Al Kamandjati—"The Violinist"
Al Kamandjati Association, www.alkamandjati.org, is a non-profit organization established in 2002 in France and 2004 in Palestine. It was founded by Ramzi Abu Redwan from Al Amari refugee camp, near Ramallah. Its vision is to introduce and promote broad-based musical education and appreciation as an integral part of Palestinian life.
Mission: Al Kamandjâti exists to make music accessible to the entire Palestinian community and to teach music to Palestinian children and strengthen their appreciation of Palestinian culture and identity.
In order to reach its objectives, Al Kamandjâti Association (AK) implements an original and tailored music education program in 6 different locations in Palestine (old city of Ramallah, old city of Jenin, the refugee camps of Al Amari, Qalandiah and Jalazon, and the village of Deir Ghassana), as well as in 2 locations in Lebanon (the refugee camps of Bourj el Barajneh and Chatila).
Around 500 children, between the ages of 5 and 18, benefit from this program by learning how to play musical instruments, studying music theory and taking pride and enjoyment in expressing themselves through music.
AK works on introducing music education to public and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools, located and serving the children of refugee camps and villages. AK specifically targets these schools because, until today, they are the only schools in Palestine that do not provide music education for children. AK believes that it is these young people – those from those areas -- who would benefit the most from music in their lives. Indeed, they usually come from deprived socio-economic backgrounds and would not have access to it otherwise. AK believes whole-heartedly in the benefits gained in using music as part of the early curriculum and its school projects reach around 1000 children between the ages of 5 and 8 every year.