture. “

** Addressing efforts to erase the name of Palestine

Afifi said it is struggling against the occupation and the pressure it exerts by harnessing the power of unity that creates music.

“We want to introduce our country to Turkey and the world,” she added.

And she continued, “We want our voice to be heard for the whole world by using the power of unity that creates music, and also by confronting efforts to erase the name of Palestine.”

** The highest invitation we have received

In turn, Suhail Khoury, director general of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine and director of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra, said that the orchestra, founded in 2004, has held concerts in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France in recent years. . , the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Oman.

Khoury said that the invitation that the orchestra received from the highest executive in the Republic of Turkey is very special and important as it is the highest invitation that the orchestra has yet received.

He told Anadolu Agency: “We are very happy to be here. It was the highest invitation we have ever received. It was a great solidarity for us.”

He continued, “The cultures of our two peoples (Palestinian and Turkish) are very close. This is a very important opportunity to bring the two cultures together.”

In turn, Omar Faruk Pluiranli, Director-General of Fine Arts at the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that the ministry is hosting the activities of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra and is trying to provide the necessary information to its members.

He told Anatolia that the orchestra would meet art lovers in programs that would last about a week in Ankara and Istanbul, stressing that the concerts being held highlighted the importance of achieving peace and love, and the interest Turkey has in the Palestinian people have, stressed.

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