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Al-Mada: Impacting Palestinian Lives with Musical Therapy

Many people know that music heals the soul. We all have those moments where we just need a good song to make us feel better. Music is known to have therapeutic benefits, especially for older adults. Listening to and/or composing music can reduce stress and even treat pain. In 2009, Palestine opened it’s very first musical therapy organization, Al-Mada Association for Arts- Based Community Development, which is a non-governmental organization that uses music and art to ‘advance self expression, inclusion, healing, social justice and advocacy’.

After visiting Palestine in 2015, singer John Mclaughlin realized that the association’s youth program labelled “For My Identity, I Sing” will fail due to lack of funding. So he took it upon himself to start a funding program to gather enough money to help this program help the youth.

So what better way to uplift their spirit than with music? Their “expressive arts therapy” is a more accessible alternative to psychological therapy. They use the creative arts, including but not limited to music, drama, movement and drawing/painting.

Who could benefit from such an organization? For a very long time Palestine has been suffering from occupation, and its people have been the indirect and direct psychological victims of it. This organization is established to ‘provide services to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of diverse individuals, including youth in refugee camps, ‘at risk’ youth, people with physical and mental disabilities and other vulnerable members of the community across Palestine’.

Working with all types of members of the community helps the organization fulfill its vision of achieving a Palestine where music and art are at the heart of a culturally vibrant and healthy community life. One of their objectives is to strengthen the role of the arts in the Palestinian society, at a time when the arts are overlooked and underfunded.

So far they have reached 63% of the $50,000 goal but any support is welcome, you can still donate by clicking here!

Don’t forget to leave a smile 🙂 !

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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