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146, June 2010 Latest update 9 2010f August 2010, at 10.24 am
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Al-Mada Music Center – Music Training Room.

Al Mada Music Therapy Center The First Music Therapy Center in Palestine Receives Generous Donation from Famous Jazz Musician

The esteemed British jazz fusion guitarist and composer, John McLaughlin (www.johnmclaughlin.com), has recently donated a substantial cash prize to the local Palestinian association, Al Mada for Arts-Based Community Development. McLaughlin was recently awarded the cash prize at the prestigious jazzahead festival in Germany (www.jazzahead.de). He had heard of Al Mada’s work and, believing in its endeavour to use music as a tool for healing, he decided to donate the entire prize to support Al Mada’s Music Therapy Center project.

Al Mada, based in Ramallah, was founded in 2005 with the mission to develop and foster ideas, concepts, and programmes that utilise the arts in general and music in particular as a tool for advancing self-expression, advocacy, education, inclusion, therapy, and social justice within the Palestinian community. Al Mada believes that through an arts-based approach to community development, people can discover their gifts and talents. Al-Mada director Reem Abdul Hadi explains the value in this process: “Using the arts, people are able to discover and unleash their potential, and this, in turn, gives them hope and a sense of empowerment. This hope and empowerment helps them find their place in society and take responsibility for their lives. In recognising their value to society, they become more connected with their family, friends, colleagues, and community. Al Mada aspires not only to provide the possibility for the empowerment of vulnerable target groups through the arts but also to advocate, through artistic means, for the rights and role of these target groups in society.”

Al Mada chose music therapy as its first arts-based community development focus, and since 2009, it has been implementing a project that has created the first music therapy centre in Palestine. The project, which is being implemented with the support of WFD, a German NGO (www.wfd.de), seeks to introduce music therapy in Palestine through training local professionals working in the fields of social work, education, and counselling to use basic music therapy elements as a complementary tool in their work. Al Mada also seeks to strengthen and expand local expertise and capacities to deliver music therapy and develop a contextualised music therapy approach that fits the uniqueness of Palestinian culture and society.

Al Mada will use the generous donation from McLaughlin to implement a short-term project on music therapy in the coming months. Various project ideas are being considered, including a project for women with physical disabilities, youth-at-risk, and traumatised children.

In implementing such a project, Al Mada would invite music therapy experts and community musicians to use music as a tool to help build up the self-confidence, creativity, self-awareness, and capacity of the participants to advocate for their own rights.

“We are thrilled to receive this donation in support of music therapy and arts-based community development in Palestine. It is an honour to draw the attention and recognition of such an esteemed artist as John McLaughlin. His decision to donate this award to Al Mada is very affirming for us and strengthens in us the determination and conviction to use the arts to help advance the health and development of our community,” commented Reem.
Other Al Mada activities to watch out for this summer are music therapy training sessions in community centres throughout the West Bank. In order to reach the widest number of beneficiaries, Al Mada is currently partnering with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNRWA.

For more information, please contact info@al-mada.ps, or call (02) 241-3196 or 059-766-6469.
The esteemed British jazz fusion guitarist and composer, John McLaughlin (www.johnmclaughlin.com), has recently donated a substantial cash prize to the local Palestinian association, Al Mada for Arts-Based Community Development. McLaughlin was recently awarded the cash prize at the prestigious jazzahead festival in Germany (www.jazzahead.de). He had heard of Al Mada’s work and, believing in its endeavour to use music as a tool for healing, he decided to donate the entire prize to support Al Mada’s Music Therapy Center project.

Al Mada, based in Ramallah, was founded in 2005 with the mission to develop and foster ideas, concepts, and programmes that utilise the arts in general and music in particular as a tool for advancing self-expression, advocacy, education, inclusion, therapy, and social justice within the Palestinian community. Al Mada believes that through an arts-based approach to community development, people can discover their gifts and talents. Al-Mada director Reem Abdul Hadi explains the value in this process: “Using the arts, people are able to discover and unleash their potential, and this, in turn, gives them hope and a sense of empowerment. This hope and empowerment helps them find their place in society and take responsibility for their lives. In recognising their value to society, they become more connected with their family, friends, colleagues, and community. Al Mada aspires not only to provide the possibility for the empowerment of vulnerable target groups through the arts but also to advocate, through artistic means, for the rights and role of these target groups in society.”

Al Mada chose music therapy as its first arts-based community development focus, and since 2009, it has been implementing a project that has created the first music therapy centre in Palestine. The project, which is being implemented with the support of WFD, a German NGO (www.wfd.de), seeks to introduce music therapy in Palestine through training local professionals working in the fields of social work, education, and counselling to use basic music therapy elements as a complementary tool in their work. Al Mada also seeks to strengthen and expand local expertise and capacities to deliver music therapy and develop a contextualised music therapy approach that fits the uniqueness of Palestinian culture and society.

Al Mada will use the generous donation from McLaughlin to implement a short-term project on music therapy in the coming months. Various project ideas are being considered, including a project for women with physical disabilities, youth-at-risk, and traumatised children.

In implementing such a project, Al Mada would invite music therapy experts and community musicians to use music as a tool to help build up the self-confidence, creativity, self-awareness, and capacity of the participants to advocate for their own rights.

“We are thrilled to receive this donation in support of music therapy and arts-based community development in Palestine. It is an honour to draw the attention and recognition of such an esteemed artist as John McLaughlin. His decision to donate this award to Al Mada is very affirming for us and strengthens in us the determination and conviction to use the arts to help advance the health and development of our community,” commented Reem.
Other Al Mada activities to watch out for this summer are music therapy training sessions in community centres throughout the West Bank. In order to reach the widest number of beneficiaries, Al Mada is currently partnering with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNRWA.

For more information, please contact info@al-mada.ps, or call (02) 241-3196 or 059-766-6469.
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