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

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

The wife of the Turkish president, Emine Erdogan, hosts the young Palestinian musicians in the presidential complex, led by the artist Afifi, who was beaten by the 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 to see the Palestinian Youth Orchestra in Turkey.

At the invitation of the Turkish side, it was decided to organize 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 preparation period 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 calling for peace.

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

** Palestinian and Turkish musicians

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

Alp Tekin told Anadolu Agency that the concerts in Turkey are organized in collaboration with the president of the presidential symphony orchestra, Jean Deli Orman.

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

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

She stated that the orchestra will play classical melodies, in the forefront of which will 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 Erdoğan 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 she struggles against the occupation and the pressure it exerts by harnessing the power of unity that music creates.

“We want to present 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 music creates, and also to confront efforts to erase the name of Palestine.”

** The highest invitation we have received

For his part, 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 the orchestra received from the highest executive authority in the Republic of Turkey is very special and important, as it is the highest invitation the orchestra has ever 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.”

For his part, Omar Faruk Pluiranli, Director General of Fine Arts at the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that the ministry hosts the activities of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra and tries to provide the necessary information to its members.

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

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